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My sister Rolie touched down at the Calgary International Airport at about 1:30 on Friday afternoon. She’d been traveling for 30 hours, coming from Saudi Arabia via Amsterdam, but no problem, she wanted to go directly to the Mountain Equipment Co-op because, well, she’s a traveller, and she needed to top up her supplies.

After two hours of checking out tents, bike carriers and various articles of clothing, we headed for Starbucks and a caffeine boost. I finally got her home after seven, and she crashed about eight.

She was ready to go again early the next morning. We headed for Banff National Park where our first stop was the Bow Falls.


Rolie and Suzanne at Bow Falls

Of course, we got our picture taken, like all the other tourists. She wants to come back to this spot sometime, and canoe from here to Canmore. It’s doable. A popular beginner trip.

From Bow Falls, we walked to the Banff Springs Hotel where we had reservations for their famous brunch. We ate for two hours, sampling just about everything. Here are a few of the offerings.2013-10-15-P1040623adjSFW


Then it was on to the Sulphur Mountain Gondola for a trip up the mountain and a stroll along the boardwalk to the Cosmic Ray Station. Sounds like the set for a great fantasy, right?


Suzanne & Rolie on top of Sulphur Mountain

Since we were so high, there was snow, and Rolie was excited to see snow. (No snow in Saudi Arabia.) We sat up there for a long time drinking hot chocolate and catching up.

Then we headed down the gondola and Rolie paid for the standard tourist picture of us suspended over the Rockies. We cruised Banff Avenue for a couple hours, picked up a few souvenirs, and then even though it was only 5 degrees Celsius , we sat outside for lattes and people watching.


A perfect October day in the mountains.

Have you seen snow lately?