Following on from Calgary, our next stop for the night was going to be the little ski town of Banff. Driving north west from Calgary, we decided to stop off at Canmore, seeing as we were to spend 3 nights in Banff and thus had some time to spare.
Our first stop along the way was the Spray Lakes Reservoir, where we had to pause for a bit, just to absorb the beauty of what we were seeing. Little did we know that what we would later see would blow this right out of the water…
Upon reaching the centre of Canmore, we stopped for brunch at a little cafe which had some rather delectable menu options. After some difficulty, we finally settled for a plate of salmon omelette and another of Belgian waffles with berry compote and maple syrup (both served with fruit(!), fried potatoes and toast). This was my very first taste of authentic, Canadian maple syrup… and dang, I’m going to need to bring some of this stuff back to London.
After a quick walk along the main street, we decided to head towards the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park for a spot of mountain biking.
What was meant to be a gentle 2 hour introduction for me turned into a bit of a bumpy adventure when we made a wrong turn and ended up on the “adrenaline” bike trail. I emerged 2.5 hours later, bruised and a little cut up, but alive and kicking after my very first attempt at mountain biking. I’m also glad to say that we did not run into any bears whilst lost in the wilderness. 😉
Talking to the bike rental attendant, we discovered that this little area of Canada actually has the highest concentration of Canadian olympians as Canmore is the official home to the Canadian National Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon teams. Canmore is actually an awesome place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts, as activities such as canoeing, kayaking, nordic skiing, ice climbing, caving and of course, mountain biking, are all on offer here.
After a much deserved iced latte from one of the coffee and tea houses, we continued on with our road trip, and made the short drive to Banff, officially crossing into the Banff National Park.