Today was the last day of our Rock Mountaineer tour. We began the day with a walk around the complex again – did I say yesterday that it is huge? Well in case you missed it – it is huge.
The weather has been abnormally hot during the trip so much so that most Hotels do not have air conditioners so they have brought in portable a/c units and lots of fans.
Today started off overcast (but still warm) and threatened rain and we were scheduled to ride a gondola in Banff. By the time we arrived the weather had cleared and the sun came out (and yes it was warm again). The gondola ride up the mountain was great (we had never been on one before). Once up there the view was great. There was a further point you could go to and I elected to do this while Norm climbed to the central observatory. My climb took about 15 minutes but it was worth it (mind you I was puffing and panting by the time I got to the top!). It was still a bit hazy but great 360 degree views.
After the gondola ride we checked out a few more sights and then had lunch. Then it was off for a helicopter ride over Banff (another first). This was awesome – I loved the flight – you got up very close to the mountains which was fantastic. (I will be attempting to put up a bit of video of this – hopefully it works). We went up in group of 4 or 6 (depending on how much we weighed collectively – being weighed was an interesting process – some people were looking a little uncomfortable over the process – mind you carrying bags etc does not help either!).
Finally it was onto Calgary. We arrived at about 6:00pm checked into the Hotel (another amazing place!) and then we had a brief walk around the city (the weather is still warm).
The population of Calgary is about 1.1million people (up about 350,000 in 20 years due to the growth in the oil and gas industries here). Norm and I hadn’t appreciated how big Calgary is. Tomorrow we have a late check out and are off to Chicago on a 4:00pm flight. So from tomorrow we are back on our own again.
Attached are some visuals from today’s activities. W
Thought you might like to see this too. This is from Day 9 We visited the Columbia Icefield on our way from Jasper to Lake Louise.