The drive from Jasper to Banff has been voted many times as one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and I have to say it lived up to expectations, at the times I wasn't asleep in the van. On the way we stopped off at Athabasca Glacier, part of the Columbian Icefields. Some people paid to hike the glacier, but due to a sore ankle and been glaciered out while in Alaska, I gave it a miss. I did however find out that the café there has won the world record for the most public female toilets, very much needed due to the huge buses full of Asian tourists pulling up. We then stopped at Bow Lake, which was very pretty. Once in Banff we checked out the town for a while, and then headed out for dinner for the first time the whole trip.
The next day started with a hike up Sulphur Mountain. The views of Banff from the top were amazing!! After we hit the famous Banff Hot Springs. I was a little disappointed here as the image in my head was very different from the real thing. It is only one pool. The water comes out of the mountain at about 48 degrees, and is then cooled to 39 degrees so humans can sit in it. Nothing is done to the water so all of the minerals in it are very good for the body. It was quite a warm day, so I had to keep leaving the water for an ice cold shower before getting back in. After we browsed the shops, and had icecream from Cowes... voted the best place to eat icecream in the world! It was good, but not that good. That night we checked out the Rose and Crown pub where a local artist Chuck Rose was playing. Even on a Monday night, the Banff nightlife was in full swing. According to our tour guide, Banff is the town where sometimes group members sign off the tour (due to meeting someone in beautiful Banff). Sadly, she has only run 4 tours, and this has already happened to her a few times.
The next day I enjoyed a relaxing day checking out all of the shops and buying a few souvenirs. I had an awesome lunch at Eddie's Burgers. That night Mindy took our group out for some karaoke at Wild Bill's. Sadly the mechanic bucking bull was injured on the night so we didn't get to have a go.