Banff, Alberta

Welcome to Banff, Alberta.

When I first crossed into the vast expanse of wildness, the Wild Rose Country of Alberta presented itself with infinite panoramic views and mountains that never fail to take your breath away.

 

Whether you’re adventuring one of the three alpine ski resorts or hiking one of the endless trails in the surrounding areas or soaking in the natural hot springs, there is something for everyone!Processed with VSCO with al2 preset

Norquay Ski Area is the closest to the village of Banff, with an exciting switchback road that reminded me of Montana. Sunshine Ski Resort is accessible by gondola and is posted with a multitude of avalanche warnings along the road. Personally, the terrain and pitch I saw at Sunshine looked perfect for adrenaline hunters like myself with thrilling runs with equally thrilling names. The third is by far the most well known hill: Lake Louise. Lake Louise is the location of the famous Lake Louise Downhill in the Alpine World Circuit – and the crowds show for it! I’d highly recommend buying an exclusive parking pass for the day for only twenty dollars! Trust me, it is most worth it compared to hiking in your ski boots and gear up a long and steep road. Even though there are a good many people on the hill, there’s a hidden nook off the back of the mountain that is not for the faint of heart. Be sure to snag a personal guide to show you the ropes of the mountain and pack a snack! There are no friends or pee breaks on a powder day, am I right?

Okay, yes yes yes, I know that I write like a racer. Habit. I’ll get back to Banff.Processed with VSCO with au5 presetOn top of the world – oh sorry, on top of Sulphur Mountain – the views are worth every blink. Processed with VSCO with au5 presetThere’s a gondola that zips you and a maximum of three other people up to the top of the mountain. Trick of the trade: go after 5 pm. There is a major discount on the price per person!! 

While up at the top there are four levels to explore. You can walk out onto a boardwalk that takes you up and up and up to see views that somehow get better with each step!Processed with VSCO with 4 presetThen there is a mini informational museum and two dining locations. One leans more toward being a lunch and snack spot, the other, the Sky Bistro, is the formal dining setting of the summit. Their dishes are all locally helicoptered in daily, with an excellent selection of cocktails, beers, and desserts. img_1688I’ll always be one for a good Princess and the Moose story… that’s how it goes isn’t it? In any case, my history with moose is a beautiful one involving a bet with my day and the removal of his beard after a successful moose hunt on my end. I suppose it has become somewhat of a tradition to integrate little hidden moose mentions into every aspect of our lives now.

@ this cutie. Beardless since ’15 thanks to my sharp shooting.Processed with VSCO with au5 presetA short drive outside of Banff brings you to Lake Louise – linked to the ski resort I mentioned earlier. There’s this stunning chateaux-hotel that overlooks the grand expanse of the lake.

Mini disclaimer – I thought I had finished this blog post months ago, so all of the photography is taken in mid march during my spring break.

I grew up figure skating, but never had I gotten the opportunity to skate on a lake. It was getting to be near midday, so the part of Lake Louise that was skiable was getting a tad slushy, but it was too great of a chance to pass up!

Processed with VSCO with u1 presetProcessed with VSCO with ka1 presetWe were fortunate to have blue bird skies during our visit.

Back in Banff, the Main Street is filled with shops of every variety! I personally enjoyed coming across a popcorn shop named “Mary’s” for obvious reasons. Wandering and window shopping can easily take up your afternoon, but it is so worth it!

The few days that I spent in Banff was *just* before all of the tourists came in to flood the vacation-built area. By the time we left for Calgary, the streets were filling up by the bus!!

At the base of one of the ski lodges was…

img_1788I’m never one to say no to a good bear hug.

Real talk though, sunsets.

Sunsets in Banff and the surrounding areas will never cease to amaze me! It got better with every minute and with every blink of the eye! It was the evening of the full moon when these next two shots were taken.

Now that I caught you up on this past spring, be sure to stay tuned for my twelve week adventure in Southern Italy!

I arrived a few days ago in Sorrento to study abroad through the Sant’Anna Institute – Sorrento Lingue for the summer. You can be sure that I will be curating multiple guides in this area as well as returning to Naples and Ischia, and adding in a new location of Procida for a few nights to conclude my stay.

Subscribe to learn about culture through my string of posts for this summer. These will include:

  • Hiking Mount Vesuvius (which I am doing tomorrow with a few of my friends)!
  • Sorrento Cuisine (food. restaurants. suggestions.)
  • Daily Living in Sorrento (what it is like living in Italy.)
  • A Day in Capri
  • Amore e Amalfi (an exploration of the gorgeous Amalfi coast that you have certainly seen on social media.)
  • Exploring Pompeii and Herculaneum (I’m taking both a photography course and archaeology course so be prepared for some fun details and snapshots of the dig sites and ruins.)
  • Returning to the Gulf of Naples (covering Vomero, Naples, and Ischia.)
  • Procida in August (think stunning building and small town, island life in the lesser known triplet to Capri and Ischia.)

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