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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Exploring Banff with Brewster Sightseeing

Our Rocky Mountaineer journey is completed, so now we enjoy exploring Banff with Brewster Sightseeing.
Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel sits right in the center of it!
Here, husband Pieter is seen left from the bench at 7:55 AM in the morning. It is nearly impossible to capture this enormous hotel!
Yes, we did rise early as this was our breakfast at 7:08 AM.
At STOCK Food & Drink, I'd ordered Avocado on Toast without salt added.
We got picked up at our Fairmont Banff Springs hotel by coach and started our 4.5 hour guided bus tour.
At 8:54 AM we arrive here at the Gondola Base, but it is raining...
Okay, we will start our 8 minutes trip up on Sulphur Mountain...
It is what it is, the weather is NOT good, no view at 9:09 AM.
We see hardly the Gondola Base to the right of husband Pieter...
Here I am standing at the Summit in front of a nice 'clear' photo of what this Bow Valley should look like from upon high!
Cold too, I'm enjoying my down filled Escada hand muff!
Both our down filled jackets felt great here in Banff!
A strong wind as well and a white world...
Nobody is using the board walk where you can get to Sanson Peak.
Just click here on: Brewster Sightseeing for exploring it all under excellent conditions!
This COULD be viewed on a clear day and you see the board walk.
See more here at Banff Gondola just click it and scroll down.
At 9:20 AM I at least can read why so blue? The brilliant turquoise color of glacial lakes appears due to 'rock flour', or tiny grains of rock ground up by moving glaciers.
Leaving husband Pieter inside at the Summit with a hot coffee, I go outside again.
Very windy and no view!
Husband Pieter captured me outside, after he finished his coffee.
My hair is wildly blowing in the wind and it was COLD!
Oh sure, I enjoyed a hot cup of tea as well; felt great inside my cold hands.
Too bad we completely missed this spectacular 360º view from the top of this Summit. No use for even getting there...
This is where I stand in the snow...
Such a small world...
At 10:09 AM we're back down at the Gondola Base
While we wait for our bus to continue our sight seeing tour, we admire the bearings of the gondola!
My hand on top of such a sturdy steel cable...
At 11:00 AM we're outside near Bow Falls and noticed these spectacular fall colors, even if the light was not good.
Here Pieter is standing at Bow Falls.
This is where Pieter is standing, near the edge of the Bow River and the very rough falls, no rafting possible due to the rocks.
Next stop is #3 - Surprise Corner
The site of our hotel, is in the lower part, center as seen from Surprise Corner.
The driver brings us across the Bow River now where we capture our Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
No mountains visible... Surprise Corner was a very limited view for us!
Across from the Bow River now.
Pieter standing next to the beautiful fence made from bright orange Douglas fir.
Uhm, my husband is not related to Micky Mouse... just one snap on the flap of his hat came loose!
Explanation about DOUGLAS FIR
Even these posts seem to be made of Douglas fir!
Excellent directions though, everything looked so meticulous and clean.
Here we are near the Hoodoos at 11:55 AM.
A unique sight that is as impressive as it is awe-inspiring: hoodoos. Formed from volcanic rock over 200 million years ago, these wonders were created due to erosion, rain, frost, and snow. Legend says that the hoodoos are actually giants that come to life at night to protect the region, but because you will be traveling through the hoodoos during the day, you will never know!
The Hoodoos, seen at center...
At 12:00 noon, the Hoodoos
The beautiful fall colors at the edge of Lake Minnewanka where part of the group got off for a cruise on the lake.
Lake Minnewanka...
That was our 4.5 hour guided bus tour... We only did the Banff Gondola and not the Lake Minnewanka Cruise!
Back to our Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel where for the first time since 5 days, poor Pieter was able to take a nap!
At that time I could work a bit on my MacBook in our cozy room.
By 16:00 it was 4ºC or 39ºF and it will go down to -4ºC or 25ºF
Around 18:00 we enjoyed a cozy early supper... Pieter liked a soup and I know that it would be too high in sodium for me so I ordered something different.
The fluffy puff pastry with arugula and fresh veggies inside proved to be a good choice!
Also my salad was good.
Since they earned a positive review on TripAdvisor, that's what I did.
Excellent for Breakfast and for a Quick Supper! click link.
Their very courteous reply shows that the Fairmont Hotels have the highest courtesy!!!
When I looked out of our window at 19:30 the mountains were almost entirely visible!
We enjoyed our down duvet and the lovely pillows and had a good night sleep for our 2nd night here.
Once again, the special bargains you get when booking through Canada Rail Vacations makes you feel like Royalty! They only select the BEST!
Enjoy below my short 55 second video from Relive:


Thanks for your visit and comment and stay tuned for more...

Fairmont Banff Springs Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia | short Youtube video showing the hotel


  1. Hello Mariette, Beautiful, but so cold! I would like one of those bearings to use as a sculpture. I wonder where it was made--Timken Bearings from Canton, Ohio can be found all over the world, but there are other makers as well.

    1. Dearest Jim,
      We both would love to know also where this beautiful big size roll bearing got made! Guess we are the exception for showing interest... Did you see Pieter's hand for comparison to its huge size? A masterpiece really and there is a lot of weight on such a gondola system and a big responsibility for safety!
      Enjoying the ride on the Rocky Mountaineer for two days and also this Gondola, makes one appreciate the genius technical design.
      Thanks for your visit.

  2. Dearest Mariette,
    I Love your sightseeing tours and I love all your pictures! Thank you for taking us with you to another wonderful place! Your food looks delicious too!
    Wishing you a great week,
    sending Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    1. Dearest Claudia,
      This was really a trip of a lifetime to one of the most popular State Parks in the World. Also a UNESCO side.

  3. Hello dear Mariette!
    Wow! What a spectacular view of the mountains!
    And very impressive hotel! The views are amazing! Gorgeous pictures!
    Like your food and desert! I’m sure you had a great time visiting Canada!
    Wishing you a lovely day and a happy week ahead! Hugs!

    1. Dearest Dimi,
      It was spectacular, regardless of the clouds that covered part of our view. But still it was a thrill.
      Yes, this Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is such an impressive building with its beautiful patina on the Rundle natural stones. It blends in with this Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
      The food at the hotel was great but frankly, we were still so full from all the haute cuisine enjoyed during our 2-day Rocky Mountaineer trip!
      Sending you hugs,

  4. Oooh I love anything with avocado. Your avocado toast looks so good! I'm sorry the weather was not good when you took a gondola ride. Though, it must have still been a memorable experience. It was interesting to know why the lake is so blue! And fun about the legend of hoodoos :-) That is a very impressive site! Love the autumn colors. Thank you for another great tour, Mariette!

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      We both eat half an avocado at breakfast time every day; it is so healthy. This was a very special way of presenting it and garnishing it with fresh herbs and no salt added!
      Indeed, the gondola ride was almost zero, still exciting to ride up Sulpher Mountain but without any view, it is not the same. We did not even take the elevator to the top level, no use for doing so. But for once I walked in the snow and that is special for anyone living in the heart of Georgia!
      The Hoodoos was impressive to see and the added bonus this entire trip were the spectacular fall colors.

  5. Bedankt weer voor het delen.
    Wat zullen jullie het koud gehad hebben!

    1. Beste Ingrid,
      Graag gedaan, zo houden we voor ons beiden de herinnering ook levend en Pieter geniet er van om nog eens rustig zo alles te bekijken in de volgorde van onze belevenis.
      Nee hoor, we hebben het niet koud gehad. Lekker laagjes, een hemd, een cashmere mock turtle zonder mouwen onder een dun cashmere truitje en die jack met dons gevoerd is heerlijk. Zo was ook mijn muff, lekker licht en warm omdat het dons is. Pieter had ook laagjes onder zijn met dons gevoerde jack en zijn lekkere muts met nog oorkleppen. Mijn cashmere trui was nog heel bijzonder omdat ik die droeg toen ik voor het laatst met Moeke FaceTime deed...

  6. What a very memorable trip for you both. Even though the weather proved to be unfavourable you were both still able to appreciate, enjoy and make the most of the experience.
    I was interested to see the Hoodoos as we have visited the Hoodoos of Cappadocia in Turkey. Over the centuries the Turkish hoodoos, also known as "fairy chimneys," have been carved out to create monasteries, castles, homes, churches and entire cities.

    1. Dearest Rosemary,
      Yes, this has been so far the most memorable and in Pieter's words: 'The BEST vacation ever!'
      The weather one cannot guarantee and it is as it is. We both were fortunate for being there and feeling fit enough to live through it.
      On our planet it is amazing how certain sites got shaped several hundred million years ago, by volcanic rock and it makes into unique sites to go and see!

  7. i've seen the Banff Springs Hotel in photos before, it's such an magnificent building Mariette.
    I can almost feel the cold, ggrrrr...
    A wonderful trip for sure!

    1. Dearest Sami,
      Well, the Banff Springs Hotel was a very warm and cozy place, contrary to Chateau Lake Louise where the draft was even felt inside the hotel. They should have had a double vestibule where two more double doors remain closed while the outside doors are opened. Their Lake View restaurant is therefore very drafty... Banff Springs is built like a castle, thick walls and well insulated! Outside it was not too cold, we got dressed in layers and had no problems.
      This was a wonderful half day trip indeed!

  8. Das Hotel scheint ja wirklich gigantisch zu sein!
    Ein toller Bau! Auch von weitem noch eindrucksvoll!
    Dort scheint es aber doch kälter zu sein, sogar Schnee! Doch das wird hier in den Höhenlagen im Harz manchmal auch schon so sein. Dort kommen wir nur nicht so oft hin. Im Winter vermeiden wir das Autofahren, im Dunkeln kann man auch nicht mehr so gut wie früher sehen. Dann ist das immer ein Risiko, jedenfalls auf unbekannteren, weiteren Strecken.
    Und Dein Mann trägt gleich die passenden Herbstfarben.

    Liebe Grüße nochmal

    1. Liebe Sara,
      Diesen Bau war wirklich toll und es war so warm und gemütlcih drinnen da es gut gebaut worden ist.
      Ja der Schnee war nur ganz oben auf dem Berg, unten nicht und es hat da auch keine minus Temperatur gegeben tags über.
      Die Daunenjacke meines Mannes trägt er auch im Winter auf'm Fahrrad, es ist eine Farbe die man sehen kann und das soll auch!
      Die Uhr wird am Wochenende hier auch wieder zurückgestellt und es wird schon früher dunkel. Jaja, die Herbstzeit fängt wirklich an.
      Ganz liebe Grüße,

  9. Dear Mariette,

    Isn't Banff a beautiful place and I loved visiting there on a day trip from Calgary many years ago.
    Loved exploring around the town and seeing beautiful Lake Louise.
    My sister and her husband stayed at the hotel and she was saying the same thing, they felt like royalty.
    Have a great day

    1. Dearest Carolyn,
      Banff sure is a lovely place and we wish we had had more time to explore it!
      At least wonderful memories got made in this area, for both of us.


Thanks for your visit and comment.


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