Day 2 Wednesday, 26th December 2012 (Gondola)
Howling Dog Tours adventure ended around lunch time after which the bus brought us back to their Canmore head office. A few hundred meters of a crisp walk through snow filled roads and we were back at our Ramada room.
This is our travel menu
The days in December are short and instead of wasting time looking for a place for lunch we ate our pre-prepared and dehydrated, but healthy and satisfying provisions: unpasteurized Grand Padana cheese purchased at Costco in Toronto, curry jerkies made from grass-fed beef (dried on low heat to preserve nutrients), 90% Lindt chocolate, and farm-bought summer sausage.
We wanted to maximize our available time, so in-between a mouthful of authentic Italian cheese and Ontario cured sausage, I checked our Samsung Tablet for operating hours of Banff attractions. It was 26th December, so we were not sure what was open and what wasn’t. Gondola was one of those attractions we wanted to experience.
Sulfur Mountain Gondola
The Sulfur Mountain Gondola is like a fully enclosed ski lift. We had the “booth” for ourselves and enjoyed the 8-minute ride tremendously.
The ride was steep, so were the tickets going for $60 something per couple, but we took it. I do not particularly like heights, and I had to engage in some emotional man-handling of myself before stepping into a small cable-suspended cabin.
We recorded the whole experience with our Drift action camera attached to Andi’s head. Now you can ride with us. Unfortunately you can only join us on the way up, the batteries died down on the way down. Sorry for letting you down. The movies have audio, so you can also listen to our goofy conversations.
The highlight of the ride was the 360 degree lookout point, which we managed to capture with our camera as well. It was quite cold on the top. You can hear the wind howling on the audio. We managed to record only two short movies of the exquisite view of the mountains before the batteries let us “down”.
Anyhow if you want to save yourself a red cold nose and 35 bucks you can watch those mountain movies here. No, it will not replace the real experience, but at least you will know if you should be planning your next trip to the mountains of Banff.
Elk, espresso, and asparagus
It was about 4pm after the Gondola dropped us back to the bottom of the mountain. The sunset was near, so we quickly headed back to the town of Banff. We spotted an elk walking along a main road among pedestrians … weird but certainly unforgettable.
We stopped at a coffee shop to have a shot of espresso and possibly even something else we will not be sharing with you here, but to make up for a healthy meal we proceeded to the local grocery store in search for nutrient-rich food. There wasn’t much, so we settled for two batches of organic asparagus and full fat organic yogurt. We also got some no-crap-ingredients sausages for frying. Good enough.
Andi, the magic bathroom chef performed his now usual magic. Cut up steamed asparagus sprinkled with organic Etobicoke-bought butter and a cut up fried Canmore-bought sausage was amazing. So was dog-bowl baked coconut bread. You don’t believe? Check out the photos.
… to be continued
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Beautiful downtown Banff.