A Travellerspoint blog

Day 23

Banff to Vancouver

sunny -14 °C

Damn I don't want to leave. This hotel and this little town are truly magical. We have enjoyed the wonderful service and friendliness of the staff of the Fairmont. The festive decoration of the hotel has to be seen to be believed. There must be hundreds of Christmas Trees. It is truly beautiful.

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Followers of this blog will be aware of the turmoils we have experienced when traveling between cities. Today we caught a coach for the 90 minute drive to Calgary. We left Banff at 10am and our flight for Vancouver is scheduled to depart at 2.30pm. Brewster is the coach line we used to travel to Banff also. They have modern coaches, that are heated and the drivers are very helpful. Today our driver John was amazing in the circumstances that unfolded.

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Halfway into our journey we where confronted by a roadblock by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Both lanes (westbound and eastbound) of the Trans Canada/Highway 1 were closed and traffic banked up for kilometres. We were only a few minutes behind the traffic that was involved in the accident. Here we were right amongst it, in a coach that was unable to cross the steep snowy median to turn around to a detour. As fate would have it, John was on the ball. He collected all our names and flight details and emailed them to their Calgary Airport Office. The Mounties cleared one lane on our side to allow the coaches to turn around and drive on the wrong side back to a detour on the old highway.

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The clock ticked by and a crowded old Highway 1 which was only two lanes seemed to go on forever. We drove through the rural grazing countryside of Alberta and the first nation lands. This detour allowed us to see frozen lakes and people fishing on them. Native communities and lots of cattle. Calgary is the home of that famous rodeo or stampede as they call it here, so the cattle was a given.

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Our driver John did a fine job, and we finally arrived at the Calgary airport at 1.40pm. Due the rush, we didn't get to say thank you, but I will send John and his employers a letter of thanks when I get home. Thanks John!

We checked-in with Air Canada to find out that our flight was delayed. And so, twenty minutes later than scheduled, we departed for Vancouver in British Columbia.

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Once again, the anxiousness of our travel plans made for busy day. For hours we have thought about the accident, especially since we were told that one person lost their life.

We arrived to rainy Vancouver. Tac and his limo dropped us to our hotel and home for the next week. While we will miss the snow and the mountains of Banff, we are very much looking forward to exploring this new city. Hello Vancouver!

Posted by petty1912 18:56 Archived in Canada

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