Our first week as Banff folk!

Trip Start Nov 08, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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What I did
Banff Mount Norquay Banff National Park
Read my review - 5/5 stars
The Dancing Sasquatch

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, November 18, 2012

Our first week here has been quite chilled out and we have spent most of our time exploring the town and sorting various things. We met our landlords and went to their (very nice!) house on Tuesday and then went to a steak night that evening with a big group of people who were also doing a working holiday over here. We have opened a bank account over here, travelled to nearby Canmore where we got our SIN numbers (I think equivalent to a National Insurance number), filled out forms so that we get free Alberta healthcare and done a big food shop to fill our cupboards with the essentials for the season!

Banff town centre is bigger than we expected and there is an abundance of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops but it's all in quite a confined space with Banff Avenue being the main street that runs through the centre. Our house is about a 2 minute walk from the avenue and everything else is in walking distance or there are 2 main buses that go through town. Banff Avenue and the surrounding streets are really pretty with wooden, snowy buildings and Christmas lights around and beyond the main streets are just mountains and the rest of the National Park. We keep looking around and finding it hard to believe that we are actually here and that all of the scenery is real... the massive mountains and expanse of the national park certainly do a good job of making us humans seem quite insignificant!

We also had another evening out with a group of people that we met on the bus up to Banff from Vancouver, starting off in an Irish pub where they served yummy pomegranate cider, Guinness (much to Nick's delight) and Yorkshire puddings stuffed with horseradish mayo... YUM. We then went to a hostel called the SameSun as we heard there are cheaper drinks there (pints seem very expensive here at around $7-8) and all had some Agwa de Bolivia (Agwa Bomb) a herbal liqueur made with Bolivian coca leaves which tasted interesting! We also saw a few elk or deer (not sure which!) as we wandered around town... as you do! After leaving the hostel one of the guys we were with heard that the Northern Lights had been seen that evening over Banff so we walked into the snowy forest along the Bow River hoping we would also see them... unfortunately to no avail. We will certainly post pictures if we get a chance to see them before we leave though!

I also had my first weekend at work up on Mount Norquay and had to get a lift up the mountain with a group of people also working up there. Apparently by the end of the season everyone knows everyone from the 'hill' and I could see how that would happen as I spent my first trip in the car up the mountain squished in between two strangers! I found out that one of the girls I was sat with was from Montreal and mainly spoke French, whilst the other was from Germany. I asked the guy up front where he was from and he replied... "The Isle of Wight"... small world! I spent my first weekend working in the daycare area of the mountain on my own cleaning and sorting, meeting people and getting my staff pass. The day care is a nice space and it overlooks the ski runs so it's a pretty nice view! I start working there full time on 30th November and Nick has an interview sometime over the next week so fingers crossed he will be working on the ski lifts on the same mountain as me :D

That's it for our first week really - yet another essay when I intended on writing a short paragraph! Although we're settling in well we certainly miss all at home! Speak soon :)


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