Jasper

Trip Start Nov 09, 2005
1
35
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Trip End Mar 01, 2006


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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Ha ha, finally some snow! We had rather an uncomfortable overnight train journey to get here (took about 16 hours from Vancouver to Jasper!)but when we arrived there was some snow, not a lot but enough! Apparently Canada is having a really mild winter this year which mean there's not much snow about but that is probably best for uas as it means it's not too cold! The only hostel that was open was about an hours walk from town so thought best to get a taxi there, rather than walk! When we got there we decided that the best way to get down to Banff, and to see some scenery was probaly tohire a car. we phoned around and eventually got ourselves a bit of a barry-bargain, and decided to head off the next day. Basically the only road from Jasper to Banff is the Icefields Parkway, which takes you through the 2 national parks, and through some big icefields (which are like big flat glaciers) All pretty cool, but the only problem is that during winter all of the rest stops are shut-and whoever 'guestimated' that it would take 2 and 1/2 hours was so wrong!! Try more like 4 hours! It was really good though, we saw frozen waterfalls, frozen rivers, frozen lakes and lots of snow! It was really scenic, and well worth the trouble! When we got to Banff, we realised that the hostels were the same price as some of the hotels so we decided to upgrade. I throughly enjoyed a bath, some free coffee, sky tv and a HAIRDRYER! Oh my, it was actually bliss! We also got to sleep in a massive bed-easily 6ft wide!! Unfortunately we could only stay for one night but it was so good! The next day we reluctantly checked out, and headed off to do some sightseeing around Banff. We went to another frozen waterfall, and went to see the Banff Springs Hotel (I wanted to stay there, but it was probably a little out of our budget!!) Then we went up to the Cave and Basin which is a natural hot spring in the ground-and it smells so bad! Yuck, just really eggy sulpher smell, but it is nice and warm! Then we went to look at the outside pool which has loads of endangered snails in it-they are only found in the Banff springs-and at the bottom you could see all of this goo just bubbling. We tried to get some pictures but not sure how well they'll come out! Then we had to head back up to Jasper as we didn't want to be stuck on the road when it got dark as the sky was looking ready to dump a load of snow any minute! WE spent one more night in Jasper before catching the train up to Edmonton.
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