As always, E and I had a very hard time saying goodbye to the Canadian Rockies. It is always so hard to leave a location you love. After we checked out of the Banff Springs Hotel we took the mini hike around the abandoned ghost town of Bankhead. Upper and Lower Bankhead was a coal mining town; the industry was booming, and with trains coming into Banff regularly, they needed coal. The town grew, but by the 1930s the Canadian National Parks decided to outlaw mining within the park, and the town was disassembled.
However, Bankhead isn't totally gone. There are still quite a few mostly intact buildings, huge piles of coal, and lots of really interesting informative signs that the park has placed there that made the walk one of our favorites.
It was interesting that the National Park ordered Bankhead to be destroyed, but many partial buildings still remain.
E enjoying checking out some old mining structures in Lower Bankhead.
We loved these forgotten steps to the old Holy Trinity Church. So beautiful.
Finally, we took a drive around Vermillion Lakes looking for interesting birds and then decided to head to our final destination in downtown Calgary.
Our drive to Calgary was fine, and our downtown hotel was what we were expecting. It is hard to leave the nicest hotel you've ever stayed at in your life and check into one of the cheapest all in one day. The evening in Calgary was uneventful, because we were right downtown, most shops were closed, so after an hour walk we decided to just watch TV in our room.
The next morning we decided to go to Prince Island Park and were so happy with what we found. A very active downtown culture, people out biking and rollerskating. The park, and actual island on the Bow River, was just beautiful. Black squirrels scurried across the grass and families enjoyed the summer weather. E and I walked around for awhile and then ended our day at the River Cafe.
We were so happy that we had made brunch reservations, the restaurant was hopping, and the bright sunlight filled the dining room. We sat near a window and enjoyed one of our favorite meals from the entire trip. We started out with house made granola, seriously, I've never had granola like this. It was fantastic. Then I ordered my favorite, Eggs Benedict, but this variation was Elk Bacon Benedict with house cured elk and brown butter hollandaise. Best eggs Benedict I've ever had, hands down. And I'm a Benedict connoisseur!
We left extremely happy and ready to be back home, after all, we were missing our three kitties.
Interesting modern sculptures in downtown Calgary.
View of downtown from Prince Island Park. Such a perfect day.
One of my new favorite restaurants. Everything was organic and local. Yum!
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