Friday we had a very early start leaving for the absurdly picturesque town of Banff - a limo picked us up at 6:30 followed by a four hour flight to Calgary and then another limo ride at the other end. We were knackered by the time we got there.
Our hotel, the Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa, was fine however - comfortable and great service. After a spot of lunch we popped downtown for a beer and a sniff around before heading homeward for an early night and resolving to start the serious business of sightseeing the next day.
On Saturday morning we had a big breakfast in the hotel and, after consulting a map, picked up a car from National and headed up Tunnel Mountain Drive to (surprise, surprise) Tunnel Mountain. Then we crossed the TransCanada Highway to the Minnewanka loop; Johnson Lake (watch out, there's a bear about), Two Jack Lake, Lake Minnewanka itself, Upper and then Lower Bankhead.
After that we hopped, skipped and jumped up Mountain Avenue to the Banff Gondola to take a further eight minute cabin cable-car ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain. 2.6km in the sky it commanded amazing views of all the mountains and valleys in the locale. Mind you, I was shitting myself on the way up. That's high, people!
Once we came down off the mountain we crossed over to the Upper Hot Springs - a municipal style 39C spa pool. Not a patch on the Blue Lagoon or Bath, mind you.
We had dinner at Bears Grill in town (for all your hot stone self-cooked meat needs) and we were sorted for the day.