Setting-off on the adventure…..

No two-week holiday (our longest break in about 18 years!) can be set-up without worries and anxieties, and this one was no exception! Closing down a small business requires clearing appointments and paperwork, banking and answering machine, government returns and who will water the plants!

Close-family illnesses were cause for concern, but are outwith our control and the Lady of the House really needed the break. The other ‘cloud on the horizon’ was the Iceland volcano cloud. It was expected to arrive in time to disrupt our take-off from Glasgow on Wed . There was doubt about the  forecast and Thomas Cook Travel didn’t help by not keeping us informed. However, Son kindly took us to Glasgow Airport and we left on time.

My friends know that I don’t like sitting in a metal tube for hours, many miles in the air. I’ve done it for many decades but still find it un-natural, and boring! Lady of the House, on the other hand, loves it. Attempts to placate those such as me by letting me watch some ghastly video, or be beguiled by advertising, or read glossy magazines, or eat from a cardboard box, just don’t work! An 8-hour journey could be a good chance to have a snooze to try to deal with the expected jet-lag, but the continual jollification by the stewardesses prevents this, at least for me. The shrinking seats made it even more uncomfortable. Luckily we had other passengers who were happy to chat and such distraction helped the hours to pass.

….but, the 8 hour time-zone change was the largest I have had to handle. On arrival at Calgary we almost had to put our watches back to the beginning of our journey, and keep the eyelids propped open for a long time. The warm welcome at the airport from the staff was what should be expected, but rarely received.

The transfer from Calgary to Banff was perfectly pleasant, but the weather wasn’t! The housing estates on the edge of Calgary didn’t look particularly attractive to us, but we were now in a different culture, and had better get used to it. Rain and sleet didn’t detract from the beauty of the entry into the Banff National Park and Banff itself.

We booked into the Fox Suites, wandered around the pleasant main street, and noted the courtesy of the average Canadian  car-driver. Even idiotic pedestrians who wandered across the road contrary to the crossroad signs were treated as if they were in the right! Back at the hotel, Lady and I chose to share the main course of the evening meal as the portions were obviously over-sized for us mere Brits!

Next morning, she had the chance to learn how to make waffles for breakfast and we ate a bit more than we would have at home (but we were on holiday!). We went to the railway station, to get some shots of a train going through, but no-one could tell when the next one was coming as there was no schedule. A short wait in the rain proved photo-less. We had more  opportunities to investigate the main street, the Mall, the attractive river and the museums. It was a good chance to relax after the previous days’ hassles.

Friday morning welcomed us with a fall of snow, but the skill of waffle-making and loads of coffee set us up for the day. We booked-out and boarded a coach heading north towards Jasper, but on the way we had some stops to make…………..