Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Banff, Day 1: Town of Banff and The Best Burger

I decided to go visit my ex-roommate D in Banff, Alberta. She’s the one who quit engineering to become a trapeze instructor. When I mentioned this to my friend C, she decided to come along also. In addition, our friend AM currently lives in Calgary. We all went to university together and figured it would be fun to get together.

C had already spent the previous day in Calgary with some of her friends. She met us at the airport and D was nice enough to pick us up there. It’s about an hour and a half drive to Banff from Calgary. Once you reach the Rockies, the mountains are an amazing sight. Large mountains with beautiful snow capped peaks, looming over you. I have never seen anything like it.

Getting into Banff seems like you're driving into one of the mountains.

Barpa Bill's Souvlaki
223 Bear Street
Banff, Alberta

We arrived around lunch time and were all hungry, especially since I had not yet adjusted to the two hour difference. On our drive to Banff, C mentioned she already had a burger and a steak the day prior. Alberta is known for their Angus beef. So when we passed by Barpa Bill’s, I figured I could go for a burger. Barpa's burger is considered the best in Banff! D and I shared a burger so we could also splurge on fries while C got the Greek salad after having had enough meat the day before.

The burger was really good. Since Barpa Bill’s is actually a Greek joint, the Barpa burger had tzatziki. It’s not a traditional condiment but it was actually pretty tasty. I have no idea what beef was used for the patty but it was very good and very well seasoned. The fresh cut fries were also well seasoned with both salt and pepper. C’s Greek salad was also good though slightly salty.

Barba Bill's in a Swiss chalet style building - all the buildings look like ski lodges.

Barpa Burger, $7.50. Hmmmm!

So good! I like the grill marks at the bottom.

'Home Cut' Fries, $4.50. Who doesn't love fresh cut fries?

The Greek Salad, $6.

Bison Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

After our satisfying meal, we walked around the picturesque town of Banff. Banff is within the perimeters of Banff National Park. Mountains surround the whole town. Banff has all the stores that we’re used to, such as Gap, Body Shop (even Louis Vuitton!), but in cute, ski lodge fronts. It’s amazing to see the mountain backdrop everywhere you turn.

Shoppers in Banff.

Downtown Banff.

We then decided to walk to historic The Fairmont Banff Springs. We wanted to walk down to Bow Falls behind it but the trail was closed. This occurred a few times because we were visiting late in the season and some of the trails can be quite treacherous. While we did end up finding our way down to Bow Falls by going through the Hotel, it was the view of the mountains next to the Falls that really impressed us.

On our way towards Banff Springs Hotel, I spotted a pretty bird. I found out later it’s a magpie.

We also spotted a funny knobby tree.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Oh! So pretty! Funny! When I logged into Flickr, they had a Banff series and the pictures looked gorgeous. I've always wanted to visit some day.

Miss.Adventure said...

It was very pretty! You should definitely go visit!