Farmers Markets and Surprise Corners

Big day today. Fantastic, though.  It was nice to not have anything scheduled for the morning.  This was the morning view from the hotel window – never mind the dirty window…

We got up, headed outside, and learnt something about Banff – it’s more of a late nights and late mornings kind of town.  We had to wait a bit for a breakfast place to open – at 9:00am!  Most of the shops and everything else didn’t open ’til 10 or 11.  Sometimes, I feel I can really relate to these kind of hours 🙂

Over breakfast (maple and bacon crepes, oooh yeah!) Perry noted that there were farmers markets on today so that was quickly added to the agenda.  We had a quick wander around the outskirts of town, over to bridges at the border which (like pretty much everywhere in Banff) afforded some amazing views of the surrounding mountains.

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The Farmers Market was pretty cool – at least 90% of it is grown here, built here, or in the case of services, done here.  So it wasn’t just your typical resellers of stuff you find everywhere at markets – much of this stuff was local and unique. Nice!  Also, happy to say, great coffee, served from a old Volkswagen Kombi.  I give it at least an 8/10 on the iScott Coffee Scale.  A few steps away we found a spot to sit and drink – and it looked like this.  Banff is such a show-off.

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Coffee with free philosophy

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There are worse places to sit and drink coffee

It was really  nice to just be able to sit, to breathe, to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  Our next appointment was hours away, so just sitting and taking in the view for a while was lovely and relaxing.  Just the kind of thing you’re meant to be doing on holiday.  Once we moved on, we wandered through the shops – it feels like nearly all of them are souvenir shops, but at least there’s some variety.  There’s also a Christmas shop … and whoa it was a ginormous winter wonderland alright. Surprisingly large, and a ridiculous range of christmas tat. I mean, beautiful christmas decoration 😀  It made we feel good that, compared to some people, clearly we don’t go overboard on the decorations each December 1st.

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We also found a sure sign that plenty of Australians work in Banff.  No, not drunk people throwing up in the streets in assaulting people, but rather, this:

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After all this hard work, Perry went back to hotel for a nap (because holidays!).  On our morning walk I’d seen a sign to ‘Surprise Corner’ – it was only a bit over a kilometre so I thought I’d go and surprise myself.  I headed off down the road, things became quieter, houses stopped appearing, and I remembered all that stuff about it not being wise to go out along in bear country.  Like, places with bushland and no houses and stuff.  But I soon saw someone walking the other way, looking distinctly un-mauled, so I figured it was OK to continue.

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But was I surprised?  Well yes, yes I was.  Here’s what you see from surprise corner:

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Lovely! Well worth the little walk there and back, with a few happy snaps taken along the journey.  It was quite warm outdoors – once again, glad I slip-slop-slapped!

Before too long it was tie for a snack – we got us some beaver tails!  Don’t worry, they’re just kinda like long flat doughnuts – tasty and probably not at all good for you 🙂 

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Then at 3:15pm it was time for a tour, I think one of the most enjoyable ones we’ve been on so far.  But seeing as it was a long day and as I type this it’s already way after midnight… I’m going to keep you all in suspense ’til some time tomorrow when I have the energy to write it up properly. Sorry folks! Here’s a preview:

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