Banff, Alberta

Oh dear, I just got banff’ed. 

I imagine myself on a Sunday afternoon somewhere in the year 2065 where my possible teenage grandchildren will come and visit me and will ask me for a cool story from when I was young.

I will tell the Tales of Banff.

The Tale of Julia Twerk and Gordon Scoop

We all have those kind of friends. Whenever you are together with them you get into trouble, without even trying. Julia and Gordon are two of those friends that formed a dangerous combination in Banff. The first time we went to Banff we ended up in ‘The Dancing Sasquatch’. Let’s say we have been pre drinking for a bit and  the moment we entered the place, we lost each other and started three different stories.

Let’s start with my story, which didn’t end well and is the least exciting. I blame it on the change of altitude that made me malfunction but somehow I felt really tired and rested my head for a moment on a table. The next moment I remember is being kicked out of the club after five minutes while my two friends were inside having the time of their life. After trying to get back in, which was fruitless, I ran into a colleague of the lodge and her friend, Keith. I was happy to see her. So happy I could puke. And I did. Multiple times. All the way home and landed into bed where my friend dropped me around 3 AM. They saved my life that night and left to look for Julia and Gordon.

The story of Julia Twerk has a more happy ending. While I was being removed from the scene she was dancing her life away in the spotlights. She had a blast until she woke up in a hotel room she didn’t recognise the next morning. She woke up in the couch with a note and a glass of water next to it. She jumped up and ran to our actual hotel room. There she found me around 5 AM.

And the story of Gordon Scoop is just weird. While I was being removed from the scene and Julia was dancing her life away, Gordon was making a bunch of new friends. He was getting so well acquainted he raised his drinks with them and then poured his drink into someone else’s drink. The outrage was complete when Gordon tried to literally scoop his drink out of the glass of the guy. He had a great time until he woke up on a pull out bed in the middle of the hallway with a Mexican family staring at him. Confusion was complete when he tried to explain to the lady of the house that he worked here (who was he kidding…). Gordon was asked to leave. Once outside, he noticed he ended up on the other side of town. He made his way back to the actual hotel where Julia and I saw him stumble in around 7 AM.

Who says you need Vegas to have a ‘Hangover’ story ? We went for breakfast and all shared our stories. We laughed hard.

Another one of those, kids ?

The Tale of the Shady Shed

Another trouble friend I have is Sarah. We made the last minute decision to go to Banff again. Of course good old Gordon was game and his buddy from Ontario joined us. A friend drove us there and dropped us off. We got out of the car and looked for a place to stay the night.

Apparently it was busy in Banff that weekend because all accommodation was sold out. We didn’t worry too much and would figure out where we would lay our heads later. We ended up in… ‘The Dancing Sasquatch’. I recognised the bouncer was working there as well today. Luckily, this time I was already adjusted to the altitude. We got in but soon enough we lost one of us. I’m telling you, that place has a sort of hidden portal.

We didn’t worry too much about our friend and got some ‘time machines’. A very popular cocktail with an overdose of sugar. At least it kept us going until the place closed. Then the worrying started. Where are we staying tonight ? It started raining now as well and we went for some pizza. Our friend was still traceless. After looking for places we could spend our night we ended up in a dusty shed on the outskirts of town. I must admit I never had this type of accommodation in my life. After sharing our pizza with a homeless guy and retrieving our long lost friend we called it a night. Waking up on concrete is like showering with glue, it shouldn’t happen. We got up, shook off the dust and got out of there. Speaking of a cheap way of traveling AND a story to tell.

There are so many stories when I think of Banff. Like the one with lost iPhone, the one with the fire hydrant, the one with the 300 dollar fine or the one with the mushrooms…

Let’s just say Banff is a great place to have a good time. There are a handful of good bars, bunch of restaurants and the town is nestled in between mountains with Mount Rundle as the most profound one of all.

The Tale of Barpa Bill

For good food, go check out Barpa Bills. Barpa Bill is originally from Greece and came on vacation to Banff years ago. He loved it so much that once he got home he decided to leave it all behind and move to this little town. My hero. Nowadays he still runs the place with his son. The burgers and wraps are just delicious !

The Tale of the Morning After

Another great breakfast place is Melissa’s Missteak. You have a wide range of breakfast options and the service is great. Perfect place to cure a hangover. Not special stories here, just good food !

The Untold Tales

And then there are stories that are just not meant for posting on a public blog. Because they are too long, too inappropriate or too irrelevant for anyone except the ones you share the memories with. Some memories should be kept close to your heart and shouldn’t be posted on a blog. Readers wouldn’t feel the same way you want them to feel and you would be left with a feeling of misunderstanding. The Untold Tales belong in the head of those who experienced it.

Beyond the Tales

What else it there except good stories and food ?

Cheap Bastard Tip : You can take the Banff Gondola all the way up the mountain where you’ll have a great view over Banff. If you have time and a pair of hiking shoes I would recommend to hike the switchback all the way up. It saves some dollars. (Although you should at least have a Gondola Experience somewhere in Western Canada).

Hiking : You can make a nice hike from the town centre to the Bow Falls and all the way to the Fairmont Banff Springs. For the more experienced souls there is the climbing of ‘Rundle’.

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