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Old 30th July 2014, 14:48   #1
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Default Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada

After a lot of thought and courage , I have finally decided to try and put up my first travelogue although I am pretty sure this really cannot be called a travelogue as this is just Two One-day tours combined in one Thread.

I was on an official trip to Calgary, Canada from 05-Jul-14 to 18-Jul-14. Possibly the best time of the year to be in Calgary. Summer time, temperatures in the range of 24-28 Deg. C during the day and 10-14 Deg. C at night, Calgary Stampede ongoing (the biggest outdoor event as claimed by some of the Canadians).

During my stay in Calgary, I had the chance to do certain things on the weekends and some weekday evenings. Below is the list of things / Sight-seeings that I did during my stay.
  1. Visit Calgary Stampede Park
  2. Visit Aerospace Museum
  3. Tour of Banff National Park
  4. Calgary Downtown Sight-seeing (Calgary Tower & Glenbow Museum)
  5. Niagara Falls (I can see the Eyebrows already being raised, Well I had planned my flight itenary via Toronto with a 15 Hour stop-over to go and see Niagara Falls)

Of all the above, the most closest one to my heart would be the Tour of Banff National Park and later the Niagara Falls.

I am sure that a lot of people must have visited Downtown areas of different cities and seen a lot of different things. Hence, I will not be focusing on that over here.

Banff National Park

Located in the Rocky Mountains, it is the oldest National Park in Canada and the third in the World. Sprawling over 2500 Sq. Miles, Banff National Park has attractions that could make you stay over within the National Park for almost a week's time.

Ideally, all my office colleagues who have traveled to Calgary in the past few years had some colleague from the Calgary office take them to Banff in their car.

I ended up being unlucky due to the Calgary Stampede and a long weekend (Friday to Sunday) for the offices, meaning a lot of people already had their plans made.

Well that does not mean I am going to stay back in the hotel for the long weekend. Went through the internet and got hold of some day tours to Banff with pick-up & drop from Calgary.

I could have opted for Rental Cars but with just over 2000 Kms of driving under my belt I decided against it. Unknown conditions, Unknown Laws, Unknown Country. SAFETY FIRST.

Got a suitable Day Tour and went ahead with the booking. The tour's name was Glacier Adventure which included the following:
  1. Gondola Ride
  2. Columbia Icefields
  3. Glacier Skywalk
  4. Banff Lake Cruise

Finally the day of the tour arrived. 11-Jul-14. Left hotel at around 05:30 AM to downtown area to catch 06:15 AM bus to Banff. Reached Banff at around 08:30 AM.

The Tour bus would leave at 09:30 AM. Checked-in at the counter of the Tours. A not so pleasant surprise awaited me over there.

The Tour operators informed me that the tour I had opted for had been canceled due to a forest fire on the way to the Columbia Icefields. Options available with me - Reschedule for another day or opt for a different tour.

The first option was out of question as it would have meant tickets cost once again from Calgary to Banff and back. So opted for another tour "Mountains, Lakes & Waterfalls'. Inclusions of this tour:
  • Johnston Canyon Falls
  • Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake & Valley of the Ten Peaks
  • Takakkaw Falls

Disappointment Factor - Moderate

Really wanted to experience the Columbia Icefields & the Glacier Skywalk.

I have tried my best to convey what each photo means by way of renaming them as I am not sure how to get the description of each photo alongside it.

Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon Falls & the Takakkaw Falls are majorly Glacier Fed and can be seen in Liquid form only for about 5-6 Months in a year. Rest of the year they are completely frozen.

Will shortly put up some more photos from the Day-tour of the Niagara Falls & some photos of Greenland from 35,000 Feet in the air.
Attached Thumbnails
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Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-moraine-lake-valley-ten-peaks.jpg  

Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-takakkaw-falls-1.jpg  

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Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-view-takakkaw-falls.jpg  


Last edited by tejas08 : 30th July 2014 at 16:25.
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Old 30th July 2014, 16:04   #2
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Default re: Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada

Move to 18-Jul-14. Time to leave Calgary and Canada but not before a Niagara Falls Day Tour.

19-Jul-14 @ 06:30 AM: Land at Toronto Airport and the wait begins for our Tour bus begins.

08:30 AM: Tour Bus arrives. First Stop - Niagara-on-the-lake Town. Yes. That's the name of the town. No idea why.

This town had a very British Feeling to it, possibly due to the fact that Canada has been under the British rule and also the Queen (I don't remember which one) had stayed in one of the Hotels in this town.

Some of the Stops in this town included the Niagara-On-The-Lake Beach (Fort George in the background), Floral Clock, Smallest Chapel in the World. While walking through the town, I spotted six corvettes standing one after the other. Something told me that it wasn't a coincidence. Some event possibly. I could only capture three at a time in the frame.

Then we made our way to the Niagara Falls and the Boat Ride (Hornblower Boat Ride, formerly Maid of the Mist) at Niagara Falls.

This Boat Ride is probably the best boat-ride I have ever taken.

Niagara Falls being at the border of US & Canada, you will see a lot of US Side & Canada Side being indicated on the Photo's names.

One of the Photograph where you see a river flowing, the left side of the River is Canada and the Right is USA. Furthermore, just over the Niagara Falls is the Rainbow Bridge, one of the four bridges to cross-over from Canada to US and Vice-versa.

The Niagara Falls too has two sides, the US Side & the Canadian Side. The US side is about 1/3rd of the Canadian Side (Called as Horseshoe falls) and probably only half as beautiful as the Canadian side. One of the Photographs show both the falls together (Left being US Side and Right being the Canadian Falls / Horseshoe Falls)

We had some free time to roam around in the vicinity of the Niagara Falls which had some small attractions like Wax Museums, Horror house etc. but nothing of great VFM and high standards.

At Around 04:30 PM our tour bus came to pick us up and drop us back to the Toronto Airport. Time to catch the Flight back to Mumbai (Via Frankfurt).

There were a couple of more photos I wanted to share. This was during my connecting flight from London to Calgary. The flight went over Greenland. Clear Skies meant a breathtaking view out of the Window. I have a fear of heights and I hardly ever look out of the plane once its takes off from the ground. But this view just made me forget all my fear of heights and there I was trying to catch some amazing snaps flying over Greenland.
Attached Thumbnails
Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-town-random1.jpg  

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Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-niagara-falls-horseshoe-canada-side.jpg  

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Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-rainbow-bridge.jpg  

Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-rainbow-bridge-crossover-between-us-canada.jpg  

Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-greenland1.jpg  

Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada-greenland2.jpg  

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Old 31st July 2014, 17:52   #3
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Default Re: Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th August 2014, 11:19   #4
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Default Re: Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada

Thanks to Team-BHP for letting this Thread be a part of the Travelouges.

Would love to know if there are any Suggestions or improvements that I could use or do in any travelogues that I may put up in the future as this was my first travelogue.
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Old 6th August 2014, 21:17   #5
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Default Re: Banff National Park: Niagara Falls, Canada

Indeed the photographs of those lands are stunning!
Thank you for sharing
This only strengthens my resolve to go to Canada very soon!
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