Friday, 18 October 2019

 

Seeing Banff From Above With the Banff Gondola

For as long as I can remember I've been wanting to go to Banff and Jasper National Park in Canada. The iconic snow-capped mountains, the crystal clear glacial lakes, and lush forests grace the covers of many travel magazines – yet despite living in Canada for a year I never made it over there as I explored both coasts instead and skipped the entire middle bit of the country. But this year my life-long travel dream came true and I got to hike those mountains, pose in front of those saturated blue lakes, and even see a moose (or two) in the wild. On our first day in Banff we even got an amazing bird's eye view of the stunning scenery around us as we went up, up, and away on the impressive Banff Gondola all the way to the top of Sulphur Mountain in the Canadian Rockies.




I haven't been on a ton of gondolas in my life, in fact the only one I can remember from longer ago was also in Canada, Whistler to be exact. Yet I have been in gondolas twice this year already as I also went up the Heidi one in Pizol over the summer. Clearly I'm now a gondola frequent flyer (and I'm not mad about it). What I love so much about these attractions isn't just that it whizzes you up to the top of a mountain in no time, with minimum hiking effort required, but also that the view along the way is already breathtaking. Perhaps only a sneak peek of the stunning views to come, but equally enjoyable nonetheless. An then, when the gondola comes to a smooth halt after climbing 2281m in less than 10 minutes, you've arrived at your destination: the top. 🇨🇦





The 360-degree rooftop observation deck at Banff Gondola was an utter delight. Even though it was a cold day (especially on top of a mountain!) we spend ages admiring the awe-inspiring view, taking in the incredible surroundings. Along the way we spotted six different mountain ranges, Banff Town, and even the tiniest bit of the fairy tale Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This really is the Canadian Rockies at its best. When it got chilly we warmed our freezing fingers next to a gorgeous smelling open fire, while relaxing in the first of many red chairs we were going to come across on our travels through Banff and Jasper National Parks (a clever, photogenic marketing ploy from Parks Canada).





And when things really got too chilly for us (we were woefully under-dressed for the cold), there was plenty to explore from indoors as well, as the whole building had windows looking out across the Rockies, giving a slightly different view from each angle. So even if the weather had been terrible (it wasn't, we were so lucky) the attraction still provides the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the magnificent views so close to Banff Town. Oh, and don't forget to say 'hi' to the disco bear. I am not sure why he was there to greet us at the top, but I loved it. 





*full disclosure* While, after my amazing non-spon experience in Pizol, Banff Gondola was already on my list of must-things to do while in Banff, this was a sponsored visit by Pursuit Collection (which offers many amazing experiences in Banff, Jasper, and beyond) in exchange for an honest review. Adult tickets normally start from $53 and can be booked in advance on the official website. This is highly recommended, as popular time slots do get full well in advance. Also, hot tip, there is limited parking near the attraction and while we drove up we ended up circling the car park several times before making our way back down and parking in the city where we caught one of the frequent free shuttle buses up to the gondola. Much easier.




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