Monday, 27 December 2010

Canada Trip Day 21: Seoul Restaurant, Banff

3 July 2010 - Located at Banff Avenue, somewhat hidden at one end of an alley is this amazing Korean restaurant. We never thought we'd had such a Korean feast in a place like Banff! We had the spicy seafood hot pot and stir-fried beef dish. Both were unimaginably marvelous, yet my sister was saying the one she had in Korea was better. The one in Korea will have to wait for now.

The spicy hotpot was ideal for the chilly mountain weather. It worked up a healthy sweat, which somehow added to a greater satisfaction of the meal.

Not only was the food tremendous, so was the service. Impressively, the service was not compromised even when the place was quickly filled up with customers. The staff members were courteous and helpful. We had our tea cups refilled, side dishes replenished and bill sorted efficiently.

[Photos by Sakana]

Walking along the alley, we saw the sign board of Seoul Restaurant, Banff

Here we are, with the staff members making preparations to receive a tour group. Luckily, there was a table for us.

Korean Masks

A couple enjoying Korean food

Spicy seafood hotpot (Haemul Jungol), YUM!!

This was the tough part, watching and waiting for this large wok of delicious-looking seafood in spicy soup to boil

Savoury stir-fried beef - Bulgogi

Canada Trip Day 21: Beautiful Bow River

3 July 2010 - My favourite thing-to-do in the town of Banff is walking along Bow River with Mount Rundle in the south and Mount Norquay in the north. Contrary to the busy and bustling town centre, the tarred pavement that meanders with the river can be quite deserted of people. There are many spots with benches provided at the banks of the river where we can claim some private space with nature. My sister and I took a long and slow stroll along the river, basking in the early evening summer sun, enjoying the majestic presence of the surrounding mountains and welcoming some chilly winds, the remnants of winter.

The Bow River has a long history with the natives, the First Nations as well as European settlers when they arrived. There was the great railway which helped trade bloomed in Canada. Personally, I felt bad for the First Nations from long ago. With the brand new civilization that came to Canada, I hope their future generations now are living better lives after having so much taken away from them.

A church with white spires

Busy Banff street

Walking along Banff Avenue

Some sort of concert going on in the park

Banff Avenue across the Bow River

Another deer grazing by the roadside.

Fairmont Banff Springs with Mount Rundle behind

Mount Rundle and Bow River

Horse carriage along Bow River

Many horses strolling along Bow River

Mount Norquay

The peaceful walk along Bow River

Mount Norquay  and Bow River. We sat on the grass to enjoy the scenery.

Early evening sun causing the turquoise green waters to shimmer

Bow River with
Mount Norquay

Mount Royal Hotel Banff

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Canada Trip Day 21: Banff National Park

3 July 2010 - After the helicopter ride at Kananaski, we were back in the coach heading towards Banff National Park on the Trans-Canada Highway, which stretches from the west to the east of Canada. The Rocky mountain range that seems to stretch endlessly, accompanying us throughout our coach journey back to British Columbia in the days to come. We passed the Three Sisters, Mount Rundle and Grotto Mountain before reaching the town. While the scenery is wonderful in Banff, the town area and popular mountains, lakes and falls are crowded with tourists like ourselves.

I found myself making associations of these mountains with those in New Zealand, Switzerland and Tibet. I think what I found marvelous about this trip was that the mountains were constantly so close to us with the highway just built always right beside them. There is great vastness of coniferous trees covering the slopes of this monstrous giants, as though every mountain is wearing a green shirt with their summit exposed.

During winter, man-made avalanches are organised to prevent unexpected casualties in these mountains. The roads involved would be closed and traffic diversion organised. These organised man-made avalanches are based on long-term studies of weather patterns, geology and avalanche histories as well as careful predictions of avalanches at different locations.

Charity, one of the Three Sisters

The Three Sisters mountain with Faith, Hope and Charity, named for their three peaks.

The Three Sisters from a distance

Rocky mountains that stretch along west of Canada

Slopes of Rockies covered with coniferous trees

Snow melting with increasing summer temperatures in the Rockies. But, it is still cold here!

Cars queuing at the entrance of Banff National Park

The Trans-Canada Highway is rich with history of railways, coal mining and Canadian native-foreigner relationships.

Holidaying in a caravan

Banff town centre

The Fairmont Banff Springs

The Fairmont Banff Springs

Snow-covered Rockies and coniferous trees


Camp site

Saw a deer grazing in the forest

Two Jack Lake

Some sort of a dam?

Palliser Range sign board

Going around the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive and now we see Lake Minnewanka

Mount Astley on the left and Lake Minnewanka

Leafless conifers

Divers at
Lake Minnewanka

Mount Inglismaldie and Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka cruise

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Canada Trip Day 21: Heli Ride at Kananaskis

3 July 2010 - We were on the Trans-Canada Highway heading to Kananaskis for a helicopter tour. As we approach the town, the magnificient Rocky Mountains ranges loomed into view. They reminded me of the mountain ranges that was seen in New Zealand and Tibet. It was amazing that monstrous rocks raise from the ground reaching the skies in places around the world, with much fascinating rock formations. I've been avidly following BBC documentary How Earth Made Us and how these kings of the skies were formed were incredible. In David Attenborough's BBC documentary First Life, he traveled to the Rockies to explore the fossils found that may explain how the first animals are created and evolved. Thus, these structures are so much more than a creation from tectonic plate movements that now stand to awe us and provide us with recreation. Some of the answers of our being actually lies here, which I find so amazing.

Telus World of Science: Calgary's Science Centre

Ski jumps at the Canada Olympic Park (COP)

Canada Olympic Park

Calgary West Campground

Barns and farm houses

Elbow Sheep Wildland

View of a shack and Elbow Sheep Wildland in the background from Trans-Canada Highway

Grazing cattle in front of Elbow Sheep Wildland

Trees and shrubs

Green Drop lawn

Letters on a slope

Mountains from Elbow Sheep Wildland

Helicopter Tours sign board

Kananaskis Heli Tours Inc

Helicopter control board

Pilot getting ready for takeoff

Bow Valley

Bow Valley Provincial Park

Barrier Lake with Kananaskis Trail on the left, going into Elbow Sheep Wildland on the left and Bow Valley Wildland on the right

Barrier Lake and the Canadian Rockies at Bow Valley in Kananaski

The Rocky Mountains in Bow Valley

Rocky Mountains in Bow Valley

Rocky Mountains in Bow Valley

Bow Flats Natural Area with cement factory in Exshaw on the right

LaFarge Canada Cement Mill in Exshaw

Mount Yamnuska

Loder Peak

Close-up of Mount Yamnuska

Close up of Loder Peak

Bow River with a dam