Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter Break 2014 - Part 3: Banff (Banff Ave, Rocks & Gems Shop, Whyte Museum)

We drove to Banff the Tuesday after Easter, in the afternoon.
The drive was beautiful as we got closer and closer to the Rockie Mountains.
Note: We did a lot in Banff even though we were only there for a couple days. This blog post will just detail Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. 
This was the view from our hotel room window. Our hotel was amazing. Our room and view were beautiful.

On our first night in Banff we ate supper at the restaurant in our hotel. It was a bit fancier but we wanted a treat. I got chardonnay and Stephen got ginger ale.  

Stephen ordered some seafood fettucini with lobster tail, scallops, shrimp, and mussels. It had a fancy foreign name in the menu but I forget it. 

I got the veggie burger with salad and honestly I wasn't too impressed. I took the cheese off the burger because it was just too much and I wasn't a fan of the creamy/greasy dressing on the salad. We also each got tomato soup to start and it was very rich, so I was quite full by the time my food came. It was a nice experience even though I didn't love the food I ordered. Fancy restaurants like that aren't usually great for vegetarians so I just have to suck it up.
That night we just relaxed at our hotel. It had a spa and the mineral water pool, hot tub, and eucalyptus-infused sauna were open to hotel guests so we enjoyed that.

On Wednesday we had the entire day to spend in Banff. We headed downtown in the morning. It was overcast and snowing gently, but it wasn't too cold to walk around.  

We spotted this horse and carriage on Banff Ave.

The coolest store we went into that morning was the Rocks & Gems shop. 

There were precious stones, gems, geodes, and fossils all over this store. 
Stone Inukshuk charms.
I loved the pretty coloured stones and jewellery and Stephen loved the fossils and this mammoth tusk.

Agate. 

Stephen bought an ammonite as a souvenir. This is the explanation of what it is. 


In a different shop I bought these two postcards for my collection. 

After exploring some shops we got a morning snack - beaver tails. We first had these in the summer in Ottawa with our friend. It's deep fried dough flattened to look like a "beaver tail" but it's really just like an elephant ear or doughnut, just made "Canadian" for tourists. You can get different toppings. I got nutella and banana, Stephen got cinnamon sugar.  

Next, we went to the Whyte Museum. 
The permanent exhibits are about people exploring the mountains, the wildlife in the area, and the history of Banff. But the Whyte Museum is also an art gallery, and the art exhibits were our favourite part.  
The Fury exhibit by artist Stephen Hutchings was amazing. 
Read the artist statement below and enjoy these tiny photographs of the beautiful art.  
My favourite was Storm Fugue, on the front of the pamphlet. Stephen's was Storm and Drang, the top image on this page.  
"Hutchings renders charcoal drawings to large canvases and washes them with thin layers of paint, building layer upon layer to produce atmospheric potraits bursting with distinct personality and exploding with drama and emotion." 

The second exhibit was Portraiture, which "traces the art of portraiture from the 1920s through to the present day." 

The final exhibit, which was also an art sale was Grant Smith, who mostly does watercolour landscapes. 
You can check out his art here.

and our time in Calgary.

And stay tuned for my next blog post about our time in Banff!

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