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For many more years than I can remember I have dreamed about visiting Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, which was my main reason for my trip to the Rockies. I was surely not disappointed; with Banff being by far my favourite.

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Nestled high in Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, the town of Banff is located within the Banff National Park. Banff is a spirited place, alive with adventure and wonder. In all directions I was surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains. The streets of downtown are lined with top-class restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as a vibrant range of art galleries and museums.

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We only had a night and day in Banff but I was able to see lots as it is only a small town.  We arrived late in the afternoon, checked in to our hotel and then headed directly up to the gondola. We took the four person enclosed car up  to the top of Sulphur Mountain in less than 10 minutes. Named for the thermal springs that emanate from its base, this peak is a perfect viewing point

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The views from the top are incredible. I could see the town of Banff, the Banff Springs chateau/hotel, part of Lake Minnewanka, the Bow river and a lot more. Even though you have to choose a time for the downward journey, no one monitors how much time you spend on top and can take any gondola down that is after the time on your ticket.

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Once at the top, there are a series of wooden ‘decks’ that you can walk on and climb . There were musicians, fire pits and sitting areas. We stopped for a cocktail while taking in the breathtaking views.

It was then time to take the gondola car back down to the bottom.

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I was up very early the next morning and explored this delightful town before most folks were up.  I loved Banff’s cosmopolitan edge knowing that at any part of the town I was only minutes away from the national park and its wildlife.   A resort town with boutique shops, nightclubs, museums and fancy restaurants.  But Banff is no ordinary town, it is the service town for the park that surrounds it.  Banff is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations attracting thousands of tourists every year.