We only have a couple of days in Banff and had spoken to our waitress at the hotel after breakfast and she suggested a chairlift ride up Mt Norquay. A twenty minute bus shuttle out of town, Mt Norquay overlooks the Bow River Valley and Banff. On top of Mount Norquay we would find a quaint English tea house built in 1959 and recently renovated into a bistro, the Cliff House Bistro.
We caught a shuttle in Banff Avenue and this took us up to the bottom of the mountain and the start of the chairlift. Not being skiiers, we are nervous about using the chairlift and speak to the attendant, it doesn’t take long to pick up his accent and he is Josh and he is a paramedic from Melbourne. He is friendly and helpful and we are soon comfortable and on our way to the top. The magnificent Douglas fir trees surround us as we make our way up and the air begins to cool down.
We spot rabbits and a cheeky little squirrel is sitting out in the sun, eating his nuts and another is shy and runs into the bushes away from us. Half way up the mountain, quite a lot of young ladies must have come to misfortune, as we find a number of bras and beads hanging out of a dead tree. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but I couldn’t get my camera out in time to take a photo. I would love to know the story behind this adventure.
At the top of the mountain, the Cliff House Bistro overlooks the Bow River Valley, it is beautiful scenery, with the mountains towering over the town of Banff the emerald green of the Bow River winding its way out of sight.
We enter the Cliff House Bistro and order lunch from another Australian expat, a young man from Terrigal. My meal was calamari braised in tomatoes, onions and olives, served with slices of dry toast. I had never had calamari served this way, but it was delicious.