Thursday and a day off from skiing.
We did chores in the morning including a visit to the underground launderette and food shopping. For some reason the launderette smelled strongly of Chinese food.
The sun was shining with almost cloudless sky and temperatures below -10oC. Ambling along the main street of Banff was dramatic with its snow covered Rocky Mountain backdrop. A couple of groups of young school children were being walked along by teachers, one group with each child holding onto a rope with knots at regular intervals to space them out tidily. They crossed the main road by the simple expedient of the lead –teacher holding up her hand and then walking across the road, all traffic simply stopping.
Traffic and pedestrians seem all very well behaved in Banff. Pedestrians don’t cross the road until the electronic signal gives the go-ahead. Vehicles stop for pedestrians to cross at non-signalled junctions. There is little if any speeding despite a complete absence of speed cameras or traffic police vehicles. In fact there seem to be no police around at all. There is no sign of litter anywhere. Interestingly the rubbish bins in the streets are made bear-proof though in this cold weather the mechanisms to open them freeze-up. What a comparison with Grey Britain!!!
Bit of a shock when we got back to the apartment. An e-mail message to ring David (Dai) urgently. Turned out that tiles on the roof of our house had come off and snow was forecast. Unfortunately it is a problem which will have to be sorted on my behalf and means pressure on David who has enough on his plate anyway. So those of you who pray, pray for him.
After chores and speaking to David we had lunch from the Chinese food outlet in the underground food hall which had a distinct smell of launderette. Must have got the extractor fans muddles up.
Then we went for an amble across the nearly frozen River Bow.
…. and on up to the Gothically magnificent Banff Springs Hotel with its fabulous views of sunlit snow covered peaks.
After wandering around taking photos in the increasingly cold air of late afternoon we went into the hotel for a coffee just to thaw out. Well, alright, also to see how the other half live. Well, alright, it’s nowhere near half. …. to see where the wealthy minority hang out. Expensive but very pleasant. The hotel is like a small town with very fashionable boutique shops and a very pleasant coffee lounge. It also had a spa with heated outdoor pools. It was somehow bizarre to look down on near-naked people in the pools on the terraces below in temperatures plummeting to -15oC. The whole atmosphere of the place was one of understated opulence.
Then we walked back, the rapidly failing light offering some quite dramatic views.
And eventually to bed and unfortunately still very disrupted sleep.