Settling at the end in Canmore

At the end of our roadtrip in Canada we wanted to save a couple of days without travelling where we'd be stationary with just the 4 of us. We had searched for a while for a nice cottage or something in the south of Alberta but settled in the end for Canmore near Banff National Park. 

In the past I had driven a few times by this town at high speed on highway 1 on our way to Calgary and I had sighted at the view of an opportunistic town full of hotels built right outside the park's borders. In fact I had no clue that Canmore is a historic mine town that dates back as far in history as the first settlers and the first plans to protect some of the Rockies in national parks.  The last mines only closed in 1979 and in 1988 Canmore succeeded to reinvent itself by hosting the alpine sports in the 1988 Winter Olympics of Calgary.

Anyway, it's location in the Rockies combined with its good infrastructure were now exactly why we choose this town as the location for our last 4 Canadian days.  Originally we had booked a standard hotel room in one of the hotel chains we had spent most of our time in during our trip. But the week before we noticed that the many resorts still had vacancies and offered family apartment rooms for the rate we had simple room with 2 double beds in it...hmm a fully equipped apartment with hotel room service or 1 room.  Thank goodness we switched :).

So we checked in at the Stoneridge resort and marvelled at our living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and promptly went to do grocery shopping for a month worth of breakfasts (ok, I exaggerate), snacks etc to fill up our fridge and Jan started to BBQ. 

It's funny how quickly you develop routines as soon as you stay a couple of days in the same location. We discovered the Policeman Creek Trail not far from our resort, connecting us via a boardwalk and beautiful environment with the town center... a nice walk we've done a couple of times each day. 

Downtown we enjoyed the local breweries where we went to do some tastings while Beertje was a big fan of the ice cream school bus. 

We enjoyed the view on the 3 sisters towering above the city... the only mountains our children now can point out and name correctly.  We enjoyed the art in the city and I fill in love with the brightly colored modern Canadian landscape paintings from Carter-Ryan. Now I only need to find a sponsor to get some :). The tiny city museum downtown learned us interesting stuff on Canmore's mining history, the winter olympics of '88...and it turned out to be the most child-frienly museum we've ever visited.   Kabouter received a picture treasure hunt which we tried to complete all together (but we needed some hints from the personnel)   and Beertje got introduced to a little stuffed dog that wanted to see the museum but needed some Woof tagged along with us in the museum.

We tried some nice restaurants (nope...Jan didn't BBQ each night) and we were amused by the rabbit invasion that is haunting Canmore already for many years. Not quite the wildlife we had expected to see in the Rockies here :D. Bunnies were everywhere despite costly extermination programs!

We also enjoyed the heated outdoor pool a lot! It's so much nicer to swim outside than in an indoor pool! 

The 3 sisters

On our last morning we visited the local market before we headed back to Calgary. We found Canmore a very enjoyable town with a nice atmosphere...not a tourist trap.  It was much more all-round developed e.g. to Jasper and we enjoyed it way more than Lake Louise or Banff.


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