Not going to write about Thursday 13th in detail. Suffice to say that after Tara dropped us off at T2 at 07:45, we were still in the terminal at 18:45. Spent the night at the Crown Plaza Hotel at Heathrow, courtesy of Air Canada and were taken back to T2 at 7 am on Friday after breakfast at the hotel.
Glass of prosecco and another breakfast at T2. Flight was shown as departing at 10:00 but by 9:45 there was still no gate number. That day’s 11:00 scheduled flight to Calgary was delayed until 15:05. It wasn’t looking promising. Then suddenly, we were off galloping down to Gate B46, about a 15 min walk away. Further delays followed, we were told that we needed new boarding passes as there cannot be two flights with the same number. Several people were very cross, as they had already thought of this and had asked at the desk and had been told that the old cards were fine. So, we queued again and got new boarding cards. Then another queue to have them checked and finally boarded the plane. We were given a piece of paper which was our “Bill of Rights”, so that we can claim when we get back! A good sign apparently as they usually try and wriggle out of it. Not the end of the delays though as some baggage on the plane had to be removed – it belonged to some passengers who had got themselves onto a BA flight the previous day.
We took off at 12:20 and had an uneventful flight landing at Calgary at 13:40 local time (20:40 UK time). Collected luggage, passport control etc., onto a coach and off to Banff, checking into our hotel Irwin’s Mountain Inn at 16:00. Quick shower and change and out again by 17:10 for the city tour.
Outside the hotel in Banff
The Banff City tour included the amazing Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel; hoodoos which are spires of rock carved by the wind and water, looking over the Bow River and an eight minute gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. We went to the Bow Falls, then to Surprise Corner which over looked Bow Falls and Banff Spring Hotels and we were dropped off in the town centre to eat and make our own way back to the hotel.
Rainbow on the way back down the gondala
We had supper at Earls – very crowded and noisy with lots of young people out for Friday evening. Great food – D had a burger which was delicious and I had Sicilian Calamari which was a starter but was huge. It was done as a salad with tomato, cucumber, feta, chillies with the crispy calamari. Nice glasses of British Columbian Pinot Noir. Walked back to the hotel and just got back before the storm broke with thunder & lightning. In bed by 9:30 having been on the go for over 24 hours.