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Day 40

This morning we woke up to a full agenda! Thanks to Julie, we had tons of options for the day! And we did just about everything on her list (she said there's no way we could do it all, she just wanted to give us a list of options....and she didn't even give us all the options that Banff had to offer! We saw it as a challenge to do it all. We almost won...). Dave drove us to the gondola around 11am (it was too cloudy to see anything, so we spent the morning doing laundry etc) and got us tickets for the gondola up to sulphur mountain (note: spelt the British not the American way. Chemistry nerd). That was so amazing of him! And it helped cross off more things off the list (not hiking up freed up more hours of the day!). It was so nice up there! Such a nice view of the town and mountains all around! Banff really is a nice place! Then we took the gondola down, and went to the Upper Hot Springs. It was so hot outside that we couldn't last for more than 45 minutes. Then we were going to take the bus back into town, but it was a 20min wait and we were told it takes about that to walk down. So, we took the path that the bell hop at Rim Rocks told us to take. Turns out, it leads to Banff Springs, so was actually longer than a 20min walk, but we eventually made it back to town. We went to the museum where Julie used to work (Whyte museum) and learned all about a very important man in Banff history. It was a small, but really cool museum! Then we walked around downtown for a bit (Travis bought a cheap, warm plaid jacket). We then went and got our bikes to go to Miki's for all you can eat sushi. It was SO good! They had so many options too! And tempura and ice cream were included in the all you can eat (danger!). We ate enough to be very full, but not in pain (we could have, but we were quite content so didn't really want to be uncomfortable! We really didn't want a repeat of the Dup's phatty incident!). Then we cycled to Surprise Corner, Cycled to check out the Caves and Basin (which was closed so we had a quick look around) then headed up to Banff Springs, where we went swimming. Lake Louise Chateau was nice, but Banff Springs made it look like nothing. Banff Springs is a castle. Period. Lake Louise, although called a Chateau, is not. This whole route we took so far really show us how important the railroad was in Canadian history, and how important these Chateaus (which were built to promote certain areas of the country to offset the cost of the railway, which nearly bankrupted our country!) were as well. It's really cool to have that appreciation. I mean, in school you learned about how important it was to link East to West, but until you cycle (or I guess drive or take the train for most people) through towns that existed soley BECAUSE of the railway (ie Jasper... initially. It's still a railway town, but now has a lot of tourism as well), or areas that were first discovered because of it, or iconic symbols that were built for the sake of it, and all the people that played a role in it's history, it's really amazing. Now back to Banff Springs. Wow! Unreal! Dave gave us a tour. It's unreal really! We swam in the outdoor pool, and lay in the hot tub. We met two girls who work at Lake Louise (they get discounted rates at all Fairmounts so they thought they'd spend a night in Banff. We asked them about the man who capsized in the canoe and they said they didn't hear anything, so I'm assuming he's alright or they would have heard. I hope!), and a couple from Oklahoma. Then, after we got kicked out of the pool area (it closes at 10pm) we chilled upstairs in a lounge for about an hour, then headed back to Dave's (we went to get fudge from the store we saw earlier, but it was closed. We didn't buy any fudge when walking through town initially because we were SO hungry that we would have eaten all of it and spoiled our appetite for sushi, and after sushi we were too full for fudge!) and went to bed.