Road trip to Banff / by Jessica Lee

Like most people, I have to go to work on weekdays. Luckily for me, since I have a cool day job which involves travel, a road trip to Banff constitutes as work.

This was my Wednesday.

I went with one of my colleagues, Andrea, who lived in the area and showed me around.

The drive from Edmonton to Banff was just gorgeous. As we went along, the mountains got bigger and bigger.

Until we were right in the thick of it.

I had been to Banff previously as child but I don't particularly remember the feeling of being in the middle of the mountains.

It's absolutely overwhelming and for lack of a non-cliche term, "breath-taking".

I had been talkative during the whole car-ride up until this point when my senses started getting overwhelmed and I needed to just sit and take it all in. It's sort of like when you get tired from learning a new language, or exhausted from being in a new culture.

It was absolutely beautiful, regardless.

We eventually arrived in Canmore, where my friend Dan had worked for a summer, planting trees. Every time I was with him, inevitably, he would speak about that summer planting trees in Canmore. I suppose that was a defining summer for him to the person he is today. I had never been previously, but it was nice to put a picture to his stories finally.

Driving by Canmore was quite nice and I began to wonder what it would be like if I spent a summer living in the mountains....

We eventually arrived in the town of Banff, which was touristy, but lovely all the same. The cliffs in the background really give the town some character.

Below is Bow River.

It was really cool to finally see this river in person. I work as the social media manager for Outdoor Photography Canada, and one of my jobs includes curating good photos to feature on our social media profiles. A popular outdoor photography destination obviously is Banff, but the Bow River pops up from time to time too.

Here it is again, absolutely gorgeous.

We wandered into the town and stumbled upon the Farmer's Market.

I love farmer's markets and every time I go into a town/city, a main draw for me is if they have a market. So far, the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is my favourite. But if you're shopping for clothes too, Glebe Market in Sydney and the Vic Market in Melbourne is great.

What was special about the Banff market wasn't the goods, but rather, the cool mountain background.

We did a quick walk around the village (very touristy, filled with boutique shops), and ended the day with a bison burger and beetroot spinach caramelized pecan salad from Saltlik Steakhouse.

On the way back, look who we encountered!

This little guy was just minding his business, eating grass.

I definitely felt like paparazzi amongst the crowd, and less like a nature photographer. It was a strange feeling.

All in all, Banff was a fantastic experience. It's a shame I didn't get to do any hikes (we were pressed for time), and that we didn't get to go camping or climbing, but regardless, I would recommend a visit to see the beautiful mountains and for the opportunity to go on a road trip.