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The Canadian Rockies – Part Two Banff PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:31

The town of Banff, left center, and surrounding terrain

(The town of Banff, left center, and surrounding terrain)

When you say Canadian Rockies, one of the first words which comes to mind is Banff. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about Banff National Park or the town of Banff, either one is synonymous with the Canadian Rockies experience, and for good reason. Blessed by spectacular mountain scenery, abundant year-round sunshine, world-class skiing, and tons of pristine freshwater lakes and rivers for whatever water-based activity you desire, Banff and vicinity simply can’t be topped for an outdoor oriented holiday.

Banff taxi service

(Banff taxi service)

Our own Banff experience began on the second day of our trip. We arrived in the town of Banff mid-afternoon on a Sunday and encountered large numbers of folks roaming the streets. Well, it is a tourist mecca, after all, and crowds would be expected on a weekend, although it did seem more jammed than I anticipated for early May. So we meandered and gawked and jostled through the shops and got the feel of the place. The real fun began, though, when we finally decided it was time to find a hotel for the night.

Bow River flowing through Banff

(Bow River flowing through Banff)

 
The Canadian Rockies – Part One Lake Louise and vicinity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Saturday, 30 May 2015 10:45

Beautiful Lake Louise

(Beautiful Lake Louise)

For this year’s annual Prohltravel road trip, rather than embarking on another All-American variation, we thought we’d change things up and visit our neighbors to the north in Canada, and why not, eh? There’s some fine, friendly people up there in the Great White North, not to mention some of the world’s most spectacular and abundant mountain scenery in the National Parks of British Columbia and Alberta. Add to that an exchange rate currently in the USA’s favor and the decision was easy. They even speak English, so no translations needed. You can also brush up on your French since all the signage is required by federal law to be written in both languages.

Top of Rogers Pass in British Columbia

(Top of Rogers Pass in British Columbia)

It’s an interesting experience to be an American traveling in Canada. At times it feels so much the same you nearly forget you’re in another country. As I said, you’ve got the English language. Much of the landscape is very similar, just at a higher latitude. There’s a lot of the same, ubiquitous chain stores and restaurants you’d find in any American town, i.e. McDonald’s, Walmart, etc. (although I never did figure out who this Tim Horton guy is – he’s got his name everywhere up there.) All of this can lull you into a comfort zone you’re almost unaware of, that is until you see the next road sign. Canada is still the only place I’ve ever legally driven 110. That’s 110 kilometers per hour, of course, not miles per hour. Technically, there are no speed limit signs. They say “maximum” instead.

Mountain scenery along Trans-Canada Highway 1 in B.C

(Mountain scenery along Trans-Canada Highway 1 in B.C)

 
Washington D.C. Part Two: Museums and more PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Thursday, 23 April 2015 09:03

The Capitol Building

(The Capitol Building)

In our last article we concentrated on D.C. as the city of monuments. This time we’ll explore some of the city’s other famous attractions: The Smithsonian Museums, The Capitol Building, that small house on Pennsylvania Avenue where the President hangs out, and a few other places as well.

The White House (note sniper on the roof)

(The White House (note sniper on the roof))

One of the great discoveries we made during this, our first ever visit to the nation’s capital, was what a great city Washington D.C. is for walking. Well, at least the city center where all the major attractions are. I can’t speak to the rest of the city which, let’s be honest, suffers not the greatest reputation for safety. But if you’re intending to concentrate on the core, it’s easy enough to see it all on foot. In fact, I would recommend it. Whether you’re taking the Metro into town or driving in from elsewhere and parking, there’s no point attempting to drive from point to point within the city center as you would spend most of your day fighting traffic and trolling for parking spaces. So lace up your walking shoes and hit the pavement.

Outside the National Gallery of Art

(Outside the National Gallery of Art)

 
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