We stayed the night last night in a rest area. After a long, busy day of touring and driving we fell sound asleep in about five minutes.
The town of Banff–
Arrived in Banff early in the morning yesterday. We were told that parking was nearly impossible later in the day and we are driving the motorhome. Went to the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel as we had heard it is beautiful and that there are tours of the hotel every half hour. Well it is beautiful, but the only tour is at 3:00 pm and we did not want to come back so we walked around on our own. There are lots of old photos of the area and the early days hanging on the walls. Pictures of guests in the twenties and thirties enjoying all the services the hotel offered in both summer and winter. The hotel was built in 1899 by a “Railroad Baron” and is pure luxury. Rebuilt in 1911 it is a testament to what a lot of money can do in a beautiful environment. Rooms run around $500.00/day and up.
From there, we headed into downtown Banff and spent a long day in and out of their shops, cafes, etc. Set in a beautiful environment, the town has about 9000 year round residents and is quite lovely.
Have been asked to elaborate on how we stay connected to the internet. Because Jerry needs to see the stock market most every day (whether he makes an option trade or not) and the blog gets posted most every day, we have taken various steps to stay connected.
We use two MiFi devices while in the States. They are Verizon three gigs of 3G and Millecom — ten of 3G and ten of 4G which ever will come in.
When we were in Canada we would have incurred great cost if used either Mifi. Since we don’t stay in campgrounds usually, that option was out. Besides, we have heard that those connections can be “iffy”. So here is what we do to connect: we check our GPS for a McDonald’s (used in Banff) or a Starbucks, we ALWAYS ask at the visitor centers where we can find free WiFi (many times the visitor centers themselves have free WiFi which was the case in Jasper), we have used the public library, open (not locked) connections can sometimes be found as you drive along (my computer lists all connections available and indicates which ones are not locked), and occasionally a whole town has free WiFi. In one town, we parked right outside a RCMP station because we found such a fast, good connection (we doubt it belonged to the police). Many times, an establishment’s WiFi signal is so strong it can be used in the motorhome and we never have to go inside. This is frequently the case for McDonald’s. You see lots of RV’s parked near a McDonald’s…it is not that they are all eating inside the McDonald’s!
Probably we should be afraid of “shared” networks but we have been doing this for years without a problem. Got the idea to be reasonably unafraid while traveling in Egypt. One of our fellow travelers was using his own computer and said he picked up a signal near our hotel. I asked “Aren’t you worried about privacy?” He said that he had been all over the world and used shared networks and had never had a problem. Are we just lucky?
Maybe, so far…