Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas at the Banff Springs Hotel

One of the best places to spend a Christmas is at the stately, castlesque Banff Springs Hotel in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this imposing Scottish Baronial style hotel rose from the Bow Valley in the heart of the Canadian Rockies to become the benchmark of elegance through the teen years of the 20th century and into the 30's and 40's. The well-to-do would come by rail in well-appointed cars to this neo-mediaeval magnum opus to take in the mountain airs, see the wilderness, scale the mountains, and be back in time for tea.

Somehow, perhaps with the layer of dust and the immutable sepia photos of the past, this "Castle in the Rockies" feels as much a primal part of the wilderness as the trees and rocks it was hewn from. The castle has always stood there, seemingly as solid and immortal as the mountains surrounding it. The melodies of the Scottish pipers feel to the ear as natural as the bellowing of elk and bears.

Amdist the snows of winter in the ranges of the True North Strong and Free, with lit trees and warm fires in the limestone hearths, it is Christmas in the grand picturesque. Since I cannot bring all of you to it, I can at least bring it to all of you in a pair of videos. The first is an introduction to the Banff Springs itself, while the second is a "widescreen" presentation of Christmas at the hotel. I hope you enjoy them and Christmas!


sganger said...

Those were neat Cory. I especially liked being able to view the winter one in contrast to the summer one.

Cory The Raven said...

Thank you!

The summer video came after the Christmas one, and I did intentionally try to replicate a few of the shots to get an impression of the seasonal round. There is a significant change in attitude between the seasons... Of course you're always surrounded by mountains, but when it's winter it's winter ^_^

I'm glad you enjoyed it!