July 25: perfect weather and a few Canadian Germanisms in Banff

IMG_0452Lots of afternoon sun in Banff after a rainy morning, which I spent in the town’s hot springs and my favorite local café: Evelyn’s on Banff Avenue. I fear I am developing an addiction to pies as a result of traveling along the U.S.-Canadian border… By now I’ve also gotten used to being forced to listen to the Scorpions, Modern Talking and the English version of Nena’s 99 Luftballons. I was a little more surprised when, at 11:05PM sharp last night, a young man who introduced himself as a “Parks Canada Officer” paid a visit to my campsite (“Good evening! Bonnn-svaaarrr”) to inform me that we had just entered the “quiet period” and that I had to be quiet from then on. Had I not been quiet, I asked. “Everything is fine, I just wanted to let you know,” he replied.

The French Canadians on the site right next to mine were less lucky: they got told off. The enforcement officer then went back to his Toyota Prius, drove approximately five meters and stopped. After a few minutes, he stepped out of his vehicle, walked back to my neighbors’ site and threatened them with calling in “armed support by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police” if they did not lower the volume of their voices. I was left wondering whether this might have been an apt example of so-called micro-aggressions or whether the guy was simply a dick. Maybe both.

In addition to quiet periods, the Province of Alberta also appears to take fierce pride in maximizing its profit from plastic bottle deposits. After dishing out nearly CAD7 for 28 bottles of Nestlé (NB: there was no rival product on the shelves) water, I had to pay CAD2.80 for deposits. Whatever, I thought. Harry drank one; the other one quenched my thirst. I walked straight back into the store to find out where I could get the 20 cents for my two empty bottles. “Oh, for that you will have to drive to the recycling center, sir,” the friendly clerk explained. “Where is that?,” I inquired. “About five kilometers out of Banff, sir,” she replied courteously. C’mon, Alberta — really? You make folks drive–and waste gas–to return plastic bottles? I know, I know — I shouldn’t be drinking bottled water anyway. But while on this trip, I am — and I guess I am paying the true price for it.


5 thoughts on “July 25: perfect weather and a few Canadian Germanisms in Banff

      • Estoy subscripto y cada vez que subis algo lo leo. Te vengo siguiendo paso a paso lo que estas haciendo, ¡y es espectacular! Las fotos, numero uno. Mamá me reclama de por qué no escribís en español!! Le explico de que te están leyendo en Alemania, EEUU, y seguramente en Afganistán, Sierra Leona y en tantos otros países en los que has estado, y que el inglés es el idioma universal que todos entendemos (todos, menos mamá). Así que, cada vez que nos vemos, la actualizo con tus novedades. Seguí escribiendo porque los que estamos del otro lado sentimos que viajamos ahí al lado tuyo y de Harry. Hablando de él; no será Chila pero igual es muy lindo. Un fuerte abrazo, hermano

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      • (I’m writing in English since that’s much faster… and I know you speak it perfectly :).) Thanks so much for your warm words, Berni. Please reassure mama that I am not actively trying to tick her off! If my posts were in Spanish, my mother in Lueneburg would martyr me. Plus, yes: there are folks in places like Nepal and Ghana reading this blog (to my pleasant surprise, I must admit), so English is the way to go for now. I may alternate between English and Spanish once I get to your part of the world, veremos… Let me know if you’re interested in meeting up somewhere along the road. La bestia carries a small two-person tent, an inflatable mattress and a yoga mat, so just enough for two visitors. You’re welcome to bring your lady along — or your sister. Or, if they can haul their own camping gear, both Lucia and Nico! The main limitation is the space in the truck since there are only two seats, and the passenger seat is packed to the brim. But we could rent a second car locally and do a loop… Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile o tu propria patria — let me know! Un abrazo, D.


  1. Me encantaría acoplarme durante algún tramo!!! Cuando hayas bajado de Alaska y andes más cerca iremos viendo! Yo sé que seguís siendo un gran alemán y que seguramente tengas las cosas planeadas con anticipación (¡hasta un repelente de osos tenes!), pero veré cómo estoy de trabajo y dinero para poder ir, pero la intención está. Seguramente en algún punto aparezca.
    Deberías subir algún mapa con la ruta que ya hiciste desde que saliste hasta ahora. Toda junta. Para que podamos dimensionar todo lo recorrido hasta ahora. Otro abrazo

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