Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The best summer camp ever



I'm back, after a wonderful holiday with my mom Yvonne: we stayed in residence at the Banff Centre for the Banff International String Quartet Festival, and it was the best summer camp for adults ever.

Mom picked me up at the Calgary airport and we drove straight out to the mountains. I think Vancouver Island, where I live, is a beautiful place, but the foothills outside Calgary are the most beautiful landscape I know - rolling and austere, topped by the biggest sky I've ever seen.


After a quick hour's drive we were in the Rocky Mountains...


...and then in Banff National Park, where the Banff Centre for the Arts is located. Most of the summer programs for young people had already finished, which was a good thing because otherwise there wouldn't have been room for the 500 of us who all arrived the same day, to spend eight days listening to wonderful music in a spectacular setting.


We stayed in this building...


...and ate in this dining hall.


What a view. That's Yvonne, who is the best travelling companion ever. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to have an experience like this with my mom.

A typical day: get up, have breakfast with a few hundred other buzzing, excited chamber music fans, go to a lecture about the music we would hear that day, attend the morning's concert, have lunch, attend the afternoon's concert, have a snooze and then dinner, attend the evening's concert, and then head off to bed so it could all start over the next day.

We shared the campus with wildlife, of course - it IS a national park, after all. Fortunately we encountered no bears or cougars on our walks from dining hall to theatre, but we did meet a pair of mule deer...


...and an elk.


If you're interested, you can go to the CBC website to read their blog about the competition and hear podcasts of most of the performances.

I came home to Mucky Boots yesterday to find that fall arrived while I was away: leaves are starting to turn colour, the autumn crocus are up, and the air smells like wood smoke. How did that happen so fast?

(My dad, Jim, suggested I tell you that the picture at the top of the post is of The Three Sisters, looking down on the town of Canmore a few minutes outside of Banff, and the place where Yvonne grew up. I took the picture in the Canmore Cemetery, where many of the headstones are inscribed with pictures of The Three Sisters. When Yvonne was growing up she liked to think of that particular mountain cluster as a representation of the three girls in her family: Eldene, Yvonne and Sharon.)

6 comments:

Paula said...

It sounds like it was super swell! I'm glad to know that fall has hit you guys already- I am so ready for it.

Does it seem early to you this year though? I'm curious as to what we're in for down here....

Flartus said...

Uh oh, now another place to add to my "To Visit" list. I'd better retire next year, if I want to get it all in. :)

Doesn't fall usually happen fast, when youre back is turned? It's happening earlier down here b/c some drought-stressed trees decided to just give it up for the year. Sad. Did the chickens miss you?

jeanives said...

I'm so glad you're back; I've missed you!

Paula said...

Miriam- I left you a long reply on my site. I do want you to know about Umcka, which will help you feel better sooner. The stuff pretty much rocks.

Feel better!

Toni aka irishlas said...

What a lovely place! And I'm glad your dad suggested you tell the story of the Three Sisters. I just love lore and history like this!

Glad you had a good time. Get well soon!

The Witch said...

I've been to Canmore and have seen the Three Sisters, It's breathtaking. And Canmore is such a beautiful spot though very expensive to live there, house wise.
Thanks for the beautiful pictures and I'm glad you had a great trip with your Mom.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...