Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Across Canada by train - pictures from the train

We left Jasper around 6 pm- 90 minutes late.  On board were 80 mostly retired railroaders who travel on this train every February during the full moon.  They come from across the United States and Canada and it has become a sort of reunion for them and for some of their wives.  We may have left late, but we pulled into Winnipeg the next night two hours early.  There was some suggestion that the dispatcher was doing his best to impress.  It worked for us!

We woke up to a grey day and a flat landscape-  Saskatchewan.  And a few iconic grain elevators by the tracks.  It really is a bit of history to see these - at one point in time they were every 10 miles or so as that was as far as the farmers could efficiently haul their grain.  And the train stopped by each one to load up.  Initially grain was simply shoveled into box cars.

The car we were on has recently been refurbished and was very elegant and efficient.  Except whoever had designed the washroom never attempted to wash his face in the 6" wide sink.

And Manitoba - again the weather was not kind to us.  The old telephone poles along the track are also a sign of a bygone era - these were so important, both to the railway and dispatching, but also to the population along it.  And now we have our satellites and wifi (although not on the train).

The last morning we awoke in northern Ontario with the sun shining the whole day.  

The train we were on is the VIA Rail Canadian Streamliner - built in the 1950s and has the dome car for sitting up high to watch the scenery.  With the train execs on board, several extra cars and 2 more dome cars were put on. 
 And our arrival into Toronto.  We spent a few hours at the station before boarding our train to Montreal.  It was a lovely slow way to travel - to meet people and to read and knit.  The food in the dining car was excellent and service throughout was great. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Across Canada by train - Jasper

We caught the train out of Vancouver at 8:30pm so didn't see much until the next morning.  The weather was very overcast so it was hard to see the mountains as we approached Jasper.

When we arrived at the Jasper Park lodge, there was virtually no snow on the ground so cross country skiing was out.  Instead we spent an afternoon walking the Maligne Canyon viewing all the wonderful ice formations in it.  We had a great guide with Sundog tours  - Alicia - very knowledgeable and she kept us out of trouble.

Below are a few shots of Jasper - the road in, which we walked from the Lodge - a wee bit of a hike over an icy back road!

Jasper Park Lodge as seen from the other side of Lake Beauvert.  And on our walk around we saw a magnificent elk.  Almost a little too close for comfort!

and last but not least, a quintessential view of the Rockies overlooking the Athabaska river.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Across Canada by train - Vancouver

We decided to see what Canada looked like in the winter time so flew out to Vancouver to start our journey.  Vancouver is rainy - good use was made of our umbrellas!  But the third day of our stay was lovely and sunny. 

We had a special tour of the Western Canada Railway Heritage Park up in Squamish.  And it was  a lovely way to spend the day with my cousin Bert from Gibson's who kindly drove us up there.   The only thing missing was the view - fog just about the whole way. 

A lovely new building houses some fine engines, and can be cleared for functions and a little village is already underway with an old house reminiscent of Bert's and my grandmother's.

Canada Post

Me and Bert
The Museum of Anthropology at UBC was fascinating.  They had a lovely outdoor display as well as beautifully displayed artifacts in a modern building. 

some new work too!

Bill Reid's Raven and the First Men
It was a sunny day so we walked from the Maritime museum to Granville Island to catch the ferry to the other side - a kind of neat thing to do.

I hope you've enjoyed a small slice of Vancouver.  Let me know what you think.