All Aboard “The Canadian”



After trawling the hot streets of Toronto it was great to reach the comfort of the Panorama Lounge in the art deco Union Railway Station…our sleeper pass being a ticket to leather lounges and endless free drinks.

The train left at 10pm, seventeen rail cars all built in 1953. Love train travel, love sleeping to the perpetual movement, perhaps reminiscent of being a child, driving home late asleep in the secure comfort of a parent’s care…

We woke to the dawn of our first morning deep in forests of spruce and fir and birch and rock and as always, water, water everywhere. Beaver lodges on every other waterway, otters, ducks and Canadian geese abound. But it was the trees and gouged landscapes that kept us engrossed.

And the food… what can we say…. We have walked the train between meals, and sleeps, and hours spent in the bubble car, an upper deck of windows with panoramic views… but alas, it seems there is an inevitable increase in size with three cooked meals a day… great food! Full service…oh well…

It took 36 hours to cross Ontario, the Canadian Shield. I think our favourite moment was the dense forest of silver birch. And the dawns…and the sunsets…and the storms…and the big skies and vast distances…

We have chatted, laughed and shared stories and met most often over mealtimes, Carol, a lovely woman from Victoria on Vancouver Island.

We came out off the hills and onto the prairies just before Winnipeg, Manitoba, where the train’s supplies and crew were renewed. Prairie dogs were everywhere that there was grass and bushes, cute little rodent critters. Manitoba temperatures range between 40 degrees below in winter with a further unrestrained prairie wind chill factor, to 40 degrees above in summer! With swarms of biting flies that darken the skies in spring… but the train crew, many who live here, seem to love it…home is where the heart is I guess…

Next stop Saskatoon, Saskatchewan…love the names!

Train travel is a great way to meet people and each meal time we sat with someone different.  There was 89 year old Elizabeth Quan, writer, artist and dowser who was wearing her Scalar pendant, made from Japanese volcanic rock and purported to improve the alkaline level in the body.

Here is info about Elizabeth and her books and art:

http://www.tundrabooks.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780887768132

And we shared the brunch table on our last day coming into Jasper, with Gail and Ted Bowen and had a very animated conversation about politics, gay rights and writing. Gail is a celebrated Canadian crime writer – check out her website:

http://www.gailbowen.com/

We could have talked all day but the train meandered through The Rockies towards our stop at Jasper – and we were spell bound…………..about to enter another dimension all together……..

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2 thoughts on “All Aboard “The Canadian”

  1. Greetings from the ‘Land Down Under’. It’s a pupil free day here in good old Geelong, so I’ve been leisurely perusing your comprehensive collection of globetrotting snaps, Canada looks amazing. I bet you lost your breathe when you first saw the Rockies, I know I would. Lovely to read about your travels and adventures, what an amazing voyage! Stay safe and keep soaking it all up, Love Jules xxx

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  2. That was breath (noun) not breathe (verb), my typing is very bad these days. Anyway continue to have a wonderful time and l look forward to reading more of your entries. Enjoy the natural high and serenity of John Denver country. Love once again Jules xxx

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