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“…..our flagship, THE CANADIAN.”, Vancouver, July 13th, 2011

“…..our flagship, THE CANADIAN.”, Vancouver, July 13th, 2011

For the two days we had in Toronto the city treated us with great sunny weather, friendly people and good food. Staying downtown we did not feel the size of it, rather it was a relaxed, almost like a Sunday atmosphere. The new system of “Bixi” by the Telekom Company Telus impressed mom and me. More than enough bike stations were put up all around and after paying a low starting fee you could take a bike from A to B for free as long as it is below 30 minutes. So we went from the hotel to the CN tower, on to the harbor, back to shopping places, on the train station and so on. A fantastic way to see the city and safe energy.

On Thursday night however we took a taxi, waved one down and ended up in this crazy car. The Indian driver had turned his cab into a moving museum, entertainment place with Indian movies / music as well as a shopping place, a wonderful way to get your luggage to Central Station.

It was already special to spend 4 weeks one on one with my mom. Now we would spend 4 days in a train together but it’s a special train, it’s THE train. Via Rail has managed not to go out of business when the 4 day transportation from east to west or west to east become inefficient compared to 4 hours on a plane. The turned it into an event, a tourist event, mainly for tourists with time and money, elderly Americans. They use the huge engines, the original cars, added a panoramic car with all glass and good view opportunities, serve fantastic food 3 times a day and offer great clean cabins with a toilet, sink, wide beds and a fantastic shower.

We luckily got the last car, the most famous round wagon. It is as it always has been since the 50’s, with the old leather chairs in the very end of the train. We did not have to imagine how it was back then, we actually did it ourselves. No internet, no phone, no TV, actually taking time to talk, to eat and to enjoy.

What we enjoyed was mostly nature of course, the only thing VIA Rail could not influence. We crossed 4 vegetation zones as well as 3 time zones with it. From strong green vegetation to flat prairie, through the Rocky mountains and down to the Oceanic zone again. Once or twice a day we stopped longer, were able to leave the train and walk around a bit before continuing talking with mom about the old times or the current times without any interruption except for animals we saw outside or a WOW when spotting a lake a mountain. At night I would play poker with people I met and so the 4 days passed by much quicker than ever expected.

We perfectly “framed” our train ride by staying in Vancouver two days as well, using the Ramada hotel as well and exploring downtown as well. At Stanley park we had a nice surprise.

Vancouver is a beautiful city, set perfectly on the water and offers everything you need for a great stay. However, after New York and Toronto we now were ready for the “real” Canada, for endless nature, bears and eagles. The next morning we headed out north……………………

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1 Comment

  • hendrik says:

    Da habt Ihr Euch je eine sehr gediegene Art zu reisen ausgesucht – ein schöner Bericht. Ganz liebe Grüße an Deine Mom, viel Spaß in der Wildnis, passt auf die Mücken auf und denkt daran, dass Bärsen Zahnpasta lieben. Geht Ihr bis nach Alaska?
    Herzlichst. Hendrik

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