Uncommon Journeys – Canadian Panorama – Across Canada by Train

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It began as dusk approached and gathered us into her arms….we walked to Union Station in Toronto to begin our train trek across Canada.

Excitement abounded……..we were all a dither with expectations of a wondrous trip…

Outside the station was a beautiful sculpture of the Olympic Torch..

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Passengers bound for distant points all converged together…

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The time drawing near for our departure…

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Uncommon Journeys (click here for information) conducts this two week fully guided tour across Canada, but once a year.  We had decided that we would give it a go.  Never had we been on a guided tour before and therefore our apprehension of someone owning our time was great. 

The itinerary for the trip included the following:

Day 1: Arrive Niagra Falls

We had a terrific stay at the Sheraton on the Falls (Canadian Side of Border)

You can read about that part of the Journey by clicking HERE

Day 2: Arrive Toronto

We had a grand time in Toronto the Westin Harbor Castle.  We spent our free day exploring this wonderful city which was highlighted by a welcome dinner at the acclaimed Canyon Creek Grill, a favorite haunt of the great and near-great in Toronto.  You can read about it by clicking HERE

Day 3: Depart Toronto

 The stunning train is a perfect 1950’s time capsule with the famed Vista-dome cars, a real old- fashioned dining car and first rate dining and service.

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The first night we joined for cocktails in the swank, end of train ‘Bullet Lounge’ before our welcome aboard dinner in the art deco diner as we roll west over the Canadian National Railway

We were given a private dining car to enjoy a most marvelous dinner..

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Day 4: En Route

We booked a Suite on the Train which gave us a king sized bed, two baths and two picture windows to enjoy the beautiful Canadian sights.

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It was amazing crossing the Canadian Prairies aboard the Canadian.

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Civilized amenities abound including hot showers, a special lounge just for First Class passengers and the best dining on any train in North America, deluxe train travel at its very best in a manner that has all but vanished. 

Each morning, the staff delivered Breakfast to our Suite…

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We had no desire to leave our suite and the cabin staff was so very attentive to our needs.

We enjoyed reading and before dinner cocktails in our suite, unencumbered by anyone…

 

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Day 5: En Route

We were overnight on train en-route as the Canadian sped across the great prairielands over the Canadian National Railway

The views were breathtaking…

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As part of booking the suite, the Canadians call it the Romance Package……and it was, we had Champagne and Flowers delivered to the suite each evening….

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Day 6: Overnight Jasper

After lunch the Canadian begins its ascent of the eastern slope of the Rockies, a not to be missed spectacle.

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This afternoon, we arrive in gorgeous Jasper and transfer to the Amethyst Lodge for our overnight stay in this magical and unspoiled mountain hamlet. All evening free to relax in this glorious setting

Wandering about the town were Elk…….what fun..

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We had a delightful time wandering about and visiting with locals…

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We dined at Papa George’s and had some of the finest French Cuisine…

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Day 7: Overnight Banff

We spent a stunning day of sightseeing as we traveled to Banff via the Columbia Icefields Parkway

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 We were thrilled to get a ride on the Glacier itself on a ‘Sno- coach’  before our arrival in Banff for our overnight stay

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Day 8: Overnight Banff

We enjoyed a full day in Banff beginning with the gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain

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followed by a visit to the Banff Hot Springs that have made this village famous.

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Later that night we had a special dinner at Le Beaujolais….

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Day 9: Overnight Banff

Another magical day with a sightseeing tour to Yoho National Park that takes in Bridal Veil Falls, Moraine Lake and Lake Louise with all afternoon at leisure to further enjoy Banff

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 A fun “selfie” with our great tour director, Patrick…

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Day 10: Overnight Banff

Our final day in Banff we planned to sleep in and to enjoy Banff at our own pace

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Day 11: Depart for Vancouver

We depart this morning after breakfast bound for Jasper with a special sightseeing tour north over the Icefields Parkway stopping at Peyto Lake and Sunwapta Falls en route….

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Later we board the westbound CANADIAN, featuring spectacular views of the Rockies from its many vista-dome cars, one of the great travel treats in the World.

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Drinks in the classic Observation Lounge are a highlight tonight followed by dinner in the diner as we roll west over the historic Canadian National Railway.

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Day 12: Overnight Vancouver

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The CANADIAN arrived in Vancouver after breakfast time…….we had the most marvelous Duck Confit Eggs Benedict on the Train…

 

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 We enjoyed a brief sightseeing tour of this beautiful city, Canada’s third largest.

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The balance of the day was leisure…. we found a delightful Japanese Restaurant, tucked away on a side street….

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We are anxious to get to sleep, because the next day we would meet Virginia of Bel’ Occhio’s Blog

Day 13: Spend the Day with Virginia

We spent a grand day with Virginia and the Good Husband…read about it CLICK HERE…

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Day 14: Journey Home

Alas, our incredible Canadian Adventure has come to an end….aboard the plane…….

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Home Sweet Home

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I must admit that as I close my eyes each night, the vision of our nightly Champagne comes to mind…

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Hope you enjoyed this trip across Beautiful Canada with us…

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24 responses »

  1. Oh My paws and whiskers. Phileas Fogg and Passepartout would have been pea green with envy over this journey. Thundering Niagara Falls – a heart stopping beginning to a truly magnificent adventure. The Orient Express falters next to your champagne, flower adorned beyond luxury traveling suite. Tinny and Augustine you two were a class act that many would simply love to follow. I followed you with every clickity click of the rails. XX V.

  2. This is a magnificent trip across Canada. Your pictures, story and experiences are just marvelous to read. This has got to be train travel at its best – simply beautiful!

  3. So glad ya’ll, as we sometimes say in these parts, had this wonderful trip. But there is no place like home. Nevertheless, the beauty of land is undeniable. Thanks for sharing

  4. Now that is the way to travel – first class all the way! What an adventure! The photos are amazingly sharp. Thank you for taking us along to share. I wish we had more train options in Texas. Yes, there is no place like home and yours seems to be a beautiful place to come home to! Stay cool, Tin Man, August heat is coming.

    • My Dearest Crone, you are so very correct about train travel in Texas. Here we are a giant state and with no means of transportation, other than our vehicles. Would it not be lovely to hop a train and travel from city to city. We shall weather the heat of August; however, for September we shall flee to New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Upstate New York……..yippee!

      • Not to butt in, guys —- but New England? All those other states? Come down across the Vermont line and visit us here in Northampton MA!!!!!!!
        Google its attractions, you’ll fit us in for sure!
        We’ve got a guest room and all!

  5. AH. Where to start? Dear Monsieur Tin Man and Augustine, What an adventure! Your photographs are beauties. Crystal clear, each and every one of them. You both look like movie stars. So glamorous! Stylish, too. (Fabulous selfie!) I think your train post is now all-time “Tales and Travels” favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed the diary approach. So many wonderful details. The presentation of the meal at Le Beaujolais. The clocks. The vista-dome cars. The bullet lounge. I love how the pink romantic package flowers made multiple cameos. You really captured the natural light on the train. Gorgeous. Gorgeous shots. Green with envy. And the observation lounge! What a photograph. For a moment, I thought you had managed to climb out on top of the car-like James Bond! (How many hours per day did you tour on foot?)

    Favorite Post!!
    ~Theadora

    • Oh Theadora! This was quite the amazing trip. We met so many interesting people and saw so many, many wondrous sights. As always, we found delightful food. We fell in love with a painting at one of the restaurants and tried to get the owner to let us buy it, they would not. So I took a photo and found an artist who duplicated it…….yay! It is now being stretched and framed. The suite on the train was so very much fun. We stayed in it all the time and only ventured to the dome cars once in a while. I am glad you appreciated my James Bond shot out the window! We did not tour on foot much at all. The trip is designed for older folk and physical activity is minimal. Any touring out and about is via motor coach with short stops very near the feature you are visiting.

      • YES. I loved your James Bond shot. Very dramatic! And now I’m curious about your painting. Clever. Maybe you’ll share a photograph of the finished art work? Fingers and toes are crossed. Enjoy the week! T.

  6. What an adventure…there aren’t many trains that make trips such as yours anymore. Who would have thought that there would be kingsize beds on a train. You went first class all the way, how wonderful.

  7. Dear Mr. Tin Man you made Canada go a few positions up on my bucket list where it has been for ages already 🙂 Thanks for letting me travel with you!

  8. OMG! I thought all this went out with the Orient Express!
    I also thought I’d done all the traveling I’d wanted, but this is SOMETHING ELSE.
    How to travel in a CIVILIZED way, sleeping well, eating well, all the amenities. WEll, I’m grateful you’ve shown it can still be done. I loved every word and image of this post, Emil!
    Thank you both for so much vicarious pleasure!

    • HA, you know I was thinking about you! Are you serious?? If you are we will look at our time and see. We have rented houses along the way and are ending the journey meeting our attorney and his wife in the Adirondacks, but it would be cool to come and visit you.

      • Are we serious? You bet your bippee (sp?)!
        We’re maybe an hour or less from Brattleboro VT, if that’s a help. Off of I-91, 2 minutes.
        Then I-90 is available heading west to NY State; or even Route 2 through Williamstown etc and on into NY.
        Would only need to clear a date. Sept 2-3 is n.g., and Sunday afternoons. Otherwise we can work together!
        Yes, it would be really really cool!
        We offer a well-equipped kitchen, great local corn and other produce of the Pioneer Valley, and a comfortable bed. Good wine too, if that appeals!
        As they say in New Yawk, can we tawk?

  9. Pingback: Paris Blues: Cinquante Nuances de Bleu | Paris: People, Places and Bling!

  10. And thank YOU for bringing back lovely memories. Now I’m even more eager to take the trip with my MKL – I wasn’t old enough for champagne on my first trip, but I am now! I too loved the dome car – truly iconic.

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