Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rocky Mountaineer evokes travel memories

Photo: Rocky Mountaineer arrives at Jasper
Carol Tulpar

The Rocky Mountaineer leaves the Pacific terminus of Vancouver and travels up through the Fraser Canyon into the high, dry country of the Cariboo before heading into the Rockies.

There are different itineraries to choose from: Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise are the most famous places to visit. The views of the Rocky Mountains are spectacular; bighorn sheep and mountain goats are often seen from the train.

For a hundred years after the railroad was completed in 1885, passenger trains crossed Canada regularly. In 1976, my mother and I took the transcontinental train trip, first from Vancouver to Toronto, where we changed to the Ocean Limited for Sydney, Nova Scotia. The overnight ferry then got us as far as Port Aux Basques on the west of Newfoundland and after a final long bus trip across "the Old Rock," we arrived in St. John's.

Now the shorter journeys on luxurious tourist trains through the most spectacular scenery provide a reminder of the days of slower and more relaxing travel along the old rail routes that once tied Canada together from east to west.

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