Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 3 on Canadian - Saskatoon to Canadian Rockies

Day 3 started a little after eleven PM when Jane looked out the window - reading a book because it is really a little after 10 – we just set our clocks back.  Wonder where we are ?  looking out the window as a few passengers are walking around – the following sign tells us although we are much earlier than our schedule tells us.  One thing we have learned is the only thing that is really on time is the meals!

Train Station at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Having just completed “The Book Thief” I was looking for something a bit lighter to read next and chose “The Christmas Train” by David Baldacci.  Ben is reading a WEB Griffin book – not sure which one. 
Morning comes early with an absolutely beautiful sunrise at 5:30 and I promptly went back to sleep.

At 6:30 we heard an announcement that we would be in Edmonton for 1 hour…. so quickly got dressed thinking the blog could get posted there – no such luck but it was an interesting stop with Jane walking from one end of the train to the other and we watched them add a new car to our train.  The new car called a Panorama car will give lots more viewing area fir the remainder of the trip through the mountains. 

Bullet car at rear of train
Two 85 ton engines in the front

We got back on the train and enjoyed coffee and a croissant in the activity car.  Today the meal schedule is a bit different with Brunch between 8:30 and 11:30 and then dinner. We headed for seats in one of the dome cars to enjoy the morning as the scenery continued to change.We gradually changed from the plains and farmland to rolling hills to mountains. The scenery is spectacular.

Canadian rounds a curve

Mid-morning we headed down to the dining car for another excellent meal. 

Stuffed French Toast for Ben   
Green Onion, Tomato, Feta Cheese Omelet for Jane

We returned to the dome car and began our entry into the Canadian Rockies.  Our next stop was Jasper Alberta. While there was not as much snow as we had expected – the mountains were beautiful.

Beginiing of Canadian Rockies

We arrived in Jasper about 45 minutes late so our time off the train was 45 minutes not 90 minutes as anticipated. Jane struggled to post the blog with no success.  There an issue that simply would not resolve.  Ben walked around and took a few photos and we left at 3:00 PM

Washing windows on the dome cars

We decided to sit in the new Panorama Car to compare it with the dome cars. They are both nice and have different pro’s and con’s.
Panorama Car
More Canadian Rockies

At 5 PM we took a break from viewing to have dinner.  We both had Prime Rib and it was very good…so good I forgot to take a photo!

The water is melting quickly and the waterfals off the steep mountains are beautiful. It has proved impossible to get a good photo as they arrive with no warning. We did get an announcement about one large one but alas the camera battery chose that moment to die! And my phone was also getting charged… but rushing is simply not sufficient.  The rivers as you might imagine are overflowing and at many points have whitecaps. The other thing that has been enjoyable to observe is the variety of evergreens. Huge trees and with such variety right beside the train windows. If we had a book we could identify them all.  We saw large groups of skunk cabbage with beautiful yellow blooms. The evening was  also filled with reading, down loading photos, writing the blog and more viewing from the Panorama car. One pro for the Panorama car it is 1 car from us and the Dome Car is 5 cars from us!

Tomorrow morning we arrive in Vancouver – it is hard to believe this portion of our trip  is nearly over.  The level of relaxation is high – we eat when they say first call for dinner or lunch; we read, take photos, talk to other travelers, walk here and there, don’t have any concerns when the train has to stop for a freight train – they own the rails – and there is nothing we can do about it at all.  We get where we are going when we get there – maybe a good lesson to learn. 

Narrow Hallway down side of each sleeping car

I end with a poor photo of the very narrow passage way down the side of each sleeping car. The rooms like ours are off this passage way. On each end is another short section of seats that are made into berths at night. It is also quite narrow. I think we have both finally gotten our “train legs” and can make it back and forth without catching on to the walls or seats!

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