Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hugh & Pat Huffman's Trans-Canada Train Trip, Aug. 2008‏

Here are selected photos from our trip this past summer. We fulfilled a long-time dream of taking the train from Toronto to Vancouver, a 4 day/3 night trip! Since we had never been to the Pacific Northwest, we spent time in Victoria and Seattle before flying back to Lexington.

Briefly, we flew to Buffalo and took a van/taxi to St. Catherines, Ontario where we stayed a couple of days with a friend from graduate school days. We took the local train to Toronto and stayed in a hotel just across the street from the train terminal and toured Toronto. One of the photos is through the glass floor of the CN Tower...yikes!...guess who doesn't like heights? !!

Once on our train for the longer trip, we were surprised at how large Ontario is...northern Ontario is full of lakes and when we awakened the next morning, we were in the plains and wheat fields! Our room had two bunk beds that pulled down from the wall, a small sink and a bathroom--like an airplane's toilet. The sleeper car had a community bath just down the hall. The dining car was one car away and just beyond it was one of the dome cars. Meals were in 3 shifts (calls) and we tried to eat in the first or second call, so we could go to the dome car and watch the sunset. Then we'd take our showers and turn in.

West of Edmonton we got into the mountains. The view from the dining car and the river (Thompson, I think) give an idea of some of the scenes we got while eating. There were several groups rafting and about 2 minutes downstream a huge rock and narrow passage awaited them; I wish we could have seen them navigate that section!

Shortly after seeing the rafters, we came to the section where the Thompson River merges with another...and the longer river is more silt laden which shows clearly at the confluence. There were also several tunnels along this section and we saw some mountain goats near one of them, though I couldn't get to the camera quickly enough to photo them.

After arriving in Vancouver (almost 12 hours late!) we spent two days touring the city and its HUGE public park with gardens, marinas, beaches, nature trails, and open areas. One of the bus tours took us by the Vancouver library which has an interesting shape.

From Vancouver we took a bus/ferry ride to Victoria and spent a couple of days there. Part of our travel arrangements included the Empress Hotel where we had 'high tea' one day. The museum of British Columbia was just across the street from the Empress and we spent the better part of a day there with its many totem poles and history of Canada's 'First Nations' peoples. We also learned that one needs more than two hours at Butchart Gardens! The flowers were at their peak and the gardens were well manicured.

We took a 'clipper' from Victoria to Seattle and spent a couple of days visiting the highlights of that city, too. We had lunch at the Space Needle and walked through the Pike Street Market where we saw the 'flying fish' and the cafe where Rob Reiner and Tom Hanks sat for the scene in Sleepless in Seattle.

It is perhaps fitting that the very last frame on my camera was Mount Saint Helens from our airplane window as we flew home!

It's hard to compress a 15 day trip into a few words and select a few kilobytes of photos from over 2 gigabytes, and here is an attempt to do so!! Want more? Ask about flushing the toilet on the train, the BIG RED button in the train's shower room, the couple from France who spoke no English (we speak no French!), climbing into the upper bunk, the flying fish (& 'one dozen'), the center of the universe, the grandparents going to their grandson's wedding in Vancouver (remember the train was almost 12 hrs LATE!), the salmon ladders, and do they really play the theme song for the Jetson's at Seattle's Space Needle?

1 comment:

Candy said...

Love the pictures. My name is Candy York and I am a cousin of Pat's. She and my Mom are first cousins. I hope you all are doing well.