I’m only going to write one post about our two epic railway journeys for a number of reasons.
- The scenery only changed once over the course of three whole days.
- I only took a small handful of pictures, for rationale see point 1
- Mainly I read my book and slept and I’m never writing about another book ever again (well at least not quite yet)
- I’m quite behind on posting and this seems like a lazy way to play catch up.
We travelled from Jasper to Winnipeg and then Winnipeg to Toronto by train. This is a long way. Our first leg from Jasper to Winnipeg took 26 hours and our second leg from Winnipeg to Toronto took 35!
We did though have the luxury of sleeping in a bed on the train. I swear this trip was arranged by the Victorian inside of me. Beds on trains and never going outside without a hat or gloves, yup the Victorian approves. The beds on trains are kind of fun, during the day the bottom bunk acts as seats and the top bunk folds into the wall, after dinner one of the train stewards makes up the beds and even folds down the sheets for you. It’s all very civilized. The beds are also really big: I was initially sceptical, believing I would be sleeping on a plank and spending the night trying not to fall out, but it was quite big enough for Mike and I to both fit in to watch a film in the evening and there was even a curtain which made the whole thing feel rather like camping.
The dining experience was also worth noting. Not dissimilar to being on a plane passengers are fed a little and often. We had three course meals at lunch and at dinner and a cooked breakfast every morning, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to step or roll off the train at the end of the journey.
Being on a train for more than a day at a time really does encourage conversation amongst the passengers. Those not in economy (ie us and those who had paid mega bucks for a cabin) had access to the park car, a.k.a the social lounge, where drinks and canapes were served to you in your seat, and also to the dome car which was up a small flight of stairs and had large windows and a glass roof. As mentioned previously, the scenery on these train legs was impressive for it’s consistency, rather than it’s striking natural beauty. Consequently we didn’t spend huge stretches of time up here, as it was also slightly chilly.
So at the end of 61 hours on a train what did I learn?
- The prairies are very very flat
- I reach my small talk limit at around 50 hours
- Sleeping on trains is greatly improved by sleeping tablets or whisky
- Northern Ontario is full of trees