Across Canada by Train Chapter one: Vancouver to edmonton

Flying west from St. John's we arrived in Vancouver during the height of a very bad year for forest fires. Our plan is to travel east by train. We have purchased the 7-stop option of VIA's Cannrail Pass, and have plans to visit Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and finally Halifax.

Everything you think you know the size of is bigger and/or broader in BC: plants, food choices, fashion, ethnic diversity, housing prices. It takes you by surprise, over and over again.

That wee disc? Yes, a dime. !!!
The recognition of the past in Stanley Park.

We were there during a heat wave, and so were extra glad of the many water features that act as natural air conditioners that the city has to offer in addition to its plentiful *and* accessible waterfront.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Park
So many public parks with water features.
Ambleside Pier, hand-casting for crabs with a clever hinged trap. Grooves in the top railing show it's been done this way in this place for some time.
An engineering error in the construction of the sea wall means this one stretch of it is underwater at high tide. Solution: public art that accentuates the beauty of the tides.
English Bay, with inukshuk from the NWT Pavilion at Expo '86

Good food is always high on our list when we travel and Vancouver has no shortage of tantalizing options.

Clockwise from top: a crêpe wagon at Harmony Arts Festival, Khow neeow mahmeung at Patsara, and the bountiful selection of delectables from Granville Island Market.
Art on the street always catches my eye.

Something we rarely do, but did on his trip, was take part in a tour. Hosteling International offers discounted rates on local places of interest as well as offering some guided tours. We took part in Eric's Walking Tour that began in downtown Vancouver, then took us over to Lonsdale Quay, then by bus up to Capilano Park where we hiked his version of the Great Fir Trail which brought us to a salmon hatchery and ladder where we lunched, then continued on, ending at Capilano Suspension Bridge, Cliff, and Canopy Walk. It was a memorable and exhausting day!

Eric describes the roundhouse in downtown Vancouver, and barely conceals his disdain for the public art in front of it!
Salmon in the ladder
The Canopy Walk
Overall, a bit more of an "engineered" experience (read: tourist trap) than we were expecting! The Cliff Walk, and Capilano Suspension Bridge to finish the day.

Unavoidably I ogled some finely crafted wares in Vancouver. But restraint was strong this early in the trip!

Well a Fluevog of course, if only I'd ever learned to walk in heels!
Granville Island Broom Company - who knew brooms smelled so divine!

And so concluded our time in Vancouver, and the beginning of our rail journey.

We decided to collect photos of all the stations we visited.

It was with some disappointment that we learned of the limitations of passenger rail service in Canada. The train across most of the country only travels three times a week. The train departs Vancouver in the evenings, meaning most of the trip through the Rockies is done during the night.

Awakening as we left Kamloops.
Pyramid Falls
On The Canadian, Economy Class passengers have access to a dome car. Very useful for seeing more than the trees rushing past the windows on either side of the train.
A stop in Jasper to stretch our legs and breathe some fresh air.
Exiting Jasper National Park.

And so here ends Chapter One. Chapter Two: Edmonton to Winnipeg up next!

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