RT Sue


RT Sue

Saturday: Sylvia and Mark walked the sea wall all around Stanley Park, I met them partway in time for lunch at the Tea House. In mid-afternoon we headed out with a bus day pass downtown to the Skytrain to the Main Street neighborhood to a knitting store for Sylvia. We stopped off at a bistro for appetizers and drinks, a bookstore, then back to the Skytrain to go across the bay to Richmond for the last weekend of the Night Market. The market was fun but turned out to be mostly Asian food and vendor stalls. An experience to be sure. Back at the Sylvia Hotel we finished with a drink and snacks. Sunday: Off to Victoria. The tour bus picked us up near the hotel, drove to the bus station to pick up more passengers, ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver October 6th 2017

Breakfast and goodbyes, "safe travels" as the rest of the group headed to the airport. Sylvia, Mark, and I moved our suitcases two blocks to the famous, more traditional Sylvia Hotel. By 9:15 we were headed to London Drug to purchase a transit day pass, catching the next bus to downtown. The public library is in a central location with skylights all around. The Vancouver Art Museum was changing most exhibits but Emily Carr's forest/tree paintings were still there. Bill Reid's Art Gallery was down a few streets with a marvelous collection of his work using First Nation designs. Lunch at a Thai restaurant in Chinatown followed a tour of Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese garden. We finished the afternoon by walking through Gastown in time to see the gas clock blow its whistle And searching ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver October 5th 2017

Last day of our tour and we crammed two days worth of activity into one. Our tour guide gave us background information on the bus as we drove through the downtown skyscraper, Stanley Park, residential areas, to the University and the Museum of Anthropology with its totem pole collection and artifacts from native peoples throughout the world. After lunch we visited Granville Island Markets and shops. Back at the hotel I had time for a walk along the beach before our farewell dinner at an Italian restaurant.... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver October 4th 2017

We signed on for a full VIA train experience... So we got stopped by several freight trains during the night slowing us down. Then mid-morning came the announcement that there was a broken track ahead of us and we had to wait for it to be repaired. Beautiful country to sit in, lots of friendly people to talk with, things to read, wine to drink. The VIA crew pulled together enough food to serve lunch. A blues singer performed in three activity cars. Track was repaired, a replacement engineer was brought to the train, we pulled into the Vancouver train station around 6:00 pm. Bus ride to our hotel one block from English Beach, walked down to the beach before dinner to see the sunset. Beautiful ending to the day.... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper National Park October 2nd 2017

The Athabasca Glacier, on the edge of the Columbia Icefields, was a 90-minute drive north along the Icefields Parkway. Shortly before arriving at the Glacier Discovery Center, heavy snow began to fall. After a half-hour delay to clear the roads, we boarded a bus which took us to a Ice Explorer snow bus which took us through a rocky glacial moraine, descending to the glacier via a 32% grade. We were able to walk around on the glacier though wind and snow limited our excursion to 15 minutes. Still, it was pretty amazing. Back on our own bus we dug into deli sandwiches and headed south. Our Jasper guide used the bus time to orient us to Jasper National Park, life of a park warden, overview of its plants and animals -- we saw several elk, ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper October 1st 2017

Woke up in Unity, Saskatchewan - mountain time zone, surrounded by prairies with white wheat fields bordered by yellow/orange leaved poplar trees. The tracks south of Unity are lined with silos, grain elevators. Train is now six hours behind schedule. We had stopped often during the night to let freight trains pass; evidently many freight trains have moved north to our tracks due to flooding in the south. Mid-morning we are slowly climbing in elevation, beginning to see more cattle, a few oil pumps, hills, clouds with light rain, more stops for freight trains. Brunch in Alberta, still stopping for freight trains, then speeding down the tracks. Hard to drink coffee at times. Rode all morning through prairie with some hills, rivers, getting to Edmonton a little after 2:00 pm. The capital of Edmonton with a ... read more

North America » Canada » Manitoba » Winnipeg September 29th 2017

Friday and Saturday, September 29 & 30 My room is great! Very compact, huge window, comfortable bed, warm comforter, large bench to sit on during the day, sink, and toilet/footrest which is covered up by the bed at night. Shower down the hall. Dining car is next to us. Breakfast between 6:30-8:30 on a first-come basis, three sittings each for lunch and dinner - we got the coveted middle seating of 1:00-2:00 and 7:00-8:00. Four main course choices for every meal, plus soup or salad, dessert. Activity car always has coffee, tea, fruit, crackers, cookies. Activity room has tables and a small dome section, too. It took the twenty or so hours to travel across southern Ontario with a time change the second night. We got into Manitoba Saturday morning and were able to get off ... read more
Footrest with toilet underneath
Sink with storage above

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto September 28th 2017

A busy day before boarding the train to Jasper. Checked bags out by 7:00 a.m., carry on bags to the bus at 8:00, all bags dropped off at the VIA Station by 8:30. At least that was the plan but today was WE day where motivational speakers, famous singers, even Prince Harry dropped by the Plaza by the train station to encourage and motivate hundreds of teens to be themselves. So it took a while for our bags to be collected by VIA porters. Then we were off for a two-hour tour of Toronto - neighborhoods, parks, architecture, history, even the original Canadian whiskey brewery where the buildings have been converted into condos and an entertainment center. Lunch was at the Royal Canadian Museum, followed by a guided tour with our guide highlighting one major piece ... read more
Restored brewery district
Largest whiskey distillery in the world
Whiskey was shipped all over the world.

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto September 27th 2017

The talk this morning gave us an overview of the common history of the American and the Canadian colonies. However, during the American Revolution (called the first American Civil War by Canadians), American Loyalists supported the king and many fled to Canada. The War of 1812 caused further friction and eventually caused the Canadian colonies to consider working together in a confederation for protection from the new U.S. Montreal merchants looking to expand their trade encouraged the Vancouver area and British Columbia to join the confederation. They promised that a transcontinental railroad would be built to connect the western population with the eastern provinces within ten years. It actually took 15 years, completed in 1885. Historians believe that this railroad, connecting the two population centers through the mountains and almost empty plains, was what finally made ... read more
Art Gallery of Ontario
First Nation sculpture
Potlach Welcome by Emily C

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto September 26th 2017

Checking out of our Montreal hotel after breakfast, we had a bus ride across one of the bridges to the suburbs and the Exporail Canadian Railroad Museum. Our guide, a retired signal maintanance worker, showed us a replica of the first Canadian locomotive, a wood-burner steam engine imported from England and capable of traveling 25 miles in two hours. We also learned all about steam engines and diesel engines and had the opportunity to walk through engines, passenger cars, caboose (no longer in service). Heading back into Montreal, we had lunch at Creperie Chez Suzette in Old Town - I had crepes filled with sliced apples and brie, salad, and dessert. We are definitely well-fed. The afternoon bus ride took us through much of the rest of Montreal including Mont Royal (the mountain park) and St. ... read more

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