Just fifteen minutes after departing the famous Banff Train Station, I barely had a chance to introduce myself to the gentleman sitting beside me, having only taken one sip of the welcome drink in my hand, when I heard one of our lovely hostesses’ announce through the sound system “Everyone look to the right. There is a bear!”
Sitting in the top of a two-level glass-domed coach has its advantages. The mother and her cub were so close to the train that it felt like we were standing right outside beside them, and yet sheltered from the natural terrors that a situation like that would naturally entail.
No sooner had I settled back in and taken another sip of my drink when a male Moose (a bull) was spotted, this time on the other side. Once again, with the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies, this had to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and yet I was only twenty minutes in!
Throughout the rest of the trip from Banff to Vancouver, not only did I see a plethora of Canadian wildlife, I was also able to indulge the history buff in me, and retrace the steps of the gritty explorers, who through sheer will and determination were able to complete the national railway in record time, facing a myriad of obstacles along the way- and in doing so, unite the nation.
Of course the food was fantastic, with local wines and food paired perfectly together. There was ample alcohol served on board, and the entire trip really helped me feel like I was on vacation, as I was able to recline my chair, and enjoy everything the best that Canada has to offer.
We stayed overnight in a luxurious hotel in Kamloops, a beautiful town in British Columbia, where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet. When we arrived at the station, we were given the VIP treatment, with our bags being hand-delivered to our hotel rooms ahead of time. It was a real treat to not only avoid the check-in queue but to be able to walk straight to our hotel room, with our bags already waiting for us!
The final day on board was quite relaxed, and since we were not in the Rocky Mountains any more, the scenery proved to be quite different, and yet just as stunning! Crossing the Okanagan valley, we saw field after field of fruit orchards and wineries, which are the hallmark of the region.
As we made our way towards the Pacific Ocean, traversing vast expanses of British Columbian landscape, we pulled in to Rocky Mountaineer Station in Vancouver in the late afternoon, our journey at last being complete. It was a memorable and breathtaking trip, just as suitable for the young or the old.
There are of course add-ons to every trip, including Seattle, Whistler or Jasper. We can customize any itinerary for you, so don’t be afraid to ask and we can make it happen.
The Rocky Mountaineer is a must-do for any Aussie. We recommend that you add it to your bucket list, if you have not already!
Are you planning on taking a trip to explore the beauty of the Canadian Rockies?
Let us know in the comments section below or contact us, and an expert will be happy to help!