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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:25 am 
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My dear wife, AKA the "Crimp" refuses to take a European Vacation this year which opens the door to a long time dream of mine to take a Canadian rail trip. I once took a rail trip across OZ and it was fantastic. I really liked travelling by train with my own cabin, head etc. I have heard much about the Canadian rail trips especially to the Rockies. I want to see a lot of Canada's natural beauty, dine well and sleep comfortably and the Crimp would like to experience the shopping and night life of really beautiful, safe cities.

Because we are building our retirement home cash flow and timing are considerations. So we agreed to limit ourselves to about seven days.

Any suggestions
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:06 am 
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Always been a dream of mine to do the Sea to Shining Sea CPR rail tour...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:52 am 
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VIA Rail's website has several choices, but The Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver , 4 nights, 3 days with 3 classes to choose from is a good one if time is not a factor.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:55 am 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
Always been a dream of mine to do the Sea to Shining Sea CPR rail tour...



Same here. I have pictures of the trip my Grandparents took before I was born.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:40 am 
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I understand the Rockies are absolutely spectacular. As for the rest, I understand the Prairies can get a bit dull after a few hundred miles unless you find endless vistas of flat grass fascinating. The trip across Northern Ontario can also be monotonous given its about a thousand miles of nothing but trees.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 pm 
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DaveAAA wrote:
I understand the Rockies are absolutely spectacular. As for the rest, I understand the Prairies can get a bit dull after a few hundred miles unless you find endless vistas of flat grass fascinating. The trip across Northern Ontario can also be monotonous given its about a thousand miles of nothing but trees.


Thanks for the very useful info DaveAAA. Rockies are my first choice. How about good shopping, safe and nightlife cities in the Rockies?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:32 pm 
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OSCSSW wrote:
DaveAAA wrote:
I understand the Rockies are absolutely spectacular. As for the rest, I understand the Prairies can get a bit dull after a few hundred miles unless you find endless vistas of flat grass fascinating. The trip across Northern Ontario can also be monotonous given its about a thousand miles of nothing but trees.


Thanks for the very useful info DaveAAA. Rockies are my first choice. How about good shopping, safe and nightlife cities in the Rockies?

Why not fly to Calgary or Vancouver, rent a car or an SUV, and spend seven or ten days in the Canadian Rockies at your own leisure?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:42 pm 
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So...thats my area of the country.

First, do NOT take the prairie or Northern Ontario trains. Did that, DaveAAA far oversold it.

Second, take the Rockies trains. They have a bubble observation car etc. My personal thoughts are that Banff is an overcommercialized dump, Jasper has it just right, and Lake Louise is spectacular. Theyre all safe as far as people are concerned, but the local wildlife is NOT safe. If you see wildlife just get away from it. Not that I have to tell you, but Brother Bear does not view you as a friend.

Calgary is a very nice place to fly into for the train. Bonus if tou can make it out to Longview and/or Bragg Creek if you're around YYC for a day or two. There are a lot of Westerns and Northerns filmed there. If you make it to the buffet in Longview look on the ceiling for Clint Eastwoods chair.

One thing: the füd on the train is expensive. Good but expensive.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:37 am 
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My parents did the Rocky Mountains by train and cruised the Inside Passage for their silver wedding, absolutely loved it.

They took the Rocky Mountaineer train, rather than VIA Rail - cost is a heck of a lot more, but runs through the Rockies during daytime so you can actually enjoy the scenery. You stop overnight and stay in hotels. The VIA Rail train passes through overnight and you miss out on seeing anything, great if you're trying to get to Vancouver in a hurry but if that's the case then just fly...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:31 am 
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drunknsubmrnr wrote:
So...thats my area of the country.

First, do NOT take the prairie or Northern Ontario trains. Did that, DaveAAA far oversold it.

Second, take the Rockies trains. They have a bubble observation car etc. My personal thoughts are that Banff is an overcommercialized dump, Jasper has it just right, and Lake Louise is spectacular. Theyre all safe as far as people are concerned, but the local wildlife is NOT safe. If you see wildlife just get away from it. Not that I have to tell you, but Brother Bear does not view you as a friend.

Calgary is a very nice place to fly into for the train. Bonus if tou can make it out to Longview and/or Bragg Creek if you're around YYC for a day or two. There are a lot of Westerns and Northerns filmed there. If you make it to the buffet in Longview look on the ceiling for Clint Eastwoods chair.

One thing: the füd on the train is expensive. Good but expensive.
Ran it by the "Crimp" she said "Oh goodie you get to play cowboy again!" This is the gal that aided and abetted in getting me Shanghaid cutting short my Fall sailing and materially reducing this years sailing. This is also the gal who pulled the plug on a month on the Amalfi coast sharing a Villa with my "baby sister" and her husband, people she truly loves being with. I need to play up the shopping and nightlife in Calgary, Jasper. Longview and or Bragg creek? She is no horse woman so I guess a SUV is called for. Carving out time on both ends of the train trip in really "nice" (AKA shopping and nightlife cities) seems to be a plan.

Kevin what time of year is best for this trip?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:12 am 
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Calgary has the same shopping as any other medium-sized city, Banff has a lot of high-end designer stuff, Jasper has a mix and Lake Louise has souvenirs. Longview only has beef jerky, but its really good jerky. Longview is just a nice place in the foothills. Bragg Creek doesnt even have jerky but its still a nice place.

May-October is probably the best time unless you want to ski. Watch out for Stampede in Calgary in July. If you want to go its a great time but it can make things crowded.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:58 am 
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drunknsubmrnr wrote:
Calgary has the same shopping as any other medium-sized city, Banff has a lot of high-end designer stuff, Jasper has a mix and Lake Louise has souvenirs. Longview only has beef jerky, but its really good jerky. Longview is just a nice place in the foothills. Bragg Creek doesnt even have jerky but its still a nice place.

May-October is probably the best time unless you want to ski. Watch out for Stampede in Calgary in July. If you want to go its a great time but it can make things crowded.
Late June and all of July would work well. Kevin, if she really decides to be difficult, I'll bight the bullet (AKA empty my wallet) and agree to 3 three days in Montreal. I know she loves the shopping, nightlife, architecture, locals and, thanks to her misspent youth, speaks good Quebecois French.

My French is the High school version with some Vietnamese oddities thrown in. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I do love the food (that includes Hamburgers with mayonnaise Bruce!) and they have a Molson's Brewery so I get full strength Canadian beer. I'll cope.

Another F'n 12 hour work day today and tomorrow but the weekend looks OK so I'll get "Sally" out both days.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:35 am 
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If you have the time, "Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump" in southern Alberta is worth a good few hours. Lots of "First Nations" cultural stuff there.

And who can't have a good time at a place where the name came from some guy who wanted to see a buffalo jump from the bottom of the cliff?

Been there twice on my way north to Alaska. I second the motion on Banff and Jasper. I would suggest that you stay at the Num-Ti-Jah lodge. http://sntj.ca/ A bit pricey for a night's stay, but totally worth it. The food is exquisite and the people and service also delightful. My wife and I stayed there one night on our honeymoon trip from Jersey to Alaska.

Lake Louise is beautiful, but the hotel is astronomical.

I agree with the comments about the wildlife. There's a saying in Alaska, "Step off the tour bus and into the food chain" which also applies in the Canadian Rockies.

Belushi TD


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:13 pm 
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OSCSSW wrote:
Late June and all of July would work well. Kevin, if she really decides to be difficult, I'll bight the bullet (AKA empty my wallet) and agree to 3 three days in Montreal. I know she loves the shopping, nightlife, architecture, locals and, thanks to her misspent youth, speaks good Quebecois French.

If you don't make it to the Canadian Rockies -- and if you are into martial music, pipes, drums, bands, gymnasts, dancers, acrobats, choirs, military traditions, modern music, trampoline routines, parades, and a week-long series of outdoor band concerts in parks -- there is always this, held every summer in Halifax, Nova Scotia:

2017 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

Indoor performances -- they're huuuge:
June 29 and July 4 and 5 - 7:00 pm
June 30 and July 1, 2, 3 and 6 - 2:00 pm

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:19 pm 
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I'd agree with Kevin on Jasper over Banff - both are great, but Jasper is less merchant focused. Highly recommend the tram to the peak in Jasper.

On Calgary - Agreed, it's a mid-sized US city(Seriously - It's mainly US oil execs that live there), but if your wife is looking for the ultimate in shopping/entertainment in Alberta, then everything pales next to West Edmonton Mall. You could spend a week there and still be not finished*. I'll wager that there are few other shopping malls that feature live fire gun ranges on your current proposed itinerary, but WEM has one. And a water park. And a hotel. And an indoor skating rink. And a billion stores. Give or take:

http://www.wem.ca/

A tour from Vancouver-Edmonton via Jasper is doable either via train or SUV. Either direction works, but if you do decide to drive it, be careful if coming from Alberta to BC: British Columbia and Alberta have very different traffic enforcement laws and there are entire sections of the highway that make their annual revenue targets by seizing Alberta plated vehicles. Actually, do the train. You will want to watch the passing mountains.

The only part of Edmonton to really avoid is the train station itself - It's in the middle of an industrial area. Grab the first cab to civilization you see.

You can also sneak in a day of sailing on Wabamun near Edmonton if your wife gives you permission to rent. Flat water sailing is less exciting than what you'd be used to, but the wind lets you fly!

http://wabamunsailingclub.com/

Another selling point for the wife on Edmonton over Calgary is that if you guys stayed in St. Albert(Just north of Edmonton) or Beaumont(Just south), they are strongly French themed and there are lots of French events, etc. Both Calgary and British Columbia have essentially zero French type experiences, so if your wife wants to get to use her French, Edmonton area is about her only option in the west.

As well, Kevin is right, the only threats/safety risks are environmental & wildlife - The locals are generally harmless.

*Actually, you'd be done after a day, like me. But based on my experience, the wife will still be shopping for a week.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:17 pm 
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Watch out for leeches if you go to Wabamun. Lakes full of 'em.

Dont drink Molsons....we just sell that to tourists who dont know any better. The good stuff around Calgary is Big Rock, and Montreal has anything by Unibroue. I prefer Maudité ( aka "The Damned") but some prefer Raftean or Blanches du Chambly. YMMV.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:26 pm 
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Quote:
Watch out for leeches if you go to Wabamun. Lakes full of 'em.


I never had a problem - oh yeah...professional courtesy!


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