Dear readers, I’m sorry I took so long to post something. I did travel a few times a year as we usually do but somehow got sidetracked when we came back and never got down to posting about it. Here is my recollection recap of my solo Coast to Coast trip I took last month while Dami and Mama D were with me virtually. I even visited with Mama J in Vancouver, Aunty C in Victoria and Mama D in Montreal.
Canada has so much beautiful nature that there’s no better way than exploring it by train. I travelled from Moncton, New-Brunswick to Victoria, British Columbia in September by train, bus and ferry, and flew back. For my accommodations, I chose The Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal, The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, The Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, and the Fairmont Empress in Victoria. I was traveling during the C-19 pandemic and had it been normal times with regular train schedules, I would have liked to stay a couple nights in cities along the Via Rail Canadian route although it was still an awesome 17 day trip. Let me tell you all about it – You might want to make yourself a cup of your favorite beverage!
I love planning a trip and I usually buy a few things before I leave (and lots of souvenirs during the trip of course!). For this trip I shopped on Amazon and I I bought a travel journal, a watch, a pair of binoculars, a Fodor map of Canada and a small Vera Bradley weekender bag. I also brought along a new companion, a petite stuffed Ballerina Mouse called Petunia that will have her own travel blog. You can find her adventures on petuniatravels.com and on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/official_petunia_travels/ . I’m sure you will love her!
After making an itinerary and checking online to make sure all the different accommodations were available, I phoned Via Rail to reserve through an agent. He was able to put all three portions of the trip onto a single invoice and I had my tickets printed out at the station the day of my departure. The first leg was on The Ocean train, that travels from Halifax to Montreal, embarking in Moncton for a 14 hour ride to Montreal in a Cabin for 2 . The next one was in what they call the Corridor, from Montreal to Toronto in a Business Class car for a 5 hour trip, and for the last one, on The Canadian, from Toronto to Vancouver, 4 nights in a Cabin for 2.
Once I had my train booked, I went ahead and reserved the hotel rooms and lastly I reserved the shuttle from Vancouver to Victoria that includes a ferry ride. I left the planning for the Montreal portion to Mama D and left room for improvisation in Vancouver and Victoria as I wasn’t sure if or when Mama J would join me. I had fantastic weather, it was mostly sunny and I used my umbrella only once.
In Montreal, Mama D and I saw the temporary train exhibit at Pointe-à-Callière Museum, and we took the suburb train, and spent an afternoon in her garden, lazing around in the hammock and harvesting fresh vegetables.
In Vancouver I spent a day at the hotel to rest a knee injury and the next day Mama J and I saw Fly over Canada and Hawaii from Above at Canada Place. It was an amazing experience inspired by the Soarin’ attraction in Epcot at Walt Disney World.
In Victoria, I visited the Royal British Columbia Museum and watched an IMAX movie on Humpback Whales. I took a walk in Beacon Hill Park, I visited the Malahat Skywalk, Miniature World and had a private Afternoon tea with my own new Empress Royal tea set and had a lovely visit with Auntie C and we had cake and tea.
I didn’t do as many activities as I usually do; it seems like the focus this time was on transportation modes to make up for having to stay home for so long. I really needed to see new landscapes and meet people. I think I achieved my goal but I’m still itching to go on another adventure, and Disney as usual is calling me for the Magic Kingdom’s 50th; The Celebration will go on for 18 months starting October 1st 2021 so I think I might be able to make it! (Toes and fingers crossed.)
In the coming days and weeks, I will be posting my reviews of the train, the hotels and everything I’ve experienced separately as to not make this post too long. I hope it inspires you to travel and see what’s out there to discover; no matter where you are, there’s always new things to see and do. You don’t have to travel across the Country but I must admit it is nice!