I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Rocky Mountaineer

I always loved the idea of traveling on the Orient Express in the heyday of glamorous train travel, with porters and dining cars and private cabins. The Rocky Mountaineer was not quite on that level, but it was probably the most luxurious train trip I will ever experience. We rode in big comfy leather seats under a glass dome on the top level of the train car, except when we were eating breakfast or lunch in the dining room below or standing outside on the vestibule (which I was amused to see the website describe as an “exclusive outdoor viewing platform”) to get some fresh air or take pictures.

We didn't even have to touch our luggage; we left our suitcases in our hotel rooms when we left in the morning and they were waiting for us in our new rooms that evening, after a day spent reading a little, rocking in the vestibule with my fellow passengers, and just staring out the windows for hours.

Quite a few hours. The first day we spent more than 12 hours getting from Vancouver to Kamloops; the second day was a little shorter, with fewer long delays waiting for freight trains to pass, but still another very long day. And no matter how comfortable the ride, there's a certain point when I just want to get there already, and start wishing I could just get off and walk.

But I'd always wanted to travel by train through the Canadian Rockies and now I have. I wouldn't go out of my way to do it again -- I think I'd rather take the journey by car, with more stops -- but I wouldn't turn down the opportunity, either.

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