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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Our Canada Rail Vacation Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver to Kamloops

Finally, our DREAM did become reality!
For years we've been talking about the Rocky Mountaineer and now, with a better economy thanks to President Trump, we got enough dividend for going ahead!
We booked our trip via Canada Rail Vacations.
Photos courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer - wish we could have seen it like this!
We left our luxurious Fairmont Hotel Vancouver by motor coach to be transported to the Rocky Mountaineer Station where we all would board the train.
We, that is 710 passengers for that morning of September 25, 2018.
A life pianist entertained us while we got served some juice or water.
A professional bagpiper did play while boarding began, seen in photo below just to the left, near the train.
Both of us were pleasantly surprised at the speed and efficiency this boarding took place at 7:38 AM.
We were seated in this GoldLeaf bi-level dome coach of CB05, seen above.
The lower part we could reach by stairs for entering our dining room for breakfast and lunch.
A long line of Rocky Mountaineer employees stood lined up along the track and waved us farewell!
Source: at 1:17 min of All Aboard the Train! Rocky Mountaineer is leaving Vancouver
Enjoying this fruity delight at 8:26, with Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry in its husk, before breakfast à la carte got served.
We left via the impressive Fraser River Swing Bridge at 8:42
This is at New Westminster - Columbia and taken from the GoldLeaf Dining Room...
At 8:47 this photo got taken from my Blueberry Pancakes, garnished with strawberry and Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry) and served with Maple Syrup.
Love this special fruit in a husk and for one year we did grow our own!
On my plate you can see it was a sunny breakfast taken in the elegant dining room.
Our Gold-Leaf bi-level domed coach got split up in two groups for going down to the dining room.
For the first day, we were in the 1st group and on the 2nd day this got reversed.
Meanwhile others got served some hot food from the trolley cart, anticipating their breakfast...
EXCELLENT service and our Chef was from the Philippines!
At 10:43 Alongside the Fraser River with the majestic Coast Mountains...
Lanscape is changing now at 12:17 as it looks more rugged as we leave the fertile Rainforest behind.
At 12:22 we reach HELL'S GATE
Under the red poles of the suspension bridge you see a white spot in the center, where it marks the water surface of the Fraser River of May 28, 1948...
The water can be 27.4 m or 90 ft deep to 64 m or 210 ft deep!
Compared to the Niagara Falls, TWICE as much water flows through Hell's Gate!!!
Hell's Gate, the narrowest part of the Fraser River. As much as 750 million liters/200 million gallons of water pound and surge each minute through a 33.5 m/110 foot wide gorge. The height of the Fraser can vary as much as 24.3 m/80 feet throughout the year at this point.
The Fraser River, the major river in the province of British Columbia, journeys almost 1,369 km/850 miles from its headwaters in the Rockies to its release into the Strait of Georgia, near Vancouver.
In 1808 it was navigated by Simon Fraser.
Fraser River is also home to BC's largest salmon run.
The construction of the Canadian Pacific rail line through Hell's Gate in 1882 became a particularly dangerous challenge for contractor Andrew Onderdonk and his crew of thousands of men.
Andrew Onderdonk also built the San Francisco Seawall. He was born in New York, from a Dutch family.
At 13:32 the scenery is getting more and more ROCKY! Near Boston Bar on the Fraser River
At 13:55 through my window (swapped for a moment with husband Pieter)...
The top of the shatter proof glass dome is tinted, hence this line.
At 13:56 Rainbow Canyon
The minerals in the rocks reflect a rainbow of colors giving the canyon a painted look. Copper turns green and purple when oxidized, while iron turns orange and red. The yellow is due to sulfur deposits.
Also a short tunnel is visible in this photo, where the other rail road track is running.
The different mileposts and names
Now looking more ahead, at 13:56 you see the same mountain peak from two photos previous but with the river down. How incredible the Province of British Columbia is!
At 13:57 these photos I've taken from the dining room as we enjoyed a delicious lunch à la carte!
No food photos...
Enlarged section from photo above, to show you the rail road track on the other side of the river with rock sheds over the track for avalanche protection.
See printed info above about AVALANCHE ALLEY
At 15:05 where the front of our long train is visible along the Thompson River
From the left is a freight train coming on the other track.
Since the Rocky Mountaineer is the ONLY passenger train for having the right to travel through the different Parks, they have to YIELD to freight trains if we have to share a single track!
This is where we were in the above photo, along the river.
At 15:46 Ashcroft, British Columbia
At 15:51 Ashcroft you can see the front of our train following the river bend and also another freight train on the other track, below the bridge.
105 Mile Post 2
At 15:54 only 3 minutes later than the above photo with now another freight train on the other side of the river.
Those freight trains can be as long as 300 cars!
They transport coal, copper, grain, and all sorts of goods.
Funny that the side river we crossed in the above photo is called Bonaparte River... Maybe because of the shape of Bonaparte's hat, where it merges?
At 15:55 here we cross the Thompson-Nicola and you can see our 2 locomotives ahead followed by the SilverLeaf cars...
The head of the train already on this bridge...
At 15:56 Thompson River near Ashcroft, looking back you now can see the tail of our train following us...
It was getting dark slowly.
We were seated on 7 + 8 and there was only one row behind us in our section.
In front of us was the staircase down to the dining room, restrooms and open balcony (in-between two cars).
Our train section is almost across the river where I took the above photo.
This photo I took from our coach, at 17:56 when we disembarked the train at Kamloops Station.
There were coaches lined up, each right in front of a train section to just walk across the red carpet into your coach.
The planning in detail was incredible and before we got off the train we were handed our room key for the hotel at Kamloops. Our luggage got sent by truck and was already inside our room!
This is where the Kamloops Station is.
Yep, we completed our FIRST day on the ROCKY MOUNTAINEER, from Vancouver to Kamloops...

We stayed at a rather new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
Back in the hotel with WiFi I did upload my capture of the entire day on Relive.
Yes, there were remote areas without ANY signal and I guess Google Earth just did connect the dots so in the remote areas the line is not always the real railroad track. The total length of the journey should have been 460 km so it sure did cut off certain sections where we followed the rivers!
But it gives a very clear idea of the landscape from above, where we traveled through, alongside rivers and through lots of short tunnels.
Enjoy the 1:59 min. video of the  9 h 56m trip over 382.3 km including the final stretch by coach to our hotel. Click below:

Thanks for your visit and comment and stay tuned for our 2nd day on the Rocky Mountaineer...

Related links:
Vancouver British Columbia, Canada in 1996 and back again in 2018 | previous post by me
Fraser Canyon - Rocky Mountaineer Tourist Train on the Cisco Bridges (June 10, 2016) - short video showing the Rocky Mountaineer passing Cisco Crossing


  1. Dearest Mariette,
    thank you for sharing those great memories with us! This was a great trip!
    HAve a wonderful new week,
    Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    1. Dearest Claudia,
      Yes, these are so far the very BEST memories we will always hold on to!

  2. Liebe Mariette,

    das ist beeindruckend.
    Alles Liebe

    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Beeindruckend ist eine Untertreibung... Es war wirklich in jeder Hinsicht unglaublich.
      Liebe Grüße,

  3. Dear Mariette - The Rocky Mountaineer train is far more exciting than I imagined, and it is good that you both finally got to fulfil your dream of riding on it. The geological rock structures and canyons filled with rushing water are spectacular - what a great vast wildness that area of Canada is.

    1. Dearest Rosemary,
      You are right, one cannot even imagine how exciting and incredible the different views are along this track. Canada still has this pristine nature and how wonderful for being able to LIVE it for a couple of days. All that while being pampered and dined at such high class level.

  4. Dear Mariette,
    This trip must be great ! You are lucky. I love this country for its wilderness and wildlife !
    Your images are very beautiful.
    Big hugs Mariette and kiss to Pieter :)

    1. Dearest Nathalie,
      Yes, we both feel very privileged for having had this wildlife experience! We are not professional photographers and only wanted to travel light, no cameras... It is on our retina forever and inside our hearts!

  5. Hi Mariette! Beautiful scenery. Have a nice evening

    1. Dearest Anne,
      Thank you and you no doubt would have enjoyed this vast wilderness, full of wildlife in its purest form!

  6. It was a great trip. I enjoyed each and every picture.

    1. Dearest Krishna,
      Glad you enjoyed traveling along!

  7. What a great trip you had! I enjoyed your photos. Views with river are so pleasant and beautiful!
    Dishes with Physalis peruviana look very pretty. The fruit reminded me of one I had in Japan. I googled and it's Physalis alkekengi - so they must be from the same family :-)
    Rocky Mountain area is one of the places I'd love to visit. I should consider taking the train! I love the grand farewell by Rocky Mountaineer employees and the design that you can fully enjoy the view!

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Oh, this was a trip of a lifetime, fond memories forever for both of us.
      Indeed is your Japanese Physalis a relative. The orange color looks so happy and beautiful for garnish and I sure did eat them!
      The view through the glass dome has proven to be spectacular and also very important was the height. Whenever we had breakfast or lunch in the dining room, below, the view was not as spectacular and it naturally affects photos. But either way, you were surrounded by such pure nature and views you'd never seen.

  8. Hello dear Mariette,
    I am really happy you took this trip and enjoyed it so much!
    Trips are a wonderful way to keep in good shape and have high spirit!
    Your photos are really beautiful and show the incredible geology of these mountains, it is very interesting.
    I am already preparing my next trip to Uganda early feb!
    Warm hugs and take care of you both

    1. Dearest Noushka,
      Yes, we both are grateful too! Guess we even had the best time of the year for beautiful colors.
      It really lifts up ones spirit and being out in nature and walking is the best we can do.
      You keep busy traveling and using your cameras too but it is the best you can do!
      That no doubt makes Patrick smile down from heaven to see you so active. By the way, we did fly home on his 3rd anniversary in heaven...

  9. Hello dear Mariette!
    What a great trip you had! It must been exciting traveling with this luxury train to Canada!
    The views of the mountains and the river are breathtaking!Your pictures are so beautiful!
    Thank you for taking us with you on this glorious trip!
    Wishing you a lovely day and a happy week ahead! Hugs!

    1. Dearest Dimi,
      It was the greatest trip ever. We only ate too much and got so saturated by all the spectacular views... Almost too much to absorb mentally and physically! Most of the passengers did not want to go out for dinner after such a full day with culinary treats.
      Glad you enjoy traveling along.

  10. I would like to coming to in here ..

    1. Dearest Michiko,
      Oh, I believe you would love to be there with us!
      As a matter of fact we did have people from Australia, from Japan, from Hong Kong, from all over the world.

  11. Hello dear Mariette
    What a wonderful trip on the Rocky Mountaineer!
    The scenery is breathtaking.
    I've always wanted to visit Canada and the Rockies ever since I was quite young.
    It is part of the British Commonwealth (like New Zealand) so there has always been a feeling of family among the Commonwealth countries!
    Wonderful photography and detailed history and information here for everyone to read - especially someone like me intending on doing such a trip sometime.
    Thank you so much dear friend for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment.
    Shane xxx

    1. Dearest Shane,
      Thank you for your meaningful comment!
      Yes, this Rocky Mountaineer is such a worthwhile trip to make, at least once in a lifetime.
      This was for both of us beyond expectations, it is so much more to see and live through in real life. Photos cannot capture it all...

  12. My dear Mariette, This was one of the best travelogues I have seen and it truly makes me wish I could have had such a wonderful trip as well. How beautiful that Country is, and what awesome sights to see every single mile you traveled. Your photography was grand! The accommodations both on the train and where you stayed for sleep were just the best. I already know what the fur babies thought when you returned! I know you two were just as happy to see them as they were to see you. That was a vacation that makes me smile for you both. What a beautiful trip, scenery and how gracious all the train and hotel personnel were. XXXX

    1. Dearest Katie Isabella,
      Thank you for your meaningful comment and yes, we will treasure these moments forever.
      Canada is so amazing and we had no idea that you are traveling through the rainforest then to the desert and into the Rocky Mountains.
      Oh, the fur babies have forgiven us I guess, they had their special person to feed them twice a day.
      We were overwhelmed by so much courtesy by all the personnel, on the train and in the hotels we stayed at. Good for living it once again, it gives a person hope!

  13. What a wonderful trip Mariette, great memories to treasure forever :)

    1. Dearest Sami,
      Yes, it was just GRAND all the way and we certainly will treasure those memories!

  14. Dear Mariette,

    What a wonderful trip you must have had and many happy memories and lovely photos to look back on.
    When in was 21 I did a train journey through the Rockies from Vancouver to Calagary and that was the most spectacular journey. Thanks for sharing and I hope you and Pieter are well.

    1. Dearest Carolyn,
      Happy for you for having had a wonderful experience when you were 21 and traveled through the Rockies.
      The Rocky Mountaineer started its trips in 1990 and it still is a privately owned company. They manage to keep everything at the highest level of service and quality.
      Pieter is having a cold at the moment, we both got the flu shot one week before traveling to Canada but one month later he caught a bad cold.

  15. Hello dear Mariette !
    What great trips and amazing memories you have and the pictures to remind you when you see them !
    When I lived in the USA and was young our father took great trips with the family and we so enjoyed them. Now it seems is around Europe every time we visit our daughter.
    Hope Peater is better from his cold, it's Fall weather.

    1. Dearest Fabby,
      Yes, this is quite an amazing memory for both of us!
      Like you, having fond memories of your Dad, you are doing now the very same for and with your family, in Europe.
      Pieter is improving, a kind of a bronchitis it sounds like. He reminded me of how bad it could have been if he (we both) had not had the flu shot mid September.


Thanks for your visit and comment.


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