Friday, June 28, 2013

Rocky Mountaineer ~ the sea to sky climb...

Train travel is rather a rare thing in Canada these days.
But western Canada is home to the busiest privately owned passenger rail service in North America.
 We checked it out last week...

...compliments of our family.

For Christmas they gave us a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer...
the 'sea to sky climb'.

The train operates between Vancouver and Whistler...
a day trip.

We spent the previous night in the city...
and were picked up at our hotel shortly after 7 am.

In North Vancouver...
we boarded the train for our first class ride in the dome car.

Can you tell we had rain?

Living on the west coast...
we know there is always that possibility!

The date was chosen last December...
with sunshine in mind!

inside the dome car...
it was all sunshine and smiles!

Rocky Mountaineer has won many awards...
including that of  'World's Leading Travel Experience by Train'.

It has also been recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the 'World’s Best Journeys'.

The service was first class all the way...
reminiscent of a by-gone era!

Our knowledgeable host pointed out  places of interest along the route.

'Joy is like the rain'...
if one is snug and warm inside a train.

Jutting out into Howe Sound is the 9th hole of the scenic Furry Creek golf course....
 the backdrop for the famous fight scene between Adam Sandler and Bob Barker...
 in Happy Gilmore  (circa 1996).

We also had in-house entertainment in the dome car...
a drummer from the The Lil’wat Nation.
 It was short and sweet.

Three hours after our departure...
we arrived in Whistler.

We decided to forgo the chair lifts...
and spend our time in the village instead.

we had an umbrella just like the rest of the tourists!

Rain...snow...or sunshine...
Whistler is always a fun place to be.

It brings back  memories and moments from the 2010 Olympics that we will always treasure.

And here was an entirely new-to-us Whistler experience.
We had an apple cinnamon 'beaver tail'...
and shared it in the rain.
It was good!

By the time we boarded the train for the homeward bound trip...
the rain had let up.

Not far down the rails we passed by the top of Brandywine Falls.

This was a whole new perspective... we have previously only seen the falls from the viewing platform at the bottom.

Did you know that Brandywine Falls has a 70 meter drop...
higher than that of Niagara Falls?

The scenery along the 'sea to sky route' is most amazing.

There is an abundance of water in this part of the country!

In Squamish...we passed by the famous Stawamus Chief.
It is the second largest granite monolith in the world. 
This gigantic rock is a favorite among rock climbers and hikers.

Soaring mountains and dramatic waterfalls...
there is no shortage along the route.

As we neared Vancouver...
we passed through Horseshoe Bay. 

How fun to be tourists at home...
and ride the rails with folks from Florida, Mississippi and Saskatchewan.
It was a good time.
Thanks, kids for the fine Christmas gift!

I'll leave you with one last Whistler photo on this Canada Day weekend... we took on a previous visit when the sun was shining and the flags were flying.

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. What a great day, even though it rained. I knew the Rocky Mountaineer went through the Rockies, I didn't know it also went to Whistler on day trips. That's a lovely gift to have received from your kids.
    From the train you probably had a much different perspective than from a car. Beautiful country.
    Were your ears burning yesterday? I met with a fellow blogger (H) to walk through Butchart Gardens and we spoke of you.

  2. Vancouver looks like a beautiful place. I have only been in Ontario. What a nice gift from your kids!

  3. How lovely to see that beautiful scenery. There is nowhere quite as awe inspiring as Canada for scenery.

  4. Wonderful gift! Train travel is so relaxing. Our 30th anniversary train trip in Switzerland in a dome car and a trip from San Diego to Eugene Oregon as a teen have been my two longest train trips. We have longed to do the cross Csnada by rail run. There is just something extra wonderful about going through forests without automobiles whizzing by.
    You two have been such world travelers it is fun to see you sight seeing around your own beautiful country!

  5. That was a great gift idea! A beautiful trip--and we can't let a little rain spoil our fun, right? That's what makes those waterfalls.

  6. Wow that is a wonderful tour by train! Even in the rain. What a great gift from your family. We are debating driving up to Whistler but having to stay overnight is a bit much so we are undecided. Is it worth it to drive up and see the sights there? Pam

  7. So nice to "see" this trip you've talked about! I'd love dinner in that dome car! In spite of the water drops, it makes for a beautiful Canada Day post... showing one side of this large country.

  8. What a wonderful gift and a delightful time on the train. The colors are so rich and deep on a rainy day. It's hard to believe that the Olympics are that far behind you already. Time is zipping right along.

    (I know nothing of trains these days except for a grandson of a dear friend who took a job setting tracks for one of the Canadian railroads. He's making $23 an hour. Sounds like rough work for only that much. We'll take anything these days I guess.)

  9. Too bad you didn't have sunshine - but a good attitude in the rain is better than being grumpy in the sunshine! You did still get lovely photos to capture a special day !

  10. Your pictures are beautiful Judy! I wish we had been a week later - maybe we would have met in Whistler?? What a great gift from your loved ones - enjoy your Canada Day and hope the sun comes out real soon! It's raining here too ....

  11. What a wonderful gift this was to the two of you. You really did travel in class! Loved all the wet photos!

  12. Wow - that is definitely on my "to do" wish list. What a wonderful trip!!

  13. Wow...what a wonderful gift and what a wonderful trip...even in the rain!

  14. What a great gift...I so enjoyed and studied everyone of you "as usual" great photos...
    I am a train lover, always have been. So would love to experience that trip...hmmmmm..


  15. It looks like a wonderful trip! We'll have to do that one day -- the train ride sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing. xoxox

  16. What an extra special, well thought out gift! I enjoyed looking at every single picture and think the scenery was exceptionally beautiful! Not a detail was missed. Thank you Judy for sharing. In a small way, I felt like I got to ride on the train.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson