By Marilyn Baron
On my trip last month through the Grand Canadian Rockies, my husband and I traveled on all modes of transportation. First, we took a classic overnight rail journey (the VIA Rail train, “the Canadian”) from Vancouver, British Columbia, into the Canadian Rockies. When converted to sleeping quarters at night, we slept in bunk beds, but we spent most of the time in a private lounge or a glass-enclosed observation car where we were treated to stunning mountain vistas.
We also enjoyed a ferry cruise to Victoria, a floatplane ride over the Gulf Islands, an Ice Explorer ride across Athabasca Glacier, a float trip down the Bow River and a ride on the Banff Gondola that climbs to an elevation of 7,486 feet.
We visited Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier, the Icefields Parkway, and three national parks that are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And we were wowed by Butchart Gardens in Victoria.
Those are just some of the highlights of our Canadian adventure.
Our itinerary was action-packed and we were treated to wonderful weather and some of the most magnificent landscapes in western Canada.
We saw a variety of wildlife from bears (grizzlies and black bears), and elk, to mountain goats. My husband hiked and took a trail ride on horseback at Jasper Park Lodge while I had high tea.
I thought Vancouver, where our trip began, was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I’d been there before on the start of an Alaskan cruise, but this time we stayed two nights and got a better opportunity to explore the city. The hotels on our Tauck Tour were amazing— the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and The Fairmont Banff Springs. It was a first-class trip all the way.
Every city we visited was more beautiful than the last. Every time we rounded the corner on our motor couch, there was a more magnificent vista. If there was such a thing as too much natural beauty, we experienced it. We were on scenic sensory overload. But we weren’t complaining. I hope you’ll come back every Friday in July to find out more about this spectacular area of Canada.