Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 56, from Toronto to Vancouver, Canada

We have obtained special permission to take one of the longest train journeys in the 4467 km, this famous ride across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver passes through some of the most awesome scenery.......yes, we are going on a ride on the Canadian Super Continental passenger train( which sadly is no longer in use) let's just sit back and relax as we depart from Toronto.......

20 minute "Dwell time" in Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of Manitoba.

Did you know that the name Winnipeg comes from the Cree words meaning muddy water, referring to Lake Winnipeg 40 miles (60 kilometres) to the north?

As we leave Winnipeg you realise that you are fairly launched across the Great Plains.....they are flat....there is something in the quality of the air....fresh,'s as if the cornfields are waving to me.....

Next stop Saskatchewan, a pretty prairie province in Canada

The province's name comes from the Saskatchewan River, whose name comes from its Cree designation meaning "swift flowing river".
Everything just feels so laidback here.....

The train continued its journey....along the valley of the North Saskatchewan River to the capital of Alberta, Edmonton.

This area has some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies

....and of course West Edmonton Mall (WEM)!

Yes, it is the largest shopping mall in North America and the fifth largest in the world.

It was the world's largest mall for a 23 year period from 1981 until 2004.

West Edmonton Mall covers a gross area of about 6 million ft²and cost C$1.2 billion to build.

There are over 800 stores and services.

The mall receives 28.2 million visitors per year but we were not one of them as our dwell time in Edmonton was only 30 minutes......

Boo-hoo....I want to go shopping!!

We are now going to set off again...for the most spectacular part of our journey.....over the Rockies to Vancouver......

The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range.

The southern end in Alberta and British Columbia borders Idaho and Montana of the USA.

The route runs directly into wild mountain country and everyone is looking out the windows ....admiring the natural beauty when suddenly there is a lot of excitement ahead....

someone saw a bear and her cub trying to cross the track, followed by a moose.......

In between these sightings are glorious views, shimmering lakes, lofty peaks, everywhere........another exceptionally uplifting experience.

Finally we reached Vancouver, a coastal city and major seaport located in the Lower Mainland of south-western British Columbia, Canada.

The name Vancouver itself originates from the Dutch "van Coevorden", denoting somebody from (in Dutch: "van") Coevorden, an old city in The Netherlands.

After this relaxing, very enjoyable journey we are ready for some action again.

Next stop??

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