Have you always dreamed about taking the Rocky Mountaineer train journey through beautiful BC and Alberta? Our Travel Expert Julie recently embarked on an unforgettable train journey from Banff to Vancouver with her mom and shares her experience with us:
I recently had the opportunity to take my very first passage to the west on the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer train. Having never been to the west coast of this beautiful country of ours but having seen enough pictures, I had some pretty big expectations. Each and every one of them was exceeded! This trip was truly inspiring.
I took my mom for Mother’s Day and it was a journey we will cherish forever. My mother had suffered a moderate stroke earlier in the year and I wanted to give her something to look forward to, to help with her recovery. What I didn’t know when I confirmed the trip was that one of her best friends would be on the very same trip! Due to recent health issues, and living a 3-hour drive apart, they hadn’t been able to see each other for the last 4 years. I can’t tell you how excited she was to get to spend mother’s day with me and her friend of 30 years! I truly believe that excitement was instrumental to her recovery.
We arrived in Calgary on a bright, sunny morning and made our way through the beautiful countryside to Banff. I wasn’t prepared for the spectacular landscape there. There was snow covered mountains literally in every direction! It was breathtaking to say the least. We arose early the morning we were to board the Rocky Mountaineer (we were too excited to sleep anyway). That first day on the train is something I will never forget. I’m not sure I can put into words just how amazing it was.
We were seated in their Gold Leaf Service section with a glass domed roof – which I completely recommend; giving us 360 degree views of the Rocky Mountains. I have to take a moment here to acknowledge the service we received on board. Due to my mother’s health issues, she needed assistance to get to her seat. We were tended to with such professionalism and courtesy. They certainly went over and above to ensure our comfort and enjoyment. When the batteries in my mother’s camera died, the crew even found her a new set! I can’t speak highly enough of them.
Then there’s the food on board. Oh My Goodness! The chefs created locally inspired meals for us all of which were masterpieces. I can honestly say the hamburger I had for lunch was, without a doubt, the best burger I’ve ever had! The desserts were melt-in-your-mouth devilishly delicious. Even the snacks were delectable! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
I truly enjoyed spending time on the open air vestibule at the back of the train car. Feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair as I took in the stunning landscape is a memory I won’t ever forget. Winding rivers and cascading waterfalls, rapids complete with daring kayakers, bridges that exposed stunning vantage points, and tunnels that are an engineering feat were just some of the attractions we encountered on route. We were fortunate enough to see bears, bald eagles, deer, and mountain goats along the way as well.
Day two on the train from Kamloops to Vancouver was more of the same, but it never got boring. There is so much beauty to see out west; we didn’t want to miss a thing. I had no idea how moved I was going to be on this trip. Our Rocky Mountaineer experience ended in Vancouver with our luggage “magically” appearing in our hotel room. We spent our last day exploring Vancouver on a hop-on-hop-off bus so we could see as much of the city as possible with the little time we had there. We retired to our room after a long day of sight-seeing in the city.
As we watched the sun set on the horizon out our window I was sad that our trip was over, but smiling at the experience that I was able to share with my mom. I can’t remember the last time I saw her smile so much. It was something we will both cherish forever.
For more information on travelling aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, contact a Flight Centre Travel Consultant by connecting with us online, or calling 1-877-967-5302.