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Panoramic views from Rocky Mountaineer Train

 

The Rocky Mountaineer Train

Rocky Mountaineer open car

One of the big highlights of our trip was our travels on The Rocky Mountaineer train, which recently introduced its glass domed car for its Whistler Sea to Sky Climb route from Vancouver to Whistler. The biggest regret I had taking my 7-year-old on this trip was that her three older siblings weren’t with us to enjoy it.  The 3-and-a-half hour ride takes you through landscapes ranging from lush vistas expanding out to the silvery rolling sea off the coast of British Columbia to thickly forested pines surrounded by waterfalls and sheer cliffs of the Canadian Rockies – breathtaking.

Luggage is stored in the holding area of the train and I would advise taking anything of value to your seat along with items you need to have within reach during the ride. There’s ample leg room as well as storage space for day backpacks and bags under the seats.  Food and drinks are a big part of the trip and are included in the cost of your ticket.  I particularly appreciated the bowls of fruit for passengers to snack on at any given time.

Helpful Tip: Bring a jacket, as the kitchen is below the glass domed car and they keep a/c on high to keep the glass fog free.

My daughter was on the lookout for wild animals and when that grew old there was plenty of space for her to color, play games or read a book. Yes, I did get the request from her for the iPod, but I handed her the field guide that’s included in the Rocky Mountaineer magazine instead.  She got the idea and we made a game of looking for the animals listed in the guide.  The staff accommodated us with kid friendly food and even had soy milk on hand for her.

Helpful Tip: There are two restrooms located in the glass dome car – if you need to go in to help out your little one, the restroom on the right is sized for handicap access and fits a child and parent.

Squamish Tribe storyteller

One of our favorite onboard events was when the train stopped to pick up a young member of the Squamish tribe, who told us the legend of “The Seagull, Raven and the Daylight Box.” My daughter was captivated by story and particularly by the fact a real member of the Squamish tribe was the storyteller – and we both found the fact he peppered in words like “dude” and “what not” into the ancient story pretty funny.

Traveling by train has always been my favorite way to get around and it didn’t disappoint this time.  The freedom to move about is liberating compared to other forms of travel, not to mention the ability to take in the crystal clean air of the mountains out on the open car which is easily accessible from the glass domed car.

 Helpful Tip: If you’re prone to pollen allergies, bring your medication – wildflowers and deep forest mean lots of pollen in the air and I was grateful to have allergy eye drops on hand.

The trip was an eye candy treat from start to finish:  As we made our ascent up into the mountains, fuschia colored foxglove and tiny orange and yellow hockwheat flecked patches of white daises reflecting sunlight on the shoulders of the train tracks.  We were happy that we had the return trip to catch anything we may have missed on the way up (we actually saw a bear on the return trip).

 

Cynthia Cunniff

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