Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Rocky Mountaineer

Our five night and four day excursion via the Rocky Mountaineer Company began after we flew into Calgary on September 3oth. The views of the city and the mountains from the Calgary Tower were spectacular. A warmish sunny day began out trip, and we had good sunny weather throughout.

The first two days included trips by bus to Lake Louise and to Banff. We declined the option of helicopter trips during this segment of the tour, but did ride a gondola.

The magnificent vistas were the rewards of that gondola ride.

Dining at Chateau Lake Louise.

The view from our room at Chateau Lake Louise was another magnificent spectacle.

A morning talk from Ranger Rick was another highlight of this segment. I also jogged the length of the lake and back. A good run.

Later that day we viewed the famous spiral tunnels, tunnels we would go through on the Rocky Mountaineer train the next day. In this photograph, you can see above the head of the person with a white baseball cap, a freight train disappearing into the beginning of one of the spirals. Above the head of the female you can see the lead cars of the same freight train as they exit the lower end of that same spiral.

This was a most exciting moment as the train pulled in at the beginning of our third day. Hundreds of people had assembled at the Banff railway station, ready to board.

The scenery was so beautiful.

And the colours so charged.

After a full day of travel we all were ready for a night of rest in Kamloops.

Getting to the train for the second day of train travel was an illustration of logistics at their finest. Over 2000 people were travelling this day. All were brought by coach from their overnight hotels to the train and to their own rail car. On the left is the coach that bought us and almost fifty others to our dome coach, and on the right is our dome coach. Over 40 coaches were choreographed to deposit passengers at the precise rail car entrances!

Our dome car was staffed by four people, two of whom prepared the meals for the 72 passengers. The upper level of the dome car was where we had two sittings for each meal in the dining area beneath. 36 ate at the first serving, and the rest at the second serving. Here the dome car is half empty as the first sitting enjoys their meal.

On this particular trip, the Rocky Mountaineer had a record 39 cars in its train, and over 2000 passengers. Our dome car was one of several in the middle of the train. This photo shows the cars behind ours.

And this shows those to the front.

Two of the satisfied customers are here, ready for another excellent meal.

And Anne could not wait for another delectable desert.

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