Rocky Mountaineer: From Vancouver to Banff

It’s been 25 years since Rocky Mountaineer put its first train on the rails and since 2005 it gets awarded as the “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” every single year. I was lucky enough to experience the “First Passage to the West” route, which goes from Vancouver to Lake Louise and Banff in two days. And it was probably the first train trip of my life where I didn’t feel bored at any time. Because of the views, because of the food, because of the company, the missed bear and many other things.P1120500P1110722Guests who book the GoldLeaf category enjoy the panoramic second floor and a restaurant on the ground floor. But of course they also serve drinks on the second floor, no worries!P1110712P1110732And this is only the breakfast menu! You can choose between four freshly prepared meals or you can just order everything. So did we! P1110742P1110764I was so happy to have found Michèle. We shared our passion for food, bad jokes and many other things. P1110820P1110770So this picture is responsible for the most important not made picture of my life. While I was taking pictures of these eggs, I misses a grizzly bear outside. The only one on our route. Aaaah!P1130468P1110950This legendary route along the Canadian Pacific track is famous for uniting the country and connecting the state of British Columbia to Canada over 125 years ago. Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald was afraid to lose this part of the country to the USA, so he decided to build a connecting passage  (the only way to get from the East to the West in those day) in only ten years. We were passing the legendary Spiral Tunnels and dramatic canyons on this trip and also the spot where the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. The Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger rail service on this historic route. P1120152P1120159P1120169P1120239P1120241P1110873P1120400I was standing outside all the time trying to take as many pictures as possible (not that easy at 50 km/h though) and I only moved from this spot when the meals were served. P1120502P1120284And we even managed to roll into a rainbow once!P1120328P1120362P1120368P1120364P1120393P1120365P1120457Kamloops was the first bigger city on our way and we stayed there overnight. Nobody knows it in Europe but it seems to be quite popular in Canada and the USA as a winter sports destination.P1120465P1120522P1120515P1120529At the “The Noble Pig” I have discovered even a better version of my favorite meal pickles: deep fried pickles. P1120555My window view. How do they always know? P1120603P1120627P1120651P1120631On the next morning our journey started at 6 a.m. Which meant dark circles under my eyes and a couple of pretty sunrise pictures. P1120667P1120618P1120683P1120750P1110726P1120727P1120788P1120822Guess what Martha and I have ordered for breakfast on the second day? Exactly: everything.  P1120872P1120904P1120959The landscape was changing so quickly the higher we got and by the arrival in the Rocky Mountains at 6 p.m. we couldn’t even see the mountains behind the clouds. But what we already could spot was the unbelievable blue of the water Banff National Park is famous for.  P1130300P1130160P1130096The Rocky Mountaineer is operating from May to October and the rates start from 884 euros for a two day tour including meals and the night in Kamloops. The fried pickles are not obligatory, I promise!

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