Prowling the Prairies

Having left Jasper on Via Rail, we headed into very unknown territory for me as we crossed Canada on our way to Toronto. This necessitated having three nights aboard the train and we had a tiny cabin for this purpose, which converted from daytime seating to bunk beds for the night.

 

We had been given quite explicit instructions about the acceptable size overnight bag for the cabin, so shared a light nylon duffle bag belonging to Archie. I was so surprised to see people trailing enormous suitcases onto the train and I have no idea where they would have put them as the cabins were so small that Mark and I had to rearrange ourselves constantly to move around. Having said that, we were extremely comfortable and I loved being rocked to sleep each night.

The first evening we travelled alongside the Rockies and it was marvellous.

 

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We passed lakes at the base of the mountains

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and saw the most stunning sunset

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I love it when there are clouds, making the sky look like its on fire.

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We went to bed in the Rockies and woke up in the Prairies. It was like waking up in a different country, the landscape had completely changed. I have to say that it was not at all what I expected, which was something like the middle of Australia, but it is all farmland, with lovely neat farms dotted around the countryside and lots to keep us entertained on the journey.

I was intrigued by these little orange tents and was even more intrigued when I was told that they are placed in alfalfa and house leafcutter bees which complement the work of the honey bees in alfalfa pollination and greatly improve the production of alfalfa seeds. I had no idea…

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The domes are needed to keep the bees warm and allow them to build their nests out of alfalfa leaves.

I loved some of the buildings we whizzed past. I missed photographing most of them because I was busy knitting rather than having my camera pressed against the window, but I did catch the odd one. I found this one really charming.

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Melville, Saskatchewan

and clearly towers were high on my photographic agenda!

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Sioux Lookout, Ontario

As we travelled into Ontario we noticed that snow still lay on the ground and that some of the lakes were either frozen

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or in the process of thawing.

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How pretty does this look?IMG_2935

As we travelled along we passed through many hamlets and towns, many of which were situated on the banks of rivers and lakes.IMG_2947

Thunder Bay, Ontario

We were occasionally able to get off the train and run up and down the platform. I include this photo because I did love the reflection of the setting sun on the metal of the train. IMG_2961

Of course Mark is head to toe in clothes made by me for Me Made May!

One of the things that is slightly annoying about the train is that it has to give way to freight trains, which means that time is spent in sidings. This isn’t necessarily bad if the view is nice, but at one point we were running six hours behind schedule, which was going to seriously cut into our time in Toronto. However, on the last night, they caught up four hours, so we were marginally happier.

And a final one of the sun reflecting off a lake. I seem to have a lot of photos like this!

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After three nights and days on the train we arrived in Toronto. Having no idea where our hotel was, we jumped in a taxi and promptly got stuck in a traffic jam, so it took a while. Imagine our chagrin when we discovered that our hotel was joined to the train station!

Fadanista

20 thoughts on “Prowling the Prairies

  1. You have an incredible eye for photography…makes me appreciate Canada all over again! Next time, you can stop in Saskatchewan and see not only the plains, but the Lake Athabasca Sand Dunes, Cypress Hills, aspen parkland and taiga northern forest. It’s a beautiful “prairie” province.

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  2. I have so enjoyed your photos on here and on IG. You really have a great gift for getting the absolute most out of your trips. I guess you must plan it all out carefully in advance.

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    1. It’s a bit of planning and non-planning, Kate. This time our whole trip was organised in advance in terms of accommodation, but we have no idea what we’re going to do when we get to each place. We get so much advice from locals and just follow that.

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