Sunday, November 08, 2009

Closet Canuck's Great Big Canadian Train Adventure DAY FOUR: Halifax to Montreal on Via Rail Canada

Saturday - Halifax to Montreal: Who woulda thunk it would be snowing? OK, it is November, but when I pulled the shades up in my room at The Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax, I was very surprised. I'd checked the weather forecast, but didn't expect to see white stuff outside in the morning!

So this is it? My home for the next nearly 20 hours, between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal, Quebec. Somehow it doesn't look like the Love Boat or even the Love Train. But it's VIA Rail Canada, and I'm thinking it's going to be a fun adventure.

I scheduled my cabin attendant Joanne to come in at 9 PM to "turn down" my bed. It turned out that it was a pretty comfy bed with a duvet and a couple of nice pillows. Although the bed was a bit hard and narrow, I only woke up at 1 AM (in Mont Jolie) and 4 AM (Charny). But I was still swaying side to side later that afternoon.

My friend Donna loaned me Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires a couple of years ago, before Gourmet magazine folded. But I left the book in the bed and now I have to buy a new copy. So far, it's the only thing I've left behind on the trip. 

Crossing the St. Lawrence River into Montreal


A view from my room at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Queen Elizabeth stayed here four times, along with the Duke of Edinburgh. It 's known for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In for Peace where they recorded Give Peace a Chance in 1969.

BIXI is MontrĂ©al’s new public bike system. From May to November, it's accessible to everybody, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Just hop on a bike when you need it and leave it at any station when you arrive at your destination.




In another few weeks, all the leaves will be gone in Montreal and elsewhere around North America. Tomorrow I take the train northeast from Montreal to Quebec City, backtracking a bit. It's worth it, as Quebec est belle!



Photos by Sue Frause

Day 5: Montreal to Quebec City