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Central Park, New York
The Rocky Mountaineer
Johanna Beach, Australia
Hluhluwe Reserve, KwaZulu Natal
Tecina GC, on La Gomera island
Portuguese cakes, bought by weight
Kingsbarns’ entrance and clubhouse
Killeen Castle, just outside Dublin
Slieve Donard hotel, N Ireland
Nefyn GC, North Wales
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SOME of us are fortunate to have memorable days which provide a warm glow when later brought to mind. The one recorded here stretched over two days, comprising two 12-
It is called the Fraser Discovery Route, one of three journeys offered by Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, who describe them as the "Most Spectacular Train Trips in the World". I doubt even Michael Palin would argue for long against that.
From the luxurious comfort of the double-
As well taking it in turns to provide a historical, geographical and geological backdrop to the areas we passed through, the attendants also offered a constant stream of refreshments. And what food they provided. At my window seat in the dining area during lunch on day one, my attention was divided. I did not know whether to feel guilty for paying insufficient attention to the spectacular Fraser River or angst at being so distracted by the scenery that I did not fully savour the Alberta Beef Shortribs.
The train does not stop mid-
Highlights included making our way across the Fraser River Bridge, a construction some 190ft high and 800ft long offering stunning views down a valley, and the Rockies’ highest peak, the much-
So comfortable is the coach, and so copious the complimentary drinks on offer, that many passengers occasionally succumbed to the soporific ambience and part-
When tiredness threatened, I stood out on the rear vestibule, an open area at the back of the train. Watching the passing landscape and the receding track as the air rushed by was both invigorating and calming. It bordered on the spiritual.
Brief visits to Vancouver and Whistler on one side and Jasper and Banff on the other were the bookends to my journey on the Rocky Mountaineer, and in Whistler I was treated to another exhilarating form of travel.
Where the two-
In between the adrenaline rush of each zip, there is plenty of time to take in the beauty of Whistler's ancient rainforest.
The trek takes around two-
Many of Canada's residents are striving to be as green as their scenery and lay a heavy emphasis on sustainability.
In Vancouver, I stayed at the superb Fairmont Waterfront Hotel which has its own herb garden and apiary to help provide ingredients for its chefs. It is also a member of the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise conservation program, which involves presenting guests with seafood choices of species which are "abundant and resilient to fishing pressures".
The Raincity Grill in the city's West End is similarly dedicated and also themes its menus on the basis of local produce.
A whirlwind tour of Vancouver followed lunch at the Grill, courtesy of North Van Green Tours in a vehicle powered by vegetable oil – another example of the city's focus on sustainability as it counts down to becoming the focus itself of mass media coverage when Vancouver and Whistler stage the 2010 Olympic and ParalympicWinter Games.
The final two days of my trip included a walk around Lake Louise, in Banff National Park, and a gondola ride some 3,000ft up into the Rockies overlooking Banff, where there are breathtaking views.
Even walking down the sidewalks in Banff you get an eye-
The first sight of Lake Louise literally made me stop in my tracks, so overwhelming is its beauty. We spotted deer, elk, woodpeckers and also big-
Which goes to prove this is a spectacular land with surprises for everyone.
Published: March 14, 2009
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For Rocky Mountaineer picture gallery click here
Take my breath away
The sight which
did just that
Marilyn: mon woe
Find out why I
regret not having my
golf clubs in Banff