Part-time Traveller, Full-Time Brummie

Vancouver to Jasper by ViaRail: Canada Day by Day

Vancouver to Jasper by Viarail

Our Canadian trip was planned around this journey from Vancouver to Jasper by ViaRail – so did it live up to expectations? It was the bucket list item. The top item on my travel wish list. And today I was going to put a big tick in the done column. But we have another full day in Vancouver to enjoy first, so we do a rudimentary chucking of things in suitcases before heading out to say our Vancouver goodbyes.

Want to know what we go up to in Vancouver on Days 1 and 2? Just click here and here!

One final day in Vancouver

We head left from our apartment, past B.C. Arena and Plaza of Nations, past the giant golf ball of Science World. We scope out potential pre train drink locations and spy a Tap and Barrel at Olympic Village. We carry on our walk around False Creek Seawall; it’s a great way to kill a morning whilst getting great views across the creek to the Vancouver skyline.


The Vancouver skyline - never get tired of these views!

The Vancouver skyline - never get tired of these views!

We grab a hot drink from JJ Beans at the Granville Island Public Market and listen to the pan pipes entertainment for a while, before continuing our stroll all the way to Kitsilano Point. We catch the False Creek Ferry back as far as Granville Island. It’s not as busy on a Tuesday lunchtime at Granville Island Brewing Company and we’re seated quickly. We opt for pulled pork tacos and wings to share, and a flight of four beers each.

Lunch at Granville Island Brewing Company
Just to prove that there was some food involved…

It’s a wrench to pull ourselves away but pull ourselves away we must. A final ferry trip back to Yaletown, then we’re finalizing our overnight bag and trying to stuff everything else into our suitcases. We decide to catch the Skytrain to Waterfront and then on to Main Street, via our local 7-11 to drop off the apartment keys.

We drop off our checked baggage at Pacific Central. Hopefully we’ll be reunited in Jasper. We head for Tap and Barrel for a final drink in Vancouver before passing the time in the Via Rail lounge with an A&W burger.

Let the train journey begin!

For more information about Via Rail’s Toronto to Vancouver (and vice versa!) train The Canadian, click here!

We begin boarding at 7:30. Our sleeper car 212 seems to be miles down the platform; we begin to get a sense of how long the train is. 26 carriages to be exact. We’re greeted by our attendant Melanie; she will look after us for the next 18 hours. Trying to offset the costs of sticking a big expensive train ride in the middle of our trip we opted for an upper and lower berth rather than a cabin. The berths are in groups of three. We have no-one directly opposite us, giving us a certain degree of privacy.

The train slowly starts moving through the Vancouver suburbs. We’re invited to a “Bon Voyage” party. This is our first chance to wander around our section of the train, and for Melanie to transform our seats into bunk beds. The party is not much of a party. A dribble of sparkling wine and a single hors d’oeuvres each. With no more food or drink forthcoming we head back to 212.

Via Rail - The Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto. Or just to Jasper in our case.
Settling in for the night…

Mr Fletche kindly lets me have the lower bunk. This means that I don’t have to wrestle with the ladder in the middle of the night, and given my occasional tendency to sleep walk it means I’m unlikely to do myself – or others – any harm. Not as though I’d be able to escape from the thick, prestudded curtain in any hurry. Having the lower bunk also means I get a window. Which provides my entertainment in the wee small hours of the morning. I should be sleeping but prefer not to miss any of the lightening sky outside. It’s surprisingly soothing, being rocked to sleep with the gentle rumbling of the train underneath me.

A route with a view

We’re both awake and ready for first breakfast service at 6:30am. My expectations are low after last night’s wine and single canape debacle but I’m pleased to confirm that they pull out all the stops for breakfast. Mr Fletche has the omelette of the day and a seemingly endless supply of coffee. I have pancakes with stewed apple and granola. And a proper pot of tea.

Being early birds we get a much coveted seat in the Dome car, with panoramic views. We don’t leave these seats until our designated 12:30 lunchtime. Much to the chagrin of those that hopefully pop their head up the stairs. We get to watch the changing landscape, and we begin to see lakes and mountains even before we hit the Rockies themselves.

Lunch is a three course affair; we’re seated with a semi-retired Danish-Canadian couple who are travelling all the way to the east coast. We bid them a farewell after lunch; they invite us to stop in at their place if we get the chance on our way from Whistler to Vancouver next week.

Views from the dome car on board The Canadian
View from the dome car on board The Canadian

It’s another couple of hours before we get into Jasper. Plenty of time to digest lunch and prepare for the next part of our journey – exploring the Canadian Rockies by foot and by car!

In October we travelled to Jasper National Park from Vancouver with Via Rail

5 responses to “Vancouver to Jasper by ViaRail: Canada Day by Day”

  1. Lovely photo of you Em. The train trip looks so worth doing, just to have the experience of looking through the dome. Looking through the dome is a unique experience.

  2. josypheen says:

    This looks amaaaaazing! I’d love to do this!

    Can you book the dome car, or do you just have to wake up early to make sure you get it!?

    • emfletche says:

      You get access if you have a berth or a cabin but it’s first come first served. I think it’s restricted for berth passengers at peak times but we were lucky 😁

  3. […] Canada Day by Day: Vancouver to Jasper by ViaRail […]

  4. […] struck off a bucket list item with the overnight train ride from Vancouver to Jasper, and splurged on a bunk rather than an economy seat. However, we travelled […]

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