(November 6th 2010)
We woke up on our last morning in Jasper to a real Christmas feel, snow on the ground, elk on the lawn and mountains covered in fresh snow. I asked myself why are we leaving to spend 3 nights on a train? The answer is …. I don’t know, I blame Ian LOL. The rest of the morning was spent packing and eating, we had a gorgeous hikers breakfast of yoghurt, granola, fruit and zucchini bread to set up us for the long day of waiting for the train. Once packed we checked out, settled the bill (never a high point), and took up residence by the fire to read some time away. A couple of hours passed reading and making fun of the locals who were having a ‘Christmas in November’ over the weekend. I saw loads of naff homemade garlands that will never last until christmas but they all seemed to be loving it. We decided to have a light lunch of dips and salmon and tasted the most amazing smoked maple syrup salmon. We asked the waitress how it was done and she asked for our e-mail address so she could send us the recipe. How cool is that. Anyway we couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer and called for a cab to take us to the train station heavy hearted to be leaving such a peaceful place. *
We arrived at Jasper train station and were told that the train is on time (HA). So we dropped off our luggage and headed into town for a short while. Amanda headed straight for the year-round Christmas shop to buy tat for the tree (she just told me she doesn’t buy tat, so it must be good stuff as it’s made in Canada rather than the usual tat made in China). After that excursion we went back to the station and lo and behold, the train is now about an hour late. Thankfully they had college football on the tv to keep me entertained, sadly the guy behind the counter seemed to enjoy changing channels more often that I change my mind about what to write on here. I was ready to snatch it out of his hand and make him eat it, but then I saw him and I decided that he could watch whatever he wanted.
The train finally turned up and we boarded. We are now in Car 220 Cabin A. It’s still very small (compact and bijou darling) and worse…it’s facing the wrong way. I have had ear pain since boarding as Amanda isn’t happy that the cabin is going backwards. I think perhaps she should sleep in the corridor where she can face any way she likes but apparently that ain’t gonna happen.
We had another champagne reception and then our evening meal (very nice) along with half a bottle of wine hoping that it would make Amanda sleep (it didn’t). Then off to the land of Nod (for me anyway). I woke at 2am and looked out of the window. No light pollution and big skies means more stars than I have even seen in my life. Quite spectacular and worth the early wake up.
* written by Amanda