Canadian Rockies Train
I have always felt very fortunate to be able to travel the amount that we do. In fact, I many times think I must of done something really great in a past life to be so fortunate. My fortune began with having wonderful parents. My Mother and Father loved to travel and would take us children sometimes with them.
One trip my Mother always wanted to take was a train ride through the Canadian Rockies. She wanted to see the snow, the mountains and she loves riding on trains. However, before they could fulfill this holiday dream my father became ill with Mesothelioma. He passed away December 26, 2012. A few years later our entire family gave a Christmas gift to our Mother, a Canadian Rockies train tour and more! I would be the lucky one to accompany my Mother and we would begin this wonderful journey in Vancouver Canada. So, Mother-Daughter trip here we come!
Vancouver Canada: The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel
Our Mother-Daughter trip begins with us flying from Tampa to Vancouver Canada. Definitely a long flight, but we know this is going to be a wonderful adventure and are very excited for it to begin. After landing, grabbing our luggage, we head to our hotel the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel (read more). The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel lived up to the reputation of all the Fairmont’s, professional, luxurious and wonderful service. We were shown to our room where we had a magnificent view. Only having 2 nights in Vancouver we need to get our rest to be ready to set out the next morning for a full day of sightseeing.
Vancouver City Tour
We were really only going to have one day to see some of the sights, for this reason, a tour would be the most beneficial way to accomplish seeing as much as we could, stress free. So, I booked a tour of Vancouver City Tour which included the Capilano Suspension Bridge. As we hopped on the tour bus we were driven around Vancouver. Wow! What a beautiful city! Not too many places I have seen where a city has gorgeous snowcap mountains and magnificent blue water views, not to mention the skyscrapers!
The city streets are filled with bicycles! Fun Fact: More people bike to work in Vancouver Canada than any other major city in North America. Sailboats are out in numbers also on the Vancouver Harbor and English Bay. As we drive around on the tour bus, we view a China Town, drive over the Lions Gate Bridge and are pointed out many buildings including Lululemon!
Heading over to Stanley Park
Next, we made our way over to Stanley Park. This public park is is 405 acres of… well just about everything! Beaches, trees, scenic views of both the English Bay and the Vancouver Harbor, amazing trees, wildlife, trails, food, cultural sites and more. It’s an urban park that has been designated as a natural historic site of Canada. My Mother and I were both very impressed with the totem poles, for their artistic work and meanings.
Off to the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Okay, let just stop right here. When you go on a Mother-Daughter trip for the first time, you find out things about your Mom you really never knew. For instance, my Mother has no, and I mean no fear of heights! This bridge is over 230 feet in the air, and it is 450 feet across. She is going to be 80 this year and she treated this suspension bridge like it was nothing. Surprisingly, no hesitation at all. I think she crossed it in like 3 minutes. Me- my knees were shaking; my hands and fingers were absolutely going to get freezer burn because I refused to let go of the side railing in 30-degree temperatures.
I have to say, all in all, it was pretty cool, and the area is breathtaking, I’m proud of myself for accomplishing walking across (even though it took me like 10 minutes). To my Mom it was a normal walk in the park day.
Last Day Before Heading to the train Station
Unfortunately, we have just a few hours in the morning look around. No matter what holiday I am on, I am drawn to check out the local churches and in some cases Hindu Temples (read more). Particularly, I love seeing all the different architecture and details. In fact, Vancouver is no exception because right next to our hotel is the Christ Church Cathedral- have a peak…
Time for the Canadian Rockie Train
Our time in Vancouver was over way too fast, it was time to head to our next adventure by hopping on our train to take us through the Canadian Rockies. We were excited to board the train, but… One thing for sure, I will make it back to Vancouver one day. There is a lot more to see and experience. Of course, when I do, I know I will always reminisce about what a great time my Mother and I had in this enchanting city of Vancouver on our Mother-Daughter trip!
It’s time to leave Vancouver and jump on our train. We are very excited about this part of our trip through the Canadian Rockies. The train ride will be an overnight one so we booked a cabin for two with a bunk.
So the beds pull down and were comfortable enough. I wouldn’t want to spend more than one night on them but they turned out to fine for our trip towards Jasper. The only problem was there was nowhere to move when the beds were in their down position. Best bet is to make sure you do not have to get up in the middle of the night.
Choo Choo through the Canadian Rockies
The food served was delicious, very good cuisine in a comfortable separate car. You are able to choose ahead of time what sitting you would like to have. Next up was going to the observation deck. Frankly, I did not want to leave here. I sat for hours upon hours, the views were that beautiful! So, for the rest of this post, there will be photos and video. Please keep in mind I was only using my iPhone for photos at the time, on a moving train, lol. In addition, I did not plan on becoming a travel blogger, goes to show you never know where life leads you!
Fairmont Jasper Park Hotel
Our Mother-Daughter trip continues with us deporting our fun train ride in Jasper Alberta Canada. Although there was a little glitch in the transfer to our hotel (they forgot us) we were happy to check into our room/cabin at the Fairmont Jasper Park Hotel (hotel information).
The Fairmont lived up to its worldwide reputation of great service, clean rooms and all around hospitality. Our view of the ice-covered lake with the snow top mountains was magnificent. Meals for my Mother and myself were mostly taken in the family atmosphere Emerald Lounge. We were here for only two nights and frankly the first day we just wanted to relax, enjoy the snow outside and have some wonderful hot chocolate along with some comfort food.
Take a Glacier Hike
The 2nd day we had signed up for a tour with Viator to take the 3 hour Maligne Canyon Ice-walk tour. We were picked up right from the Fairmont hotel, on the way we saw some elk for the first time. Upon our arrival at the Maligne Canyon we were given ice shoes to slip on over our own shoes. This was a necessity as we soon discovered.
Our guide informed us of all the rules to follow and also let us know about the cougars. Yes, cougars. yes, they had been seen just recently on the tour. Okay- this added a whole new aspect to this little outing.
Soon we off in our group of about 15 people. My Mother being the oldest, the guide thought it was a good idea she stays close to him. Once everyone was all set, we began to make our way on to a path. The hike was not too difficult, a few times there were some areas you have to put your foot exactly where the guide instructs. It was cold, but honestly if you are dressed correctly it was not bad. You keep moving so it keeps you warmed up.
Our guide was quick to discover my Mother, who was 77 years old at the time, had no trouble whatsoever. She actually did better than some that were in their thirties! I was really proud of Mom, but I knew she probably could out do me in hiking, so I had no worries.
Glacier Views and Ice Formations
I really was not too sure on what to expect since this was my first time getting up close to a glacier. Magnificent! I was in awe of this immense cascading formation. We were able to watch some hikers actually climbing the glacier. The strength and determination by these climbers were something to see!
The Maligne Canyon Ice-walk tour was full of discovering fossils and admiring natures work on with ice. Some of the formations we saw reached as high as 30 meters. Our guide really knew everything about this canyon, he was able to answer any questions we had. I also did feel safe the entire time, it was a hike that many can do because you are not rushed. As you can see, I had plenty of time to take any photographs I wanted to, even though it was a little tricky with gloves on. We never did see any cougars and I was really okay with missing out on this one. By the way I did taste the water coming down off the mountain and all I can say I wish we had that coming out of our faucets in Florida!
The End of this Part of Our Tour
Loading up back into the van we had the option to visit the stores in Jasper before heading back to the Fairmont Jasper Park Hotel. We did and found some cute little places to shop. But we did not realize how tired we were and soon took the van back to the hotel. More comfort food and finally taking the photograph of my Mother with the large Grizzly Bear….. Hope you enjoyed this part of our Mother-Daughter Canadian Rockies Tour.
Off to Lake Louise Alberta Canada. This part of the trip we are taken by a van with a few other people on a lovely drive. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise does not disappoint with our adventurous vacation so far. In fact, I would say my favorite part of the trip took place here and that was dog sledding. I believe my Mother would totally agree.
Our adventure begins with a road trip from Jasper to Lake Louise. Our hotel the Fairmont Chateau is stunning. A perfect resort in the winter. There are plenty of restaurants, a spa and outdoor activities; Skiing, Horse Sleigh, Ice Skating, Snowshoeing, Ice walk, Cross Country skiing, Snowmobiling and more!
My Mother and I had two days here and we tried our hardest to make the best of them. Although, we both stated we would love to return here someday. Two days is not enough to thoroughly enjoy the area. I would also love to see it in the summer. The Lake is featured in photographs to be a stunning turquoise color. Interesting fact about the lake and hotel; drink the tap water it is amazingly delicious, and you guessed it- it’s from the lake!
Our next stop on our Mother Daughter excursion was a short ride to Banff. We were once again escorted to a Fairmont Resort, located up a mountain in Banff National Park. The Fairmont Banff Springs continues the luxury standards that you come to expect from a Fairmont hotel.