After a brief hiatus, the final installment of the train trip east is now ready. As many of you know, the blogs are written after we return from our trips. Rehearsals in Calgary on Newfoundland Mary have been filling the time day and night. Read on to find out more about our adventures. When we last left off, Pete and I had just finished dinner, and were heading back to the observation car before going to sleep.
A SNOW STORM CLOSED IN AROUND THE TRAIN AND THE SIGNAL LIGHTS IN THE NIGHT BECAME FIERY BEACONS AS WE WHIZZED PAST AT HIGH SPEED
The further east we headed the stormier it got and there wasn’t a lot to see out of the windows at night so we made our way to our cabin to see what it looked like with the beds down.
THE BEDS ARE COMFORTABLE AND EVEN WHEN THEY ARE DOWN THERE IS A FEW FEET OF WIDTH BESIDE THEM TO GET UP AND DOWN IN THE NIGHT
A LADDER ALLOWS THE PERSON ON THE TOP BUNK EASY ACCESS UP AND DOWN
In general, the sleeping arrangements were quite comfortable. One of the only challenges is that the light in the bathroom can not be shut off and so if someone gets up in the night and opens the door to the bathroom … the cabin is flooded with light. The doors to the bathrooms also have stiff fasteners on them and to get them open you have to use quite a bit of force (they have a kick-plate on the bottom) so it is hard to open them quietly. We traveled on through the night and as we slept the storm swept past us. By morning, the skies were clear. We had an early breakfast and then decided to try our next adventure … showering in a moving train.
SHOWERING IN A MOVING TRAIN IS MADE EASIER BY THE FACT THAT THE BATHROOM IS SMALL, MAKING IT HARDER TO FALL OVER AS THE TRAIN ROCKS BACK AND FORTH.
In the above picture you can see the hose for the shower and the white dial that controls temperature. When the door is closed (and it has a lip) the bathroom is well sealed and as you stand in the corner, the water drains out of the drain in the floor. To shower you set your water temperature and press the button beside the white dial and it gives you 20 seconds of water and then shuts off. The shower head is a small wand at the end of the hose that has a reasonable amount of water pressure, but the holes on the wand are small, so the volume of water isn’t huge. So you shower in stages. First you get wet (20 seconds). Then you shampoo and soap up (as long as you like). Then you rinse (20 seconds) Then you press the button again to get more of the soap off (20 seconds). Then you press the button a third time to continue rinsing (20 seconds). Repeat appropriately depending on how much soap you used in the first place and how much patience you have. Then you get out your towel and dry off. Or I suppose you could use the provided hair dryer. The shower actually worked out quite well. The water was hot and it provided an ample shower after a long day on the train. I suppose for people who like long hot showers this would not be the best, but you can press the button as many times as you like and get your water in 20 second spurts.
NEW BRUNSWICK WAS COVERED IN SNOW, BUT THE ICE WAS BEGINNING TO MELT
After our showers, we dressed and went back to the dome car. It was a snowy sight. We made our way through New Brunswick and spent some of our time in the observation car, some of our time in our cabin and of course our meal times (breakfast and lunch) were in the dining car. The nice thing about train travel is that unlike a plane, there are different places you can spend time and you can get up and stretch your legs.
WHILE WE MADE OUR WAY EAST, THE TRACKS STAYED BEHIND TO CARRY OTHER PASSENGERS ON FUTURE TRIPS
The scenery along the way was mostly tree and rock. The train follows a direct path, sometimes along the highway, sometimes wandering in isolation, but generally encountering towns every 15 or 20 minutes. We arrived in Halifax about 45 minutes later than scheduled on a sunny evening. Arthur Smith was our host, and he picked up up and then we went for a delicious dinner and night time tour of Halifax. The following day we toured other areas near the harbour of Halifax and then headed out to see Arthur’s River House and enjoy some quiet time away from the city. We didn’t take a lot of pictures, but here is a sense of our time there.
PETE PREPARES TO ENTER THE RIVER HOUSE, A BEAUTIFUL HOME ON THE TIDNISH RIVER THAT OUR FRIEND HAD BUILT
PETE WARMS HIS HANDS AT THE FIRE. THE TEMPERATURES WERE COOL
We spent Saturday exploring the roads in the area and enjoying the countryside. Our travels allowed us to explore more of the coastal areas on our return trip to the city.
THE ATLANTIC OCEAN ON A CLEAR SUNNY DAY
On Sunday we visited with friends at brunch. All too soon it was time to return to Toronto by plane. We had a week to prepare for our next adventure … rehearsals on our show in Calgary
CALGARY WAS CALLING … AS WERE THOSE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
But that is a story for another day. In the meantime, we hope you have enjoyed our four part blog on train travels between Toronto and Halifax. Until our next blog, we wish you joy and the opportunity to do what you love most.
FENTON & WHITE