genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Our Canadian Adventure - The Blog (page 3)


And now to Whistler (28th and 29th June)

Arrived at the Rocky Mountaineer train station at some unearthly hour ...... but at least the sun is shining and it is warm ! Everything was well organised and we were soon in our seats enjoying a meandering journey along tree lined tracks waving to the passers by who waved at us. After a while we reached lovely Horseshoe Bay and made our way along the 40 odd miles of the Howe Sound, with snow capped mountains on either side.  

Our guide invited us to go into the observation car, which is an open, stand up carriage, where you can take photos at the 'must see' places.  The train slows to a near stop at each of these, the first of which is a large waterfall whose spray is rather refreshing on a muggy morning.  At the village of Squamish we picked up a young First Nations lad who came on board to tell us the story of his nation and to sing a couple of native songs.  After this, the scenery gets more and more spectacular with a magnificent set of rapids, another large waterfall and a huge canyon ...... each of which are breathtaking.  After 73.7 miles we reach Whistler.  

Our hotel is The Fairmont Chateau which is a on the mountainside above Whistler Village.  Having refreshed, we walk down in to the Village to check out some of the touristy shops.  Whistler was the host to the 2010 Winter Olympics and everywhere you go you see the five Olympic rings.  It was overcast and slightly drizzly so we decided to not go on the gondola rides and hope that tomorrow will bring better weather to enable us to see the peaks. Much excitement as a real Mountie rides past on his horse, with a Mountie dog in tow ...... each stopping at regular intervals for photo opportunities !

Had dinner at the Grill Bar in the Chateau, one of three restaurants of differing price levels - this was mid tier.  The highlight for me was the starter I chose which comprised Pemberton Gin and tomato soup made at the table.  The mixture went into a frying pan, a flame was lit, and a huge flame rose to the ceiling !  Delicious.

It was a good job we saved the best until the following day, as Saturday turned into the first day of summer with temperatures over 80 degrees.  After breakfast and a Skype to the kids at home, we went down to the village and went on the Peak to Peak Gondola Ride which comprised of a gondola up Whistler mountain and then another gondola, this time glass bottomed, to Blackcomb mountain.  The weather can only be described as "HOT", which at over 6,000 feet, surrounded by snow, was surreal.  Beautiful scenery which we tried to capture with photos and video, but will not do justice to the place.  

Before long we had to get back to the hotel to catch our coach for the short trip to the station, which is in old Whistler.  As Monday is Canada Day and this is Canada weekend, a lot of local Vancouvians and other Canadians are taking a break and were staying on the mountain, so our Rocky Mountaineer train back was only just over two thirds full going down the mountain.


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