This is just a quick post, but I had to mention how much I loved this experience. I love going on trains abroad — those double-decker trains that trundle all over Europe, the super-slow train that trundles through the Tuscan countryside, even the Eurostar. Travelling by train in the UK doesn’t quite have the same mystery and excitement as doing so in other countries, perhaps because those journeys tend to be pretty… functional.
As you might imagine, when I found out I would be travelling by train through Canada I got disproportionately excited, and the whole experience from beginning to end was just wonderful. We started with an almost comically formal safety briefing, akin to the kind you’d be treated to on a flight, before rolling out of Montreal on our VIA Rail train.
We travelled in business class, settling back in large reclining seats watching the countryside zip by. The service for the whole of the three-hour journey was wonderful. I sipped a gin and tonic before being served a hot lunch with wine.
Free Wi-Fi aside, the VIA Rail experience felt very retro-lux. It was all very civilised and olde worlde — even more so when we approached Quebec City. The iconic Chateau Frontenac where we would be staying that night grew closer and closer, poised nobly over the old town. Even the station we arrived into was incredibly quaint. Quebec City had a charm all of its own and as such it deserves its own post.
I’m determined that this won’t be the last time I travel through North America by train and I’ve got my eye on a few journeys through Europe as well. First up is this trip between Oslo and Bergen. Watch this space!
I was in Canada on a trip with KLM and Air France and my trip on VIA Rail was complementary, but views, as always, are 100 percent my own.