Crid's 1999 Grand Tour of Canada

3 weeks travelling by train from Toronto to Vancouver

Toronto - Winnipeg - Edmonton - Jasper - Kamloops - Vancouver

Day 13 (Thursday) - Edmonton + VIA Rail Economy + Jasper (Angels on Aspen B&B)

Up at around 8 this morning for breakfast.  Vance arrived around 8.20, which gave him enough time for breakfast too.  Put my boots in the trash because they aren't worth repairing (it would cost half the value of the boots to repair them), and I'd rather not waste the space in my crammed rucksack.

Goodbyes were said.  Vance's mum took a photograph of us outside the house before we left.

The train was about 15 minutes late.  Baggage was checked in beforehand.  It's a shame to be leaving Edmonton, but I'll be back!

Economy class is pretty good.  The name really doesn't do it justice.  I wish the plane had been this comfortable.  Lots of legroom, reclining seats, fold-out leg rests.  Very comfortable.

The journey was pretty flat for a while.  Then we got a few big lakes and trees - like Ontario.  Then the Rockies.

In fact, there are some big hills before you reach the mountains.  But the Rockies are pretty unmistakable.

Jasper is something else.  It's a pretty normal looking town, but the scenery is amazing.  Somehow the two don't seem to look quite right together, not that I'm complaining.

Baggage took an eternity to arrive.  Over half an hour.  The main reason for that was that lots of people got off at Jasper.  Presumably lots of them are planning to pick up the Rocky Mountaineer.

The B&B was easy to find, although I think I will use a taxi when I leave - it's a bit further from the station than I had expected.  Only a problem when I'm carrying my bags though.

Jasper has a lot of souvenir shops, which I guess is to be expected.  It's not too touristy though (certainly not compared to somewhere like Niagara town, which is incredibly tacky).  There are a surprising number of places to eat too - certainly not as few as my guidebook had suggested.

I found a nice restaurant called L&W near the edge of town.  Mainly Italian and Greek food.  I had a pasta dish, pretty much like Carbonara.  Nice.

There are a lot of English people here compared to everywhere else I have been.  Presumably Jasper is more of a holiday destination than places like Winnipeg and Edmonton.

The B&B is nice.  A single room with shared bathroom.  The owners were out when I arrived, but they had left me a note telling me where I needed to go.  All the normal conveniences - kettle, TV, shared fridge if I need it.

My only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that I feel the owners of the B&B have gone a bit overboard with the "Angels on Aspen" theme.  There are angels everywhere!  There are no less than nine pictures of angels in my room, along with bedside lamps with angels on them, and even a flower holder on top of the television set with angels on it.  Slightly obsessive, I feel.

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