VIA's OCEAN Train is one of the world's iconic rail experiences.
Forget your inhibitions of taking a journey by train. Try it once and you'll agree: riding the rails makes getting there half the fun, especially if you opt for the domed car with panoramic windows and private sleeping accommodations.
In a world of iconic train rides, VIA's OCEAN Train between Montreal and Halifax rates sensational status. Rolling out of Montreal's urbane hub, crossing bridges over water to landscapes that vary from gentle fields to dense wildernesses fragrant with pines to meadows rich with wildflowers and agriculture to the historic maritime city of Halifax, is a journey into memorable scenes and experiences.
Imagine nestling into a cushy seat under a glassy dome, seeing the scenery change as daylight darkens to night, revealing stars against the indigo sky before you tuck into a cozy sleep, then waking to see hills and lakes swathed in a rosy glow from the rising sun. To call the ride beautiful understates the views, and the feelings it arouses - of appreciation for the vast and beautiful land of Canada - as the train whizzes along the rails.
Traveling with friends, my journey on the OCEAN was loaded with fun and laughter. Hearing scene-by-scene explanations of our locations - from a cheery steward who served up sparkling wine and snacks - added fascinating context to our trip. Having a family with young children in our car magnified our pleasure, as we shared their joy while spotting animals and snapping shots of the train as it snaked through green forests.
We'll never forget pulling into Halifax Station, the sense of arriving at the place where many immigrants first enter Canada. That prompted us to take our first excursion to Pier 21 Canada Immigration Museum. Mind you, we did digress first to Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery to celebrate our journey with a pint of hearty brew.
Halifax proved to be more exciting than we anticipated. Harbour cruises, museums of worldly importance, crystal and craft shops, and of course, delicious local fish and seafood.
Absolutely worth the rail journey on VIA's Ocean.
I hope you'll find inspiration for your own journey by viewing my own pictures alongside this story, and by reading my blog below @ http://bit.ly/eLrUmf
For information on VIA's Ocean Train visit http://www.viarail.ca
Halifax Station is linked to the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, a convenient, welcoming and comfortable hotel. www.thewestin.com/Halifax