Good nights sleep but wake at 4.15 - obviously don’t trust our alarms to do the job! Forgot to say but our room was again opposite the lifts, had rather noisy plumming (especially a couple of rooms down), it sounded like a wall was about to fall down when the a/c kicked in and immediately outside our window was housed one of the hotels a/c ‘boxes’.
Anyway we set off the the second & last day on the RM train. We were told the scenery would be more stunning than yesterday’s which turned out to be so true. We certainly knew what to expect food, drink and services wise (all first class) and as I covered this yesterday I won’t repeat myself!
I managed to get a picture of the train itself today so this starts the slide show. Rather than give you chapter & verse about today’s journey, have decided it is probably better to let the pictures tell the stories themselves as best they can throughout the day. I have tried try to ‘cherry pick’ what I think are relevant or of interest from the 70+ taken! On the subject of taking photos, I lost count of the potential brilliant shots lost before trees, tunnels etc. got in the way.
In fact, one tunnel we passed through was over 5 miles long and took us an eternity to clear it seemed (in its day it was the longest in North America). Also, just before Lake Louise we cross the continental divide which determines whether the rivers flow to the Pacific or the Atlantic (learnt this today) and the clocks skip forward 1 hour as a consequence.
Something else I learnt is that the freight trains take precedence over all on the railways in Canada. In a fit of weakness I decided to count the number of rolling stock these involved on one train. Well, I gave up at 150 but was only a few more. Someone else counted another with 137. I win - how sad is that?
Forgot to mention - today we saw our first clouds in Canada! Also the group are now connecting much better and Jen & I are really enjoying the company of the mother & daughter (Val & Nicole) from the Melbourne area.
Arrive at Banff and get our coach to our hotel. Liking the look of both the town and the hotel, except can’t get into the room with either pass card but sorted quickly. We are not having the best of luck with our hotel rooms to date - what next!!!! Well, next was I couldn’t get into my suitcase as the padlock is broken. As hotel maintenance are not back in until tomorrow, reception suggest I go to the local gararge to see if they could help. The garage guy lends me a robust set of pincers. They work, thankfully, so I return them and slip him a few dollars for helping.
By now it is past 9 at night so after returning to the hotel, have our usual solitary nightcap in the bar (accompanied by the local mossies - Jen bitten at least twice but I’m OK) & then to bed.
Reminder - 2 new suitcase padlocks tomorrow then!