I was as excited as Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones in Sex & the City to board my overnight train. Although, my expectations were much different than their “Some Like It Hot” romantic vision.
I knew that the showers spray from over the toilet seat and that bunk beds pull out from the benches, but I didn’t expect party time in the dining car. I did enjoy the champagne-in-a-plastic-cup welcome, mimosas in the viewing car, hanging in the lounge with a few fun strangers after dinner, and meeting a cute male employee. I definitely had it better than Carrie and Samantha.
Train Travel in Canada
I was on board VIA Rail’s Ocean Train* from Montreal to Halifax, the longest running route in Canada. My cabin looked exactly the same as the one Carrie and Samantha boarded in Sex & the City, except I was welcomed with water, chocolates, trail mix, a towel/shampoo/lotion bag, and VIA destinations magazine. I was all set.
After a good meal in the dining car, I watched as Sherry, an attendant, pulled out my bed and got it prepared for sleeping. I fell asleep to the periodic lights passing by and the movement of the train.
In the early morning, I watched the sunrise from the comfort of my bed, then closed the window covering and slept in until the last call for breakfast.
The adventure of the day was having a shower. Last night, I chatted with a young boy who couldn’t believe that the shower was overtop of the toilet. When I told him that the entire washroom gets wet when you shower, he looked at me incredulously: “No way!”
It’s not easy manoeuvring a handheld showerhead on a moving train while lathering up shampoo in a washroom smaller than a European lift.
That’s one of the joys of travelling by train, though: not only is it more environmentally friendly and like a step back in time, but even the most mundane things (like taking a shower, going to bed and watching the scenery go by) becomes fun again.
Read other posts on train travel here.
*Sponsored by VIA Rail