This is definitely a warning, and not a danger, but I feel I must mention it because many people who come from parts of the world where train travel is cheap, fast, and reliable tend to come to Canada with the same expectations. However, in Canada, train travel is basically a novelty. It's one of the most expensive and slowest ways to travel in Canada. Canada is geographically so massive, and there's such a sparse population, train travel isn't really convenient. There is no equivalent to the European train system in Canada.
First, trains are predominantly used for transporting cargo in Canada. Thus, cargo trains get first priority on the tracks. This often results in passenger trains having to wait before cargo trains clear. This can often take hours, resulting in unreliable time schedules.
Second, the cities and towns serviced by trains are few and far between. There really aren't that many stops. As well, VIA Rail, Canada's national passenger railway, is really the only option if you want to travel by train across Canada, and the trains don't depart every day. If you're on a tight schedule, plane travel is always faster, and sometimes even cheaper!
Finally, the trains are great from getting you from town to town, but they're not ideal for experiencing the wilderness, famous for Canada. The only train that focuses on the scenery is the Rocky Mountaineer and Whistler Mountaineer. They're both luxury passenger trains and cost a small fortune. These are not every-day commuter trains but are equivalent to cruise ships on rail - definitely not for those on a budget.
All in all, while travelling Canada by train makes for a unique experience, it's not going to be the fastest, cheapest or most convenient.
This is a warning, not a danger.
If you are planning on travelling in the economy section of the trans-continental train because you want to see the scenery, DON'T DO IT!
The seats are all but impossible to sleep in, you will get dehydrated overnight because of the air conditioning, and you will see very little scenery. The restaurant food is expensive but nice (it is very overpriced in the cafeteria bit for the lower classes) but too much for three days straight. You stop a few times but there is very little time to go and buy food so I reccommend you take some with you.
For three days all you will do is be bored and look out of the window. I would recommend getting a flight instead and doing a small tour with the money you save.
We all know that this is a "No No" but some of us still do it.
There may be several reasons for this but none are good ones I suppose.
The location of this place seemed like the North end of town, ask a local.
As soon as you leave the immigration area in terminal 2, you will see a money exchange. I needed a little money just in case I needed a hamburger. Usually, I charge everything, but I decided to exchange 20 USD at this exchange. The bad exchange rate and service fee resulted in me getting 20.80 Canadian dollars! The official rate is much better.
On leaving the country, there is another money exchanger in the duty free area. Since I didn't use the 20 Canadian I got on arrival, I decided to exchange it just to see what I would net. The answer is 13 US dollars!
These are incredibly bad exchange rates. Please, avoid the money exchange in the airport. If we all boycott it, maybe they will get the hint.
I have been asked about the safety of winter driving in Canada. I tend to think one can head out in Canadian winters, as long as you are careful. My wife hates the inconveniences of long distance road travel in winter.
I would never road travel in winter without being prepared for the possibility of driving off the road and have to spend a good number of hours (maybe overnight) in your vehicle. That means we travel with a cell phone, a whole lot of extra blankets, with shovels, with the vehicle's tank at last half-full of fuel, and we listen to local weather reports. Plus if it looks like a storm is brewing, we tend to get off the highway (into a motel) pretty early (the later you leave it, the harder it is to find a room). Also, I would never make such a trip without getting a garage to give your vehicle the once-over -- nothing worse than loosing your alternator in mid-trip, and we always put some gas-line antifreeze in the car before the trip (our gas line froze on one trip).
Our normal yearly winter drive is across the prairies from Winnipeg to Calgary, and over the past 30 years, we have been forced to seek shelter in motels about five times, white-knuckled driven about five times (white-knuckle driving is when you can barely see the road, and you drive hunched over the steering wheel, adrenalin pumping, etc.), and only slipped off the road once.
As long as you are aware of and plan for the risks, I would drive. Cost-wise it depends on how much 'luggage' you need to take with you. If you do not need a lot of luggage, we have found that two people flying is approx the same as two people driving. This is when cheaper flights are available of course. It doesn't work at Christmas time when the airfare for one person will cover gas and maintenance for your vehicle.
When you're visiting the Rockies (ie: Banff & Jasper), be alert for wildlife, especially elk! Elk seem to be the popular mountain animal in town - they're literally everywhere! Please remember that elk are wild animals. They're unpredictable. If you come too close, they could charge you and could fatally wound you. It's best to stay in your car and view from the windows. Whatever you do, please don't feed the wildlife, elk or otherwise. Feeding them only encourages them to hang out in populated areas which is usually more fatal for them than it is for us.
We had over 8 elk outside out condo the last day we were there. they were just begging for food.
After Stormy Weather The Tower Sheds Ice
The Light Stuff Sailed All The Way To The Harbour The Big Stuff could Kill you and was Landing at The Steam Whistle Brewery.
There Were Local Police Warning Folks And
Local Folk Not Getting IT.
Sometimes visitors, especially of the American persuasion, visit Canada and say certain things that really aggravate us Canadians. Here are some examples:
• This Canadian money is soooo cute. It reminds me of Monopoly money!
• I’m surprised to hear that you don’t add “eh” to the end of every sentence.
• I see a lot of modern buildings all around, but where are your igloos?
My travel tip/warning if you like is about photography,and the developing of on holiday.
We've all done it before,taken a ton of shots and been loaded up with film,so rather then lug it about the rest of the way we find the nearest photo place and drop them off.
Well never again here.
THE SHUTTER SHACK,rupert square shopping centre,prince rupert,BC Canada V8J 3T6.
I had to have the whole lot 17 films re done back home the developing was very very poor. AVOID.
Be prepared for some snow when you visit Ontario in the winter! This picture was taken in Stayner, the village where I used to live, on 30th January, 2003. It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I went out to take some pictures of the snow covered landscape. Hahaha, but the sandbanks were so high I couldn't look over them any more :-)) This is what they call an old-fashioned Canadian winter :-) Not all of Ontario is this snow-covered though. I lived about 1 1/2 north of Toronto in an area also known as the snow-belt. Hahaha, I guess that name explains why there is so much snow here at times ;-)
Musquito : they can be a real bother! So always take your repellent with you! I got the most bothered by musquito's in the forest and early in the evening. Wow, do those creatures like me! Hmmmm, not so pleased with that!
This is what happened on Prince Edward Island. We parked our car at our campsite, opened the doors and there they were..... waiting for us!!!
You could hear them zooming... I think they were zooming cheerfully 'lunch! lunch! lunch!'... And I have the strong suspicion that they were refering to us!!! Hahaha. So I got out of the car, and ran for the insect repellant. That did help a bit, but I could still see those musquito eyes staring at me..... and hear them think.... beware if that repellant wears off, then I consider you my dinner! Hahaha, so we took some drastic measures and went out for dinner ourselves, so they wouldn't eat us alive at the campsite :-)
Perhaps it's just because I'm from the Southwest United States, but I find Canadian food to be extremely bland. After my first trip, I always make certain I bring some tabasco and other seasonings with me. In Canada don't count on a restaurant being able to provide them for you! They may not even have them.
Those tractor-trailer rigs do NOT slow down, so watch out for damage to your windshields and headlamps from flying rocks. In 2001, when we drove it, the northern portion of the highway was being widened, thus traffic would slow a bit--but dust made visibility difficult 'til it blew away.
Canada is a big country. If you travel from a big city to another big city (or just between 2 cities), it is a long way. You make quite a lot of kilometers. It is necessary to have a car to move around.
Warning: Canada is much bigger than you imagine! DO NOT think you can possibly see everything this country has to offer in 1 or 2 trips here!
Don't generalize it, if you've been to the west coast, don't assume you have any idea what the east coast looks like- because it's completely different!
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