Crid's 1999 Grand Tour of Canada
3 weeks travelling by train from Toronto to VancouverToronto - Winnipeg - Edmonton - Jasper - Kamloops - Vancouver
Day 9 (Sunday) - Winnipeg (Twin Pillars B&B) + VIA Rail (Silver & Blue)Yet another nice breakfast. Fresh fruit, croissants, scone, tea. Lovely.
Since my train didn't leave until 6pm, I was able to have a fairly lazy day. The owner very kindly let me use the room until it was time to go (around 4.30). I packed everything up and then went for a walk down to The Forks. I had planned to walk along the river like I did on Thursday, but the river was high and the path was closed (well, it was under water).
The Forks was more lively today. A local radio station was holding an outside broadcast there. Bought a few postcards in the Johnson Terminal (since I don't have a camera with me) and a Winnipeg T-Shirt.
In the railway station (which is next to The Forks) I found a railway museum which I wandered around for a while. Then I headed towards Eaton Place for one final wander around the shops (Eaton Place and Portage Place) before heading back towards the B&B.
Before going to the B&B I wandered a bit further down the main road to see what else was there. The shops end pretty much at the road the B&B is in, although I did find a very small park where the streetcar (I don't think they call them trams in Canada) track used to end. The shelter there has been renovated and there are some information signs giving a brief history.
Winnipeg has been fun. When I was travelling on the train from Toronto I was a bit nervous about visiting Winnipeg alone. Now I'm glad I did it. Winnipeg wasn't nearly as scary as I had expected. Why I should have expected it to be is a bit of a mystery - probably just because it's a "city", although it's not really that big a place.
This afternoon it decided to rain. I've been pretty lucky with the weather here though - it's only rained the afternoon I arrived and today. It didn't rain while I was in downtown (although even if it had, I could just have used the covered walkways to get about).
The train was about an hour and a half late into Winnipeg. I had originally intended to let Vance know if the train was running late, but he told me that he could look it up on the net (isn't modern technology wonderful?). Loading the train took a while, because just about everybody got off the train to take a quick look around. (The train stops for an hour, so there's time for people to do that). The result of this is that they have to load an entire train with passengers. Still, Silver & Blue passengers get on first. <grin>
The prairies in Manitoba are very, very flat. Imagine Romney Marsh, or Norfolk, or Holland. Then multiply it several hundred times. I didn't get much chance to film it, since dinner was served pretty much as soon as we got going. I'm not surprised, since they were running late and they weren't going to serve it until after we left Winnipeg. That means nobody has eaten since lunchtime, and by this time it was around 7.30.
I joined two elderly American men and a German woman for dinner. Not a lot of conversation - everybody was too busy eating. This was the first dinner sitting, so I dread to think how hungry the people on the second sitting were. I had a very nice chicken in lemon and mushroom sauce, and an equally nice ice cream and pineapple sauce.
We were reminded before going to bed that we are changing timezones overnight, so we should put our clocks back an hour.