Travelogues of Jim Robertson

Please pardon the lack of formatting in these travelogues. I have had a lot of work to do over the last several weeks, both for the Amtrak Pages and for my regular work. The only hope of clearing out the backlog is to post these pages "as is" without taking the time to correct any format problems. I do plan to go back and restructure this particular set of travelogues into seperate web pages since there are so many all grouped together on this one page. I'll do that when time permits.
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 02:08:34 -0400
From: (Jim Robertson)
Subject: Talgo trip


Went from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. today northbound on the Mount Baker
International. The train was the best I have ever been on! The Bistro menu is
great, the service outstanding, and the food reasonably priced. I ate the
Strata breakfast and had coffee and the bill was $8.15. Not at all bad
considering that the breakfast includes juice, a fresh fruit cup, the entree,
and a nice muffin.

The Chief of On Board Services on this train, Ron Shipley was a most
congenial individual and truly appeared to enjoy his work and was most
helpful and informative. Upon arrival in Vancouver, the train is backed into
the station, and it is a long trip backing in, about 3 to 5 minutes! I am
traveling with luggage and Red Cap service was provided at Vancouver Station
by VIA Rail Canada. In Seattle one of the Amtrak Red Caps saw me with a
luggage cart and told me that she would load my luggage into the 35 car as
this car has plenty of space for luggage. This was very nice of the Amtrak

Seats are assigned prior to boarding in Seattle and people traveling
together, are kept together. The seating is two seats on one side and one
seat on the other side. The seats are much more comfortable than the Super
Liner seats. The cars were also spotless!

The Pacific Central Station in Vancouver is beautiful, clean, and well
organized. I was going on to Victoria so I went to Pacific Coach Lines to
purchase the ticket. A round trip ticket, including the ferry fare is $43,
Canadian currency. It is about an hour's drive to the ferry terminal in
Tsawwassen, an hour and a half on the ferry, and about 35 minutes from the
Sidney ferry terminal to the end of the line in Victoria.

By the way, while on the Talgo train, I was shown the sleeping cars. Far
superior to the present Amtrak sleepers! Too bad all Amtrak cars are not
Talgo cars!

More later,


Date: Tuesday, September 17, 1996  4:39pm                     Electronic Mail
From:                                    Msg#: 1064835
  To: Steveg
  Re: More of my trip journal!

Hi Steve,

I guess by this time you are sick of reading about my trip, but I will write
more now. To get back to Seattle for a moment, if you enjoy things like
visiting a winery, I highly recommend that you visit the Chateau Ste.
Michelle, it is a little out of the city and you would need a rental car. My
Godson is living in Federal Way, so he was my driver. We first went to
Snoqualmie Falls, which is only ten feet shorter than Niagara Falls, and is
absolutely beautiful. If you remember the TV program from a few years ago,
Twin Peaks, most of it was filmed at the Lodge at the Falls. The Lodge serves
an outstanding Sunday Brunch.

After our visit to the Falls, we went to the winery in Woodinville. By the
way there is also a dinner train that operates inn the area in case you are
interested in that. On the way into the Falls there are some old railroad
cars that have been restored. One is even an old U.S. Army hospital car or
something like that. There are also many old junk steam locos there just
rotting away. I think that this is a shame and someone should restore them. I
have no idea what they are doing just sitting there rotting away.

Of the cities of Vancouver and Victoria, I like Victoria the best. I bought a
ticket from Vancouver to Victoria on the Pacific Coach Lines. The round trip
ticket includes the ferry trip. The trip is delightful. I enjoyed the ferry
ride, which was about an hour and a half in duration, and the food served on
the ferry was better than I was expecting.

On BC Transit, an all day pass can be purchased for $5. I bought this pass
this morning to take the bus from downtown Victoria to Butchart Gardens. The
Butchart Gardens are absolutely beautiful. I have never seen so many
different flowers in one place on this earth! There are many nice hotels all
over downtown Victoria to stay in. I am staying at the Strathcona Hotel,
which has a rate of $50 per day and it is centrally located. The rooms are
adequate, and there are plenty of restaurants in the area.

To get to just about anywhere on Vancouver Island there is public
transportation. I have only used a taxi to get from the Victoria Bus Station
to the hotel because of the fact that I had so much luggage.

This is all that I have to write for now, more to follow later!


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