If the train is a rocking hold on to your wine glass!
I’m headed to Ottawa. It is my first time and I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. Over the next 30 Days I am going to explore our nation’s capital and share with you some of the amazing experiences I have. People, attractions, restaurants, coffee shops, history and unique small businesses are all on my agenda to experience. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride with me as I explore 30 Days In Ottawa.
Like any trip away from home it all starts with how you get there. Even though I live in Vancouver my trip to Ottawa starts in Toronto thanks to the fabulous folks from VIA Rail. I’ve only travelled by train once before and that was when I was only 12 years old. I remember nothing of that trip needless to say.
It all begins at Union Station where I’m only 1 of the 250,000 people that travel through Union Station daily.
I met up with my fellow travellers (who you will all meet in a separate post) in the Panorama Lounge. If you travel first class on VIA Rail, and I highly recommend you do, the lounge is yours to enjoy complimentary. It was nice to arrive and settle in, grab a coffee, relax and chat with my fellow travellers before we boarded. It’s also a handy place to get some of those last minute emails off before you board thanks to complimentary WiFi.
A quick welcome from Malcolm Andrews our VIA Rail host and then it was time to board our train. Two tour hosts and 8 travel bloggers! Man I have a feeling this trip could get wild!
All board and we are ready to go. A five hour journey to Ottawa from Toronto, we are riding in style. Comfy seats with plenty of room and electrical outlets at each seat for laptops or phones. Complimentary WiFi is included and if you are like us and travelling in a group the seats can be configured so that you can face each other.
Voila! Now that we are cosy it’s time to select our meal which is included when you travel in first class. I choose the Butter Chicken. Cocktails and wine with the meals are also included at no additional cost.
I promise I am not being paid by VIA Rail but why you would choose to travel in economy when for only a 50% (avg) price increase you can travel in style and comfort. It seems like a no brainer to me. Plus there is tons of room to move around so you need not get cramped legs.
At our journeys end our host Jantine Van Kregten welcomed us to Ottawa with little gifts of maple syrup candies and a pedometer so we can log all our steps in this beautiful city.
I’ve arrived in Ottawa. The sun is shining, the air is clean and the politicians have all left for home, woohoo let’s get the tour on!
Have you ever travelled by train? What was your experience like? Is it on your bucket list? Let me know and I’m sure Malcolm & VIA Rail would love to hear from you on their Twitter account if you have some special memories of being on a train. Didn’t every little boy want to be a train conductor?
Next up on the journey I share my “home” for the first 2 nights in town. Great food, a special kitchen party and a bed that made me ignore my morning alarm. Here’s a teaser pic.