Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill

Tripoto
7th Mar 2014

Graceful wildness!

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

They glide in beauty!

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

Delicious, scrumptious

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

The stamp of pride

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

Restful and beautiful Pas

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

End of a hectic day in Bear's Den B&B

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

Homely Blue Sky Bed and Sled

Photo of Riding through Canada: A train to Churchill by Pamela Macnaughtan

Trains have been synonymous in my mind from a very young age as discovery in movement and Technicolor, yet with the excitement of ‘you blink and you miss’! Travel through the open spaces in Canada becomes positively elemental when one takes a train to Manitoba. Starting out from Winnipeg, VIA Rail provides excellent service for the romantic traveler to the land of the Polar Bear in Churchill, Manitoba.

Canadians are renowned for their love of open spaces and nature and this journey through rail will never disappoint the romantic wanderer, who does make use of the comforts provided by VIA Rail. Cabins are available for a single person. These are at times quite claustrophobic and go against the grain of the idea of open spaces, yet need must when the need arises. However, there are cabins for two and three which are perfect for traveling with friends and family. They are provided with amenities and food. Cigarettes or smoking of any kind is strictly prohibited in Canada, so smokers beware! Apart from that, food can be stocked up before the journey and at The Pas (the train has a 5 hour stop there if it’s on time). But after The Pas it’s a road to discovery. After all, one never gets tired of the bold, beautiful and gorgeous, does one? As a matter of fact, it’s almost mandatory for clicking pictures all the way.

Once reaching there one is sharply reminded that Churchill is in northern Manitoba, just off the Hudson Bay. Chilled winds will never fail to remind one that, whatever be the time of the year, it's best to have warmers handy. As for saying there is no dearth of good places to stay there although during the season one might have to shell out 100 bucks more. Places like Bear Country Inn provide adequate rooms for staying and so does the Tundra Inn. Also the Bears’ Den B&B provides a very satisfactory experience. However, for a truly lovely home experience one should try the Blue Sky Bed and Sled. Yet connectivity is a bit dicey. Only MTS connections work in Churchill. But isn’t the essence of going on a trip to remain incommunicado as long as possible (or till your boss finds out!). 

Now comes the main part of the trip. Anticipation is really met when one sees beluga whales gliding through the clear waters through a Whale watching tour. A closer look can be definitely arranged through snorkeling. This is certainly not an opportunity to miss. Whale touring, however, happens only during the months of July and August. Not to be outdone, the Polar Bears are not far behind in October and November. Climbing onto a tundra buggy makes one see them in style. This does not come cheap and one has to shell out 400 CAD. But then whales and bears- could a trip get more exciting?

Ending this trip to Churchill with a passport stamp of a polar bear and a final meal at the Gypsy’s bakery is ending it with a bang. The return journey home by train will definitely be a honeyed nostalgia full of bears and whales, and definitely of a pastry from the bakery. Going to Churchill is sure to be one of the most memorable trips. Wildlife, nature and good food will linger for long in memory and be a definite advantage in the dreary office afternoon within close cubicles.
Photo of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada by Pamela Macnaughtan
Photo of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada by Pamela Macnaughtan
Photo of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada by Pamela Macnaughtan
Having read about the history of Manitoba, a traveler would definitely find things of interest there - be it the trappers festivals or the fact that it is known as 'the gateway to the north'. On the other hand, the trappers festivals bring back a a feeling of time travel by harking back to a past with dog sledding and moose calling. This is certainly a vast improvement on the honking of cars in a busy metropolitan road! on the way to Churchill its already a foretaste of the adventures to begin.
Photo of The Pas, Manitoba, Canada by Pamela Macnaughtan
Photo of The Pas, Manitoba, Canada by Pamela Macnaughtan
The Tundra Inn provided a nice and cozy corner for us to tuck in after a long day of adventure in the sub-arctic region of Churchill. Good food and good rooms made our stay all the better.
Photo of Tundra Inn, Franklin Street, Churchill, MB, Canada by Pamela Macnaughtan
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