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?