Monday, October 13, 2008

the train ride

We finally have good internet I'm back to update on the last few days. The train ride was good. As I tried to show in the photos I posted, there was lots of beautiful scenery. Taking pictures from the moving train with my iPhone was both a challenge, a constant experiment and a mystery. With the delay on the camera, it was impossible to shoot exactly what you were seeing (and wanted a picture of) I had to try to predict what you were going to be seeing next -- and I'm not a psychic! Too much foliage in the foreground led to blurred images, plus the constantly changing speeds of the train were difficult to guage...and too fast often meant blurry images, too. In the end what I found worked the best was to take a series of photos and choose the one I liked the most (since there is no good option that I'm aware of to edit the photos on the iPhone - without importing them to your computer).

We were very happy that we chose a sleeping cabin, and do not begrudge the extra fare to do so. Not only did this give us some privacy and peace between Montreal and Nova Scotia, the ability to have a shower in the morning was really great. Even though it was pretty tight in our cubicle, we were able to stand up to have a shower. In the main compartment, the ability to lie down and get snuggled in more of a real bed helped us to be able to rest much better. I fell asleep quite easily, but jostling of the train woke me abruptly, after only 40 minutes or so (although it felt at the time like I had been sleeping for the majority of the night). I was up for an hour or so after that, and then got the idea to start listening to my iPod. The train does rattle at random (and frequent) intervals...which can be jarring, but the music helped to distract me.

The only downside was the food. We are curious to see what it's like on our return home (when we're travelling "Easterly Class"). There were only two choices for this trip though: instant oatmeal, yogourt and toast OR scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. I wish I'd chosen the first selection. I have never before seen sausages like those - 1 part meat, 1 part cardboard, and 1 part rubber....and all gross. It did look like the food in Easterly class is different, so we're keeping our fingers crossed. One last comment about the food on the train - offering tuna and crackers on the concession cart is bad enough, but ordering it is even worse - the smell wafts quickly and lingers long after...yuck! Thanks to the stranger in the red polo shirt, I was almost sick...

Tips for future train travellers: bring your own blowdryer, try to take your shower when the train is stopped at a station, bring snacks and if you're not used to sleeping with ear plugs, bring your iPod, and don't order the tuna!