…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menotripsical; BAR and Beyond - A Long Day's Night

June 24th dawned and it was time to load up again. After a leisurely breakfast, sitting with Jenn on the back deck, we piled into their car and headed for Ottawa; stopping at The Swan on the Rideau for an early lunch. We sat on the back patio and I had the very excellent bocconcini and tomato salad with a side of sweet potato fries. We arrived at the VIA rail station with ample time to get a drink and little farewell chat out of the way before the inevitable moment of parting. Fond farewells once again and it was 'aaaalllll aaabbboooaarrrdddd!!!" I was off on an adventure within the adventure!

From Ottawa to Montreal was a standard trip (about 2 hours) and the train was packed like sardines! There was a group of bachelor party revellers who all, apparently, needed to take multiples of "allergy medication" along with their several beers and spirits. Planning what to do once they hit the hotels in Montreal. Wonder if they got home safely...

Montreal rail station had a problem. It required going up a level without any lift or escalator. There were several off us caught off-guard on this. However, it must be said, the staff were very helpful and it was a relatively painless experience. There was a 'lounge' for those of us on the sleeper, with free drinks and snacks and a generally comfy place to rest for the hour before boarding... then it was up onto the sleeper carriage of the very long train known as L'Ocean.

Cabins were compact but all one required for private travelling through amazing countryside - albeit half the time in the dark. The trip takes all but 24 hours, moving up through Quebec, round into New Brunswick and down into Nova Scotia. Am not going to list all the different stops and their relative infos - if you are really interested, this brochure, has the basics. It is worth a look! We set off on time at 7pm that evening. Shortly after roll-off, those of us who had elected for the first go at the diner (sleeper clients only - the standard travellers had to bring their own supplies) stumbled our way forward. There were plenty of solo travellers. Two elderly ladies and myself linked eyes and immediately decided to be dining companions. Lois and Audrey proved to be good conversationalists. There was only one vegetarian option on the menu - roast vege stack - but it was very tasty, as was the berry tart and cuppa which followed. The 'gals' and I enjoyed the sunset as we trundled along.

The cabins are all placed on side of the train which faces the water at all times - the St Lawrence River as we go North and into the night, the Gulf of St Lawrence and Northumberland Strait as we head East and South into the rising sun.

The bench bed drops down ready-made and the 'shower' is a hand-held nozzle which requires some acrobatics to use effectively in the no-elbow-room wet-cupboard. It served it's purpose though! Thank goodness I didn't decide to to wash my hair - that hair drying snake wouldn't have blown out a cake candle...

I switched off the lights and enjoyed the falling night. Sleep was sporadic. There was a long (maybe an hour) stop at Quebec... we crossed bridges in the wee small hours - light reflected in water (biggification required!)... there were several moments where I grabbed the back of the board for fear of falling on the floor. Thought the next day it would have been better to have the head to the window and the table up for a sense of bed security! Anyway, was much too excited to sleep properly, so rose at 5:30 in order to enjoy the sunrise.


  1. I have taken the train from Ottawa to Toronto and then on to Guelph but never further. I have always thought the train through the Rockies would be amazing, but most of the mountain time is over-night.
    Your room looks very cozy!

  2. What a beautiful trip, sleep or no.

  3. Hello, the train ride sounds interesting and fun. I love the views out the windows and the cute cabin. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  4. I like train trips a bit slow but you do see so much countryside, glad you enjoyed the food that always let you down in Australia, I take my own.

  5. We have never ridden a train and mom and dad only went on the commuter ones. BUTT mom always wondered about those cabins!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  6. Looks beautiful. There is something so calming about the lights on water at night. janice xx

  7. The overnight train trip looks like a wonderful experience. Did I read somewhere that there's a new generation of Caledonian Sleeping trains coming which will have showers too?
    PS As a regular on the East Coast line through Edinburgh and Newcastle, I am all to familiar with experiencing stag and hen parties on the train...

    1. Hari OM
      ...well I suppose one must be grateful they are not out behind the wheels of cars!!!

      Yes I believe such a phenomenon is coming to the Caledonian - do you, as I do, like to read The Man In Seat 61? Yxx

  8. oh sardines-trains are a challenge... but I liked the cabin, that looks good... even when the wind from the hair dryer was not even a f*rt :O)

  9. YaYa you need a gold medal for sleeping and trying to shower on the train.
    I would not have slept a wink..sometimes I don't even sleep well in my own bed.

    The sunset at supper was spectacular!!
    Hugs HiC and B-cat

  10. We still have a few trains in and out of Union Terminal and I have thought of taking the northern route through the Rockies would be a wonderful sight to see. I read you past post and got caught up on your trip.
    Sweet William The Scot

  11. You did well! Our kids took the train to N.S. to visit his mom. They had such fun! xx


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