Canadian Rockies Via Rail Photo & Travelogue
Tour Name: Canadian Rockies VIA Rail
Tour Dates: July 15 – 22, 2023
Tour Director: Laura Bomberger
Tour Director Highlights:
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
From the vibrant beauty of Butchart Gardens to the grandeur of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the tranquil, turquoise lakes nestled in between, our trip put the powerful words of Psalm 95:1-5 into reality as we witnessed firsthand “the depths of the earth, the mountain peaks, and the seas that are in His hand.”
Our journey began with a picturesque ferry ride through the deep Pacific Ocean waters to Vancouver Island where we explored Butchart Gardens, a former limestone quarry transformed into an immaculate garden of color, texture, and intricate design. As we wandered through the gardens admiring the intricate landscaping that highlighted the beauty and individuality of each flower, my mind continued to reflect on our morning devotional and how we, like flowers, are part of God’s ornate garden. Similar to how each flower is carefully arranged, spaced, pruned, and cared for by the gardener, God tends to us individually, carefully planting, watering and pruning us for maximum growth so that our full potential will be displayed. It was a thought-provoking analogy to think about as we strolled through the gardens.
The following day we boarded VIA Rail’s train, The Canadian, and made our way through the Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Jasper! Throughout the 19-hour adventure, we enjoyed delicious fine dining, card games, conversation, and views. Our trip also proved to be rather comical at times, particularly after our daytime seats were transformed into bunk beds (it’s amazing how everything suddenly looks the same at night), and we sheepishly tried to find our bunks all the while trying to steady our balance with the slow rock of the train. Many of us joked that our train ride felt a bit more like glorified “camping,” but all in all, created a fun memory that united our group in laughs, conversation, and memories.
When we arrived in Jasper, it was clear we had entered the Canadian Rockies as the mountains towered above! The next few days were filled with awestruck wander as we witnessed the incredible power of rushing water at the Athabasca Falls, the striking beauty of the jagged mountain peaks along the Icefields Parkway, the grandeur of the Athabasca Glacier, the iconic crisp, turquoise water at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, and the simple beauty of the forests as we eagerly looked for bear, moose and elk!
We spent the final few days in the lovely town of Banff enjoying the delicious restaurants and shops along Banff Avenue, strolling the Bow River walking trails, exploring the infamous Banff Springs Hotel, and savoring the majestic grandeur of the Rocky Mountains surrounding the area. Our time in Banff was the ideal capstone to an amazing trip—and a place many could have stayed for another day or two!
Yes, travel certainly is something that leaves you speechless and turns you into a storyteller. However, I also see travel as an opportunity to meet people from all around the world—each with their own life story shaped by their culture, religion, customs, and experiences. And yet, among the differences, the thing that brings travelers together in that one moment is the phenomenon of God’s creation and the awestruck wonder that cannot be restrained. It’s one of my favorite parts about traveling—and is surely a story worth telling!
~Laura Bomberger, BNT Tour Director
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. – Psalm 95:1-5
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