Awwtumn in Canada

Edmonton (West) —> Toronto (East) by Train

Hours on train: 63Distance: approx. 2700km (like traveling from the UK to Syria) / Minutes allowed off the train each day: 45 / Shower facilities: 0 / Handsome strangers: 1 

From the moment the train pulled up, I felt like I was in a film: box-like and industrial, it looked like a 2km-long roll of aluminium foil. Inside it was dark, musky but spacious, like everything here?

We all piled on at 3am and eyes instantly started rolling as the lonely, old guy (a poet, a writer, a huuuge celebrity in Toronto) started waffling. I curled up in my seat and giggled quietly to myself, three sleeps to go, team. 

See, I was feeling smug: At the station, a guy and I kept making eye contact, so when the wifi suddenly stopped working it was the perfect chat-up line. Warm and chatty, he used expressions like “it was a good time” and “wonderful” as if he was much older than twenty-five. He actually reminded me of an old friend back home, you know the kind of person whose abundant enthusiasm you just want to splash about in?

During the day we’d sit in a glass dome, above the carriage, perfect for escaping Mr Celeb and his rants (big heart, a lot of resentment) and gazing out at the scenery. Here I spent the first day getting to know my new friend and by the evening, he’d offered me his coat as a blanket… Know where this is going? Slowly he reached out and held my hand.

The next two days were spent chugging along through provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, unremarkable, barren and flat.

Some of the towns we stopped in were seriously Cowboy-esque.

So, what better way to entertain ourselves than like teenagers glued to each other at the back of the carriage (no privacy in Economy!) stealing kisses like fireworks… And hours sitting effortlessly in silence, occasionally commenting on the wildlife?

The third day we wiggled through Ontario’s thousands of lakes, welcoming colour and life again. Of course we discussed this railmance being the start of something more but whether I’ll see him again, I don’t know. I’ve had enough nomances (nomadic romances? not-so-romances?) to learn, forget and be sorely reminded that most of them don’t go beyond a few days of giddy ecstasy. A few I saw again were as enticing as going to work with a stinking hangover, but a couple of others became friends, so the fun continues.

Anyway, you can imagine how fuzzy I felt when I arrived in Toronto. I’d just lived the cutest thing ever: innocent, unexpected, movie-like. I’d got a bit teary the night before (another person I have to say goodbye to) but within a few hours, I’d reminded myself it’s the nature of the game and to bloomin’ well be grateful.

Enough girl talk, time for some photos!

The lake at the bottom of the garden of a hostel near Mont Tremblant, a tiddly ski resort. 


When I grow up…

(No filter or editing) “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” Emily Bronte 


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