In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields Follow the Path of Remembrance By Toby Saltzman
Crowds lining the inner arch of Menin Gate in Ypres bowed their heads in reverence as buglers played The Last Post at the ceremony that commemorates soldiers who perished in the Great War. Silence saturated the air as the master read a verse from For the Fallen, ending with: “At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.” Waiting for his cue to walk forward to lay a wreath in remembrance of fallen Canadians, my mind swirled with images of innocents at war the voices of my dead parents describing horrid scenes. Though the walk across the archway and up the steps to the monument where I laid the circle of poppies and whispered a personal prayer took mere minutes, it felt like breathless ages. In my lifetime of experiences around the globe, this moment of tribute to those who sacrificed themselves for a better world will linger forever in my heart.
The world’s only continuing nightly ceremony to ho…

Canada's Natural Beauty Seeing is Believing

Explore the Natural Beauty Seeing is believing why visitors love Canada By Toby Saltzman From sea to shining sea, Canada abounds with wondrous places, where seeing is believing in forces that shaped the planet, where experiencing is immersing yourself in landscapes like nowhere else on earth. In a vast terrain chiseled by nature’s whims, Canada harbors some of the globe’s most treasured iconic sites. Thirty recognized by UNESCO – 15 as World Heritage Sites; 15 as World Biosphere Sites – are magnets for intrepid travelers keen on communing with nature. Blessed with incredibly diverse charms across 10 provinces and 3 territories, Canada appeals to international travelers.If you are among the curious, free-spirited, demographic, you are among the authentic experiencers and cultural explorers who are looking for immersive, engaging experiences in Canada that combine natural beauty with sophistication and comfort along the way. You are interested in connecting with local people. Incidentally…

VIA Rail's OCEAN Train en route to Halifax


VIA's OCEAN Train is one of the world's iconic rail experiences.

Forget your inhibitions of taking a journey by train. Try it once and you'll agree: riding the rails makes getting there half the fun, especially if you opt for the domed car with panoramic windows and private sleeping accommodations. In a world of iconic train rides, VIA's OCEAN Train between Montreal and Halifax rates sensational status. Rolling out of Montreal's urbane hub, crossing bridges over water to landscapes that vary from gentle fields to dense wildernesses fragrant with pines to meadows rich with wildflowers and agriculture to the historic maritime city of Halifax, is a journey into memorable scenes and experiences. Imagine nestling into a cushy seat under a glassy dome, seeing the scenery change as daylight darkens to night, revealing stars against the indigo sky before you tuck into a cozy sleep, then waking to see hills and lakes swathed in a rosy glow from the rising sun. To call the ride beautiful understates the views, and the feelings it arouses - of app…

Train full of memories: Rolling on THE OCEAN to Halifax

Memories are made of wonderful experiences. Among my most memorable is rolling east to Halifax on The OCEAN TrainVIA Rail’s OCEAN train travels a scenic route on its overnight journey from Montreal to Halifax, skirting the St. Lawrence River before crossing the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.Rolling out of Montreal was a festive affair as we toasted sparkling wine, though we barely had time to sip the bubbly as we realized that stunning city scenery was passing us by. Quickly scrambling for cameras, we shot the cityscape, the river, the bridges as a sweet family with young kids settled in for the ride, excited with anticipation for their first ever train trip.

Wintry Visions from my window on VIA Rail

Whoever imagines winter train rides as boring has never seen the beauty of the Canadian landscape in its snowy splendor. Fleeting images are many. Here are but a few.Banks of snow-dusted birches, their white trunks glistening in sunshine. Clusters of ducks paddling in watery holes amid icy ponds. Woodpeckers tap-tap-tapping on a tall tree, oblivious to the train rolling by.The train slowing down as we cross a bridge over a rushing waterfall, its edges frozen into shapes that look like mini polar bears. Pretty clapboard homes, maybe a century old, their gingerbread trimmed with sparkling icicles.Ride the rails in winter and you’ll agree, VIA Rail is more than transportation. It’s a ride filled with memorable images that will linger long after you roll into your destination.For a glimpse of riding the rails in May, read "Romancing the Rails" @
Breakfast on VIA I8:10 and I’m comfortable, satiated as can be, lingering over fragrant cup of coffee.My pre-chosen “VIA Preference” breakfast arrived right on cue, just as I’d ordered. Half of a plump pink grapefruit sidelined by chilled pineapple and melon slices, scattered with strawberries. A heaping ramekin of vanilla yogurt, and another of crunchy granola scattered with cranberries. Just as I downed all that, my attendant (gotta get this sweet guy’s name) appeared with a basket abundant with flaky croissants, cranberry-raising bread, and banana bread. Yum. Enough blogging. It’s back to work for me.