I attended school with my cousin Ted in Toronto and in March 1943 at the age of seventeen and a half, volunteered to join the RCAF.
Later that year I was involved in a serious plane crash with injuries to my right leg and shoulder and left arm. Having spent nearly two years in convalescent home I was discharged, with a disability pension, just as the war was finishing in 1945 to return to my parents’ home.
During these six years I had wanted to travel west to see the vast country spreading through to Vancouver but the opportunity never arose.
In late September 2010 I finally decided to take advantage of a holiday tour by train from Toronto to Vancouver.
At last I have settled back to 'normal' after a fantastic time in Canada; meeting up with my family - cousin Ted’s widow Barbara and their son Ted III with whom I completed the Enright Family Tree starting 1813 in Glinn on the border of Kerry and Limerick Counties, S W Ireland.
Firstly the train trip on “The Canadian” was very good, the single cabin was adequate, excellent food, and every couple were extremely kind and friendly, all calling me Peter.
Brenda (a charming married women of 56 yrs) the Saga rep. was my companion most of the time (I did behave myself, pity!) and she has encouraged me to go away on more such vacations in the future.
With so many wonderful sights and experiences it is difficult to pick just one out Winnipeg is a fantastic city with so much to see and do. Jasper was only excelled by Banff and time spent in the Rockies turned out to be an experience of a lifetime. River rafting was really thrilling and being up close to grisly bears was amazing. The aerial cable car rides and crossing the Capilano suspension bridge took your breath away.
Whistler where Olympic Skiing 2010 took place was stunning and to see youngsters riding down the ski slopes (no snow) on their 6,000 USD mountain bikes was, as they would say, awesome.
I will never forget walking on the Columbia Ice field and the visit to lovely Lake Louise was quite exhilarating..
Then on to beautiful Vancouver and, even better, Vancouver Island with it's famous 55 acres Butchart Gardens, previously a worked-out lime quarry.
The sites and experiences made this a trip of a lifetime and a truly memorable experience was the whale watching boat trip to see a family of five Humpbacks come close to the boat.
The only disappointments: saying goodbye to Brenda and the long flight home but I know that I will go on many more adventures.