What to see along the way

Riding a bus can be a good chance to see large sections of the country in a relatively short time. In less than a day, passengers can cross several provinces, going between towering mountains, along vast expanses of forests and farmlands, and beside blue lakes. Bus tickets allow passengers great flexibility in choosing a time and date to travel, but some restrictions in their use apply. On most tickets, passengers are not allowed to break their journey anywhere along the route except for scheduled stops and layovers. One exception is with long-term passes such as Greyhound offers, which allows passengers to stop and start their journey as they wish. In general, however, passengers have only a limited amount of time in each place they visit along the route to their destinations.

Even without the chance for stopovers with most tickets, bus travel allows passengers the chance to see the country without the worry of maps or driving. Most long trips include scheduled stops at least every few hours during the day and less often at night, from five-minute breaks to pick up passengers or mail to hour-long meal breaks, and passengers can spend the time stretching their legs, eating, and seeing as much as the short time allows. City bus depots are normally downtown, and a fairly long stop or a transfer may allow for a short stint of sightseeing. The Winnipeg depot, for example, is right next to the University of Winnipeg, within easy walking distance of several stores and malls, and a slightly longer distance from the Manitoba Legislature. In Edmonton, the depot is near a shopping centre, and other depots are also conveniently located near places of interest. A long stop in Vancouver, for example, may allow visitors to take a walk along the waterfront of English Bay. Determined sightseers may even want to break their trip up by buying separate tickets for each part of the journey to allow for longer stops than are normally given, although the trouble of collecting luggage at each journey’s end might make the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

Even in small towns, where bus depots may be little more than a sidewalk with a bench, there can be unexpected sights to see. In Wainright, Alberta, for example, the bus depot houses a small cafe where travellers can find soup, sandwiches, and other food to eat before they view the antique typewriters, coins, and other items in the small museum. Unusual architecture, special shops, or other unexpected features can make even the most remote small town interesting for the visitors passing through it.

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