Something To Declare: British Columbia; tout le monde à Paris

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The Independent Travel

Destination of the week: British Columbia

Two new Canadian tourist trains began services this week, giving passengers a chance to enjoy the scenery on the line between North Vancouver and Prince George. Both services are run by Rocky Mountaineer (; 01622 832244).

The Whistler Mountaineer leaves Vancouver for Whistler daily at 8.30am (until 16 October) for the three-hour journey; breakfast is served en route. The southbound departure leaves at 2.30pm and includes afternoon tea. The train incorporates dome and observation cars. One-way prices start at C$175 (£87).

To continue north from Whistler, you can take the Fraser Discovery Route on three days a week until 14 October. This two-day journey, ending in Jasper, can be done in either direction with an overnight stop in Quesnel. At Jasper passengers may connect with a Rocky Mountaineer service back to Vancouver, over the Yellowhead Route. One-way prices start at C$868 (£430).

Anthony Lambert

Warning of the week: tout le monde à Paris

Another weekend, another public holiday - at least in France, where Monday marks the end of the Second World War in Europe. If the experience of last weekend is repeated, key landmarks in the French capital are sure to be overcrowded.

If you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, get there early, ideally at 9.30am. The worst times are between 11am and 4pm, and 7-8pm.

For the Musée d'Orsay visit during the week after 4pm; last admission is 5.15pm, and you should be able to linger until 6pm. Best of all, visit on Thursdays after 6pm; the museum opens until 10pm.

Visit the Louvre at 9am, weekdays. Late-opening nights are Wednesdays and Fridays, to 10pm. Avoid weekends, school holidays - and any time after The Da Vinci Code film, which starts at the Louvre, has been released (17 May).

Simon Calder