Well, it’s been a while and for that I apologise. A work trip to Toronto at the end of May had a long tail, and somehow a week away from home totally ruined any sense of routine I have.
My very first trip to Canada, and it was GOOD. I was there with work, but had to stay almost an entire week to get a decent air fare (the airlines go for the jugular if you don’t incorporate a Saturday night into your trip). This didn’t work out at all badly for me, as I got to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for years who live just outside Toronto. I used to live with Ryan in London in the funnest house share ever. There were five of us, and we had such a great time. *Nostalgic sigh*. Oh well, I guess we all have to grow up, eh?
I hadn’t seen him or his wife Candice since he moved to join her in Canada back in 2009. They have two children I had never met; I have a husband they have never met (hopefully we’ll rectify that if I get my autumn holiday!) and it was so good to catch up with them. Canadian/family life clearly really suits him and their daughter has such a cute Canadian accent.
They were kind enough to drive/accompany me to Niagara Falls for the day, which was absolutely fantastic.
So it starts out, kind of as you’d expect. Lots of water + height + gravity = very beautiful, and hugely impressive.
However, the above photo is only a fraction of what Niagara has to offer.
The rest looks more like this:
Casinos, crazy golf, huge hotels, bars blasting out music, theme restaurants, haunted houses, and arcade games. I would never have imagined this for such a place of natural beauty, but I am absolutely not knocking it. After all, you travel a long way to see some water fall of the edge of a cliff and……then what?? TEQUILA SLAMMERS IN THE CASINOS!!! It’s the obvious next item on the itinerary.
Another thing I loved was the waterfront in Toronto. There is a “recreational trail”, which is for runners, skaters and cyclists. At first I felt nervous running in the cycle lane, as in London that would be an absolute no-no (you should expect someone to angrily cycle into you within 30 seconds), but everyone else was doing it – and the sign entirely suggested I was in fact obliged to do this.
Side bar: going abroad is so hard! Even where you share the language, everything is bloody different. Queuing systems, the names for things (the horror as I crudely ask for “the toilet” rather than restroom), the protocol of everything, TIPPING (an actual nightmare for Europeans). I was just pleased to complete this run without anyone shouting at me or getting hit by a car.
It makes you appreciate the things that are the same the world over:
This trail runs along Lake Ontario, and mostly sticks to the water’s edge. There are very few interruptions for crossings and there are A LOT of runners.
The weather was amazing, and it was so nice being down by the water.
I got some time to wander around the city, and went through Church Wellesley, Kensington Market, Old Town, and Bloor Yorkville, My hotel was in the financial district, which is full of skyscrapers and large modern glass buildings. It’s amazing how – only a mile or so away – the buildings here were so different!
Another thing I really notice is the overhead cabling. We just don’t have that in London (anymore – presumably we did once) and it’s so striking in all my photos.
I am not a huge fan of travelling alone, but I only have about 24 hours by myself, which is fine. It was a three day weekend in Canada, and coupled with the great weather, people were definitely in a party mood. I really hope I can go back there, with Matthew, as I saw loads of nice bars and restaurants that I didn’t really fancy trying alone.
Until next time Canada (and there will be a next time)!.