From West to East...

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
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Trip End Jun 12, 2007


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Friday, July 21, 2006

Alex: We loosened our overland ethic a little and flew from Vancouver to Toronto - it was a 4 hour flight or a 72 hour Greyhound ride!

Got into the Toronto Hostel absolutely whacked - although it had only been a 4 hour flight we had pretty much lost a nights sleep because of the time difference, so we had a bit of a kip in the lounge/computer room (the first one to blare out music 24/7!). Wandered to St Lawrence Market near by which is a food market - this is the 2nd one we have been to and the Canadians seem to do them very well, everything looks delicious, unfortunately we weren't cooking as the HI Toronto charges a few bucks more to feed you twice a day if you stay for 3 nights, so we could only buy our fish and chips (yum). We then wandered down Front St which is the heart of the business district, so is full of nice shiny sky scrapers, and the CN tower of course.

Our second day we spent partly in the Art Gallery of Ontario, apparently meant to be wonderful but we were a bit disappointed. They had lots of Henry Moore sculptures and a couple of rooms of paintings but nothing to blow you away. That said we did miss the special Andy Warhol exhibit as you had to pay more! We then just wandered through the shopping bit and Dean FINALLY gave in and bought some flip flops - his sandals have been uncomfortable so he hasn't been wearing them and it is getting a bit warm - I also bought a very nice cap which I am sure you will see on the photos (I'm a little worried it looks a bit Burberry but it is actually made of a old mans flat cap kind of material - you'll have to let me know!) There was also a Urban Street Festival going on - with lots of grafftti artistits doing what they do, people break dancing and that kind of thing which we had a wander around, couldn't convince Dean to give them a taste of his break dancing skills though!

On our third day the weather cleared up (before that it had been hot, humid but cloudy)so we went up the CN tower - the tallest structure on the planet. Its one of those things you feel you have to do but turns out to be an bit of an (expensive) disappointment - we felt the same thing when we went up the Eiffel tower. You obviously get good views of the city from the top (although you don't actually get to the top just to the bulge 3/4 of the way up) but a city from above looks like a city from above and you don't see the major landmark because you are stood on it! The other "attraction" they have up there is a glass floor, which you can stand on and look down onto the city. If you don't know this is something that scares me s******s, but like most of these things the idea is worse than actually doing it and I did manage to stand on the glass (although I won't say that I liked it much). We found out later that it could support the weight of 14 Hippos but these fears aren't meant to be rational!

We then wandered around the Harbour area - I kept having to remind myself that we weren't looking at the sea but a really big lake. The heavens then opened so we took refuge in a flea market (and bought another book - no wonder our bags are heavy) and went to the cinema to see Pirates of the Caribean: Man's Chest (wait until it comes out on DVD and then watch the 1st film before hand).

Toronto has been nice but Vancouver has the edge - mainly because of Stanley Park I think. Niagara Falls tomorrow!

Dean: As Alex mentions above - Toronto is a nice city. The one thing that did jump out at me was the skyscraper sky line by night, all lit up. I'm sure this will be the same in all of the cities we go to but it did look rather impressive (especially as they have the CN Tower).
The glass floor in the CN Tower was really good, I liked that. Within the CN Tower they also listed out the 7 wonders of the modern world (as decided by the American society of civil engineers). These are:
* The CN Tower - tick
* The Empire State Building - we will do this one in New York.
* The North Sea Protection Works - we need to take a trip to these when we get home!
* The Panama Canal - already on our trips agenda.
* The Golden Gate Bridge - already on our trips agenda.
* The Channel Tunnel - Both Alex and I want to take a trip to France via the tunnel, something else for us to do when we get back!
* Itaipu Dam (in Brazil) - we are going to see if we can get to this during our trip.
As for the Flip-flops, I have had a hatred of these ever since I was forced to wear them as a child (along with my hatred for white polo-neck jumpers, tank-tops, and cord trousers). Alex has finally talked me around with the flip-flops, and they are actually quite nice to wear. I think that she will have more trouble with the tank-tops and the cord trousers!
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