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Harbourfront

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  • Day191

    Toronto

    September 7, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Toronto schaffte es auf die Liste der Großstädte, die wir nicht schrecklich finden 😁 aufgrund der vielen verfügbaren Dienstleister legten wir zuerst einen „Waschtag“ ein. Unser Auto bekam bei Mr. Lube mal wieder einen Ölwechsel und dazu den hoffentlich letzten kostspieligen Eingriff: Wechsel der Kühlflüssigkeit. Wir wuschen in einem äußerst sauberen Laundromaten unsere Wäsche. Am Abend eine Überraschung: viele Schwimmbäder sind in Toronto kostenlos, was uns eine lange, warme Dusche ermöglichte.

    Frisch starteten wir in den nächsten Tag, an dem wir die Stadt erkundeten. Wegen unserer Dachbox hatten wir erhebliche Schwierigkeiten in der Innenstadt einen Parkplatz für den Tag zu finden, weil wir für jedes Parkhaus zu hoch waren. Es gab ein paar Halsabschneider-Plätze, wo anstatt der beworbenen 20$ ein vertrauensunwürdiger Mensch nach 30$ fragte. Es war vielleicht nicht schlecht, dass uns an dem Tag das Bargeld dafür fehlte. Nach einer Stunde gaben wir die Suche auf und parkten die maximal erlaubten 3 Stunden für 15$ an der Straße. Mit strammen Schritten flitzten wir durch diverse Distrikte der Stadt, teilweise auch unterirdisch im praktischen PATH-Netzwerk. Am schönen Hafen saßen wir länger als geplant auf einer Parkbank, denn jemand hatte dort sein Handy verloren. Bis endlich ein Anruf kam und wir einem frischgebackenen Vater sein Telefon zurückgeben konnten, genossen wir die Sonne und die vorbeifahrenden Boote, mal mit Partybesatzung, mal mit feucht-fröhlicher Piratenshow. Zur Stärkung teilten wir uns einen sehr schokoladigen „Beaver-Tail“.

    Am Nachmittag fanden wir für Phillip einen Barbershop. Während er seine neue Frisur bekam, durfte Marlen auf Großleinwand einen Film schauen. Es gab auch kostenloses Popcorn und WLAN. Netter Service!

    Abends trafen wir uns mit unseren Freunden Vanessa und Sebastian, die gerade ebenfalls auf einer Nordamerika-Reise sind, zum gemütlichen Schlemmen im Restaurant. In guter Gesellschaft macht das Leben eindeutig am meisten Spaß!
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    Heike Rutsch

    Gute Freunde sind gaaaanz wichtig . 🤗

    9/12/19Reply
     
  • Day2

    Tired in Toronto

    March 3, 2020 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 1 °C

    In some respects planning and executing a complex overseas trip is like assembling a clock - in spite of how much effort you put into the preparation, you never actually know if it will turn out OK until you actually start the process. A successful trip involves a vast number of inter related events all correctly occurring just the way you planned them.

    There are many things that throw your plans into chaos - a traffic jam on the freeway, a cancelled or delayed flight, a booking mistake by a hotel, a transfer that did not turn up as planned and (perhaps the most dreaded of all) the prospect of your luggage going missing in transit. In fact, when you consider all the things that can possibly go wrong, you might wonder why I keep travelling. The answer to that one is simple. The world is such an amazing place that once you start discovering one part of it, you just can't stop. It really can become an addiction.

    My long journey to Cuba began when my alarm went off at 4 am in the morning on the 2nd of March. It was dark and drizzly outside but the exciting prospect of more adventures about to begin was enough to wake me quickly. After a hurried breakfast and a final quick check of my luggage - yes my passport and Cuban visa were both there, it was time to face the first challenge.

    The prospect of driving the Monash Freeway at 6 am in the morning is indeed enough to make enough the valiant hearted weak at the knees. After ten minutes we found ourselves stuck in the first of many traffic jams. I could not help but feel pity for the poor devils who face this nightmare every morning of their lives. I don't care what salary you were paid, it could not possibly be enough to warrant this daily torment.

    Fortunately the jams did eventually clear and we arrived at the airport with time to spare. I queued in the Air Canada check in line while the two staff slowly worked their way through each person's paperwork. They could possibly have worked slower, but I am not sure how. The line moved forward at a glacial pace until I finally was relieved of my big luggage.

    The passage through security and immigration was actually fast when compared to the check in process. That gave me time for a coffee and a croissant. My wallet was lighter by about $15 already.

    I was not the only one of our group leaving that morning. There were also five other who were making their way to Cuba via Mexico. Since their plane was due to leave about an hour earlier than mine, I went in search of them. I arrived at their departure gate just in time to hear an announcement come over the PA that their flight would be delayed. Perhaps I would get to leave first after all ?

    I returned back to the Air Canada departure gate and waited for boarding, relieved to find that my flight would be taking off on schedule. I was not so relieved when I entered the plane and found the seat that I was going to be entombed in for the next 16 hours. I had paid extra for an "exit row", hoping for some additional leg room, not realising that the extra leg room came at the expense of seat width. It must have been the narrowest seat I have ever had on a long haul flight, but at least I could prop my legs up in the air on a bulging part of the exit door.

    The next 16 hours were not the highlight of my life. The Air Canada food was terrible and the squashed space meant that equal quantities of the main course made it into my mouth and onto the front of my shirt. The plastic fork bent every time you tried to pick anything up and the bread roll was like old rubber. It made the food on Emirates seem like like a gourmet delight by comparison.

    I tried to watch a couple of movies, but discovered that my screen was only half the size of every one else's. I suppose it was to match the width of my seat. There was only one thing left to do, and that was sleep. Somehow I managed to grab several slumber sessions, but each time I awoke I was disappointed to find that I had only been asleep for about 30 minutes or so. I envy those who can just shut their eyes and sleep all the way till touchdown. It is a skill I still have not mastered.

    I won't go into any more details about the longest 16 hours of my life, but we did eventually land in Vancouver. Thanks to the mystery of the international date line, the flight actually landed earlier than it took off from Melbourne !

    My first sight of Vancouver was not an encouraging one. It was foggy and raining. The temperature was about 5 C. Actually I could not have cared less about the cold. In fact I loved it. After the long hours spent in the over heated plane, it was delightful to breathe fresh cool air again.

    I had a scheduled 2 hour stop in Vancouver, before catching the next flight to Toronto. Thanks to a passenger not turning up for the flight, the departure was delayed while their luggage had to be retrieved from the baggage hold. At least the next flight was less than four hours. That was a real short hop compared to the behemoth I had just endured.

    We landed with a big bump on a snowy runway in Toronto about 45 minutes late. The clock and calendar tried to tell me that it was still the same day that I had left Melbourne, but my body and brain knew better - that was actually eons ago.

    I staggered from the plane and went off in search of the baggage carousel. For convenience they were situated about 2 km from the arrival gate. Awaiting for your own familiar luggage to appear is always a rather stressful time, especially if you see just about everyone else departing with their bags while you are still waiting. It is one of those events that you have no control over - a bit like winning the lottery, but in a (very) bad way.

    To my relief my bag did make a triumphant appearance and I went in search of the taxi that I had pre ordered back in Australia. I had not been waiting long when I received a SMS from the driver telling me that he was waiting for me. A short time later I was sitting in the back of a comfortable car, heading for downtown Toronto. The driver introduced himself as "Alex" and told me that he had originally come from Pakistan as a child, but had lived in Toronto for most of his life. Within minutes we discovered a common love of cricket and we spent the rest of the drive talking about players past and present. He seemed to know as much about all the Australian players as I did. I was even more surprised when he told me that he played Dodgeball and I was able to tell him that my youngest son had played on the Australian Dodgeball team.

    It was fascinating to see the high snow drifts on the sides of the road. This is my first time in Canada and I had been hoping that winter would not end before I arrived. I really wanted to see snow and now I had.

    The drive was only 26 km but it seemed much longer than that. It was around 7.30 pm when we finally arrived at my apartment. I had been planning to find something to eat, but all I could really think off was getting into a bed. So that's exactly what I did.

    In spite of all the things that could have gone wrong, nothing had. My clock was working.
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  • Day19

    4.Tag Kanada - Gatineau,Toronto,Oakville

    October 3, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

    Am Morgen unseres 4.Tages in Kanada besuchten wir den Gatineau-Park in der Nähe von Ottawa, den uns Annie empfohlen hatte. Die Straße durch den Park ist eine wunderschöne Autostrecke zwischen Baumalleen und das Gelände ist wirklich sehr weitläufig. Wir wollten zunächst am „Mackenzie King Estate“ Halt machen, dem ehemaligen Landsitz eines kanadischen Premierministers im Herzen des Parks. Aber die 12 Can$ Parkgebühren waren doch zu abschreckend 😳😱. Wir haben es bisher tatsächlich geschafft, für „Blue Rogue“ keinen einzigen Cent Parkgebühren auszugeben! Und dabei wollten wir auch bleiben 😁.

    So fuhren wir weiter durch den Park und entdeckten durch Zufall den „King Mountain Trail“, einem 2 km langen Wanderweg mit spektakulärer Aussicht über den Gatineau-Park und Ottawa. Als wir dort ankamen, gab es gerade viel Besuch von örtlichen Schulklassen...wir mussten die ganze Zeit vor lauten Teenagern fliehen 😅. Wir wurden von Annie vor den wilden Tieren Kanadas gewarnt, aber 5 Schulbusse auf einmal waren viel schlimmer 😂! Dafür konnten wir aber noch ein wenig die Anfänge des „Indian Summers“ bewundern.

    Unsere Reise führte uns danach weiter nach Toronto. Vor uns lag wieder eine 5 stündige Autofahrt. Die Stadt liegt in der am dichtesten besiedelten Gegend Kanadas am Huron-See, und wir mussten den Ontario Highway 401 befahren - eine 12-16 (!!!) spurige Autobahn. Leider wurde es bereits dunkel als wir den Highway erreichten, und es war absolute Rushhour. Hinzu kamen, die uns schon bekannten und gefürchteten plötzlichen Baustellen und Sperrungen auf den Straßen der kanadischen Großstädte hinzu 😰! Es war wirklich die Hölle...aber wir hatten keine andere Möglichkeit. Die Fahrt durch das nächtliche Toronto war eine kleine Entschädigung für den Stress auf der überfüllten Autobahn (und ich hatte absolut keine Lust nochmal nach Toronto zu fahren 😟). Unser Ziel für den Abend war Oakville, einer kleineren Stadt neben den Großstädten Toronto und Mississauga (Oakville ist immerhin noch so groß wie Erfurt!). Dort übernachteten wir in einem untervermieteten Zimmer einer chinesischen Familie. Tatsächlich leben mittlerweile viele Chinesen in Kanada. Der Vermieter konnte kein Englisch und wir führten eine lustige Unterhaltung über den Google Translator. Ich freute mich nur noch über ein warmes Bett 😅, da wir an einem Tag drei Städte erlebt hatten...
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    Elvira Landherr

    Wie schön,man kann nur ein wenig erahnen,laut der Bilder,wie schön es dort sind muß. Gerade auch der indian Summer. Wow 16 spurige Autobahn - der Hammer- und trotzdem sehr viel Verkehr.

    10/8/19Reply
    Elvira Landherr

    Die Nachtbilder von Toronto.sehr schöne stadt.und ihr mittendrin.- toll-

    10/8/19Reply
    Juju

    Hahaha 🤣

    10/8/19Reply
    2 more comments
     
  • Day4

    A Striking Day in Toronto

    March 5, 2020 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    Since this was to be my last full day in Toronto, I really wanted to do something a little more ambitious. Whenever I find myself in a city that I have not visited before the first thing I like to do is walk. I don't usually have any set destination as it is the journey that I am interested in, not the end point. Today was my chance to really wander and see what makes Toronto tick.

    Of course in order to be able to walk the streets, there was one important requirement I needed - fine weather. You can imagine my smile when I looked out of the apartment window at 6 am and saw that it was going to be a great day. In fact it already had the makings of the best day so far.

    At about 8.30 am I set off. Although the sky was clear the temperature was bracing - hovering around 0 C. I was so glad that I had packed gloves and a beanie. I don't mind the cold air, but frozen ears and fingers are not much fun.

    My only vague plan was to roughly set out in the direction of the rising sun. By watching the shadows on the footpath I knew that I was heading in the right direction. If I kept walking in that way I knew that it would take me through the centre of the city and eventually to the waterfront of Lake Ontario.

    The first couple of km were familiar territory as I passed the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto. Ahead of me I could catch glimpses of the impressive CN tower. At over 550 metres in height, this building is apparently the tallest free standing concrete building in the world. I was glad that it gave me another place to aim for in my walk.

    About one hour and 4.5 km later I was standing at the foot of the tower. It certainly was a spectacle and I suppose I could have spent some time travelling to its observation deck, but I was more interested in reaching the lake. When I arrived at the shore I discovered that almost everything was still closed for the winter. It was perfect as I had the whole place to myself.

    I found a nice seat in the sunshine and watched the planes taking off from the small airport on Centre Island. Although the sunshine was warm, the air temperature was still low enough to ensure that the piles of snow scattered around were reluctant to melt.

    Eventually I began heading away from the Lake in search of something for lunch. This turned out to be a rather greasy hamburger in a grossly over heated indoor food mall, followed by a very forgettable cup of coffee. I was glad to get back out into the cold again.

    I soon saw a collection of police vehicles and flashing lights. Things started to get interesting. As I walked closer I could see that hundreds of people were marching with placards and angry chants. Most were wearing matching red beanies. Since I had nothing better to do, of course I joined in the march.

    It did not take long to learn that most of the marchers were teachers who were on strike because of budget cuts that had been initiated by the new premier of Ontario Province. Since I was once a teacher in a previous life, I felt like I was in familiar company. They were happy to chat with me and tell me why they were so unhappy. Some things are the same the world over. It was also interesting that the, once popular and charismatic Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, now seems universally disliked.

    My time with the strikers gave me a fascinating alternative insight into life in Toronto. But I was getting tired. After walking around 14 km I was ready to return to my apartment for a rest.

    Tomorrow afternoon I will be catching a flight to Havana to begin the second part of my travels. It has been good to have time to myself but I am looking forward to meeting all the other members of our team and beginning our Cuban Adventure.
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    gill wilson

    we spent ages watching the planes on central island and have some great photos. safe travels and look forward to see you Sat morning. we have been cycling and swimming in cenotes and checking out some cultural ruins. keen to catch up with or amigos

    3/5/20Reply
    Sue Brown

    Hi Dennis, see you soon. Much warmer here in Mexico.

    3/5/20Reply
     
  • Day16

    Head in the toilets

    January 10, 2020 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    Had an incredibly lucky day! Went to do ice-skating in the city and it was randomly a free skating day! They also had ice hockey activities/mini games where we won a couple of bags and were given tickets to the ice hockey hall of fame (which we were already planning on going to that day!) Went out and had a big night in the city 🍻🍻Read more

  • Day17

    Can I get a T Rock??

    January 11, 2020 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    Lacrosse game! The most random sport I've ever witnessed but a great time with Toronto Rock winning in the end. Please also enjoy the video of Alex who celebrated like that for every goal. Another great time enjoying the night life in Toronto.Read more

  • Day65

    Strand, Shoppen und Musical

    September 24, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Heute geht es mit der Fähre nach Toronto Islands zum Laufen und an den Strand. Anke steckt sogar die Füße ins eiskalte Wasser der Ontario-See. Mir ist das zu kalt, ich genieße lieber einfach nur die Sonne. Danach geht es ins Eaton-Center zum Shoppen, wir haben aber nichts gefunden. Am Abend geht es noch ins Musical "Come from away" ins Elgin-Theater.Read more

    auch eine schöne Skyline, fast so hübsch wie Frankfurt ;-) meinen die Couchonauten

    9/25/19Reply
     
  • Day58

    Zugtag 4: Ankunft in Toronto

    September 17, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Am letzten Reisetag gibt es wieder Wälder und Seen, in die Farben mischt sich jetzt zunehmend rot und es wird wieder bewohnter. Nachdem wir bisher immer Verspätung hatten, kommen wir in Toronto 2 Stunden früher an. Den Sonnenuntergang über dem Ontario-See gibt es heute "nur" vom Hotelzimmer.Read more

    Ich frage mich gerade, wie dieses Foto entstanden ist 😉

    9/19/19Reply
    Dana Scheuring

    Ganz einfach vom Skylinecar. Der ist etwas höher , daher hat man ein 360-Grad-Blick.

    9/19/19Reply

    Super... voll cool 😎. Vielen lieben Dank und noch viel Spaß.

    9/20/19Reply
     
  • Day59

    Roundhouse und Toronto Islands

    September 18, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Zum Start gibt es einen Rundgang um den Block, mit Roundhouse (= Lokschuppen) inkl. Drehscheibe und Loks, dem Roger Center (Heimat der Toronto Blue Jays = örtliche Baseball-Mannschaft), Union Station von außen und dem CN-Tower.
    Am Nachmittag geht es mit der Fähre nach Toronto Islands an den Strand noch mal die Sonne und die Ruhe genießen. Dazu gibt es den Leuchtturm am Gibraltar Point von 1809, das Panorama Torontos von der Insel und vom Wasser und Herbstfarben.
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    Anke Felgentreu

    Sehr schön

    9/19/19Reply
    Anke Felgentreu

    Nun habe ich noch einen Tag und ist es vorbei mit dem allein sein. Deine Schwester kommt 😎

    9/19/19Reply

    Wunderschöner Sonnenuntergang 😎😊

    9/19/19Reply
     
  • Day7

    Toronto - Casa Loma

    October 26 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 6 °C

    La Casa Loma est une maison bourgeoise qui a été construite par le financier Sir Henry Pellatt en 1914. Il l'a habité avec sa femme jusqu'à sa faillite en 1924. Depuis 1937, elle est une attraction touristique de Toronto.Read more

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Harbourfront