Toronto

22 05 2008

Or ‘Trono’ as it is called. Very big city. Perhaps I could live here, but it loses its appeal for traveling after walking around it for several days. Luckily I know someone here; Alina, a good friend and fellow word traveller, lives here and she is helping me see the place.

It is with some relief that I have been able to stay here for a week. I feel like I have returned home in many ways. I’ve been here before. I’m talking and seeing someone I’ve known for years almost every day. I have been very lucky to have been given a place to stay. Almost everyone speaks English. I’m very firmly in the first world: the traffic runs smoothly and quietly; the streets are kept clean; everything is expensive and just works; I can use the credit card again. Apart from the funny accent, this could be Australia. So I feel like the trip has finished, and I should be getting back to some sort of productive activity (especially as the expenses have skyrocketed!)

Not so fast! There is still a chunk of country to see before I can stop.

Last weekend was the first real weekend in Spring. It was a long weekend, Monday was Victoria Day. Unfortunately it is still Spring, and Winter this year seems to be draging on (at least that is what the locals assure me). I hope they are right – surely it can’t be cold and wet all year. Whinging about (or “aboot”) the weather seems to be a national sport, and for good reason this week.

Saturday was forecast for rain, so we didn’t plan any outings, preferring to go on Sunday or Monday in the sunshine. You guessed it, Saturday was fine, the others not. So, of all things, we went shopping on Saturday. Well, I needed a new camera anyway so the effort wasn’t entirely wasted. Sunday started well but deteriorated into a movie session with one of Alina’s friends – who turned out to be an IronMan/Woman (how do you describe a female who has completed an IronMan?), marathon runner, and similarly all round sporty type. So we had something to talk about 🙂

With only one day left in the weekend, we took the risk and Alina drove me to Penetanguishene, a town just north of Toronto. It rained on the way there, and the sky was cloudy. But it cleared when we arrived, and I was treated to a Spring walk in the woods. Pity I didn’t have a camera, the woods are spectacular in the Spring. I imagine it would be nice in all seasons actually – there are lots of trees, and one of the great lakes is right there, both of which are covered in snow and ice over winter. The stories of cross country skiing to work and then in the forest or on the (frozen) lake by moonlight after work made me slightly jealous. Ok, more than slightly. If I’m around here in winter, I’ve picked my sport. Except I don’t expect such a good cover of snow in the city.

And I have got a new camera. So here is a photo from around the place that I am staying, well within walking distance of downtown Toronto (a city of 5 million people, another million on Sydney). I’m pretty lucky to be able to sleep in this area. Nice, eh?

There are lots of flowers out: Violets, Lilacs (not only in the colour Lilac so I’m told), Lilly of the Valley, along with flowering trees: Cherry, Crab apple, Almond. Alina has been attempting to teach me some botany. I’m just showing off. Everything looks so different to my last visit (that time there was snow about).

Next stop: Ottawa. Just up the train line. Heading east for a short trip. I would like to take a bike, but Canada is BIG and I don’t know that I want to spend the time in the saddle again, so soon.

 


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4 responses

22 05 2008
CC

Are you sure its the saddle, or the fact that you might have to part with more cash to get another bike??? Suck up the botany lessons. Its more fun when you know what you are looking at.

23 05 2008
Steve

No, this place is huge. I could spend months riding around and then, suddenly, it would be winter. Perhaps I should though.

And it would be cheaper overall on the bike. Everything here is expensive – transport, accomodation, food… That’s what you get in the first world.

25 05 2008
sabine

Hi friend,
better buy a motorbike and go cross country skiing in Germany…! Nevertheless, enjoy your travelling in Canada!

26 05 2008
Steve

That is a possibility…

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