Location: Vancouver, Canada
Well gang, this is it. The final entry. I'm flying out of Vancouver in a few hours, so that sucks a bit. But I'm glad to be getting home as well. 40 degrees - wow, I can't wait. I'll save my stories of the last week for when i reutrn, except to say that snowboarding is hella fun, but the most tiring thing in the whole world.
Goodbye all my loyal readers. And hello again soon I hope!
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Me again. Like someone would bother to hack into my account... so obviously it's me. Currently reporting to you from the lovely little city of Montreal, Quebec. That's right, with the French people. Montreal is very, very nice - super nice in fact. I almost wasn't going to bother with it, but I'm totally glad that I did. At the very least I get to practice my French - 'Je non comprends francais' is my standard line, which means ' I no understand French'. It's poor grammatically, but people understand me. Plus I say merci and bonjour, which is real easy to remember.
So most of my time here has been spent wndering around the city, putting boot leather to ground, whic is the sweetest way to see everything. Plus, they have a really good subway system. My hostel is right in the heart of downtown, so everything is really close. What else, what else... oh yeah, the election was last night, and the bloody Conservative party won. So the poor Canadians will soon be the whipping boy of the U-nited States. Good for them. I feel very sorry for the country, but when only 60 percent of the people actually vote, then they're kinda asking for it. Oh well.
Back in Toronto tomorrow, then Vancouver the day after. So i'll probably update again from the West. Au revoir and goodbye for now
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Me again, I've been travelling around quite a bit over the last week or so, so I've not really had time to update everyone on what's been going on. I'm currently in Ottawa, which is right across the border from Quebec. In fact, the house I'm staying at is actually over the border in Quebec, but the only major difference is that the roads are a little narrower.
Ottawa is of course the capital of Canada. There are aboot 650 000 people living here, and the city is full of really sweet old buildings. Some of tehm have been around since the early 1800s. The Parliament building where the Federal Government sits is bloody massive, and all along the river between Quebec and Ontario is the Supreme Court, museums, the Rideau Canal and heaps of other tourist type stuff. Mark and I arrived yesterday, and spent the day touring around the city. We had his dad's car which was sweet. Walking and catching transit to get everywhere gets real sucky after a while. We left for Ottawa from Kingston, Mark's hometown. It's a smaller sort of city, but it has some cool sights as well. His dad arranged for us to visit the Correctional Services museum and this sweet old disused jail where Karla Homolka was kept for a few years. The downside was that Mark drove everywhere, which meant that I had to put up with his manic driving ways. Well, he's not that bad really, but he did get a ticket from driving through a yellow light. It was so dumb of the cop to give him a ticket, because no harm was done. Plus, it was $180! Needless to say, he wasn't very pleased.
Mark left today to get back to Toronto for uni on Monday morning, and I'm leaving for Montreal on Monday. Then I fly back to Toronto on Wednesday for one last night, then to Vancouver on Thursday to catch up with Janine. Then to Whistler for a weekend, and then back to Oz a few days after that. So that's the plan for the last week in Canada. The end is definitely in sight now - I miss all you guys heaps, but I still wouldn't mind another month or two up in the Big Cold North. BTW, for everyone who thinks I complain about the weather too much (not to name names), it was 12 degrees above zero the other day in Toronto. And that is utterly ridiculous for this time of year. Luckily there is heaps of snow here in Ottawa - it makes everything look so much wickeder that normal.
Anyways, peace to y'all, and I hope to hear from you guys soon.
Location: Niagara Falls, Canada
Here's another update for all you peeps out there who just can't get enough of my adventures. On Saturday Mark and I caught the bus down to the bustling metropolis of Niagara Falls, Ontario. It took about an hour and a half, and the scenery was kinda depressing. The area between Toronot and NF is all industrial, steel mills and stuff like that. But it went by quickly, and we arrived at Casino Niagara at about noon. Odd place to arrive, I know, but if you 'pretend' that you're going there to gamble, you can catch the bus and it's really cheap.
So we gambled for a bit, took advantage of the free beverages provided, then ventured out into the cold to see the sights. Niagara Falls the town would have to be the most touristy town in the ENTIRE world. Every shop in the downtown area is a haunted house or a house of wax or something equally cheesy. But it was all kinda cool, in a lame way. Yeah.
So we looked around for a bit, then headed to the Falls themselves for a proper look. They are really damn cool - massive and powerful and so much water heading over them. Spent a good hour just walking around them, getting better angles and stuff. But eventually we decided to go over the Rainbow Bridge into the the United States. And that's when the real fun began.
If you're a Canadian citizen, even one as dodgy as Mark, you can cross the border in less than ten seconds. If, however, you happen to be an honest hardworking Australian citizen, you have to
.fill out a form,
.wait in line for over 20 minutes,
.get finger printed on both hands,
.get photographed, and
.pay a 6 American Dollar 'process fee'.
Needless to say, I almost just said 'f--k you guys and f--k your country. If that's the way that allies treat one another, then screw you'. But, we'd already crossed the bridge, so I figured, might as well. So we went through into New York State,and it was crap and we spent 30 minutes and then went back to glorious Canada. You get a much better view on the Canadian side anyway.
After that it was getting late, so we caught the bus back to Toronto to prepare for Mark's big birthday bash. Yes, our little man was turning the big 2-4. Of course, we all got drunk at his house then went out to a bar. Poor Marky had a little too much fun and puked his ring up for a half hour before I eventually convinced him to come home and sleep. So that was that - a very busy day, and one well remembered. For me at least, I don't think that Mark remembers much at all. I feel so young now....
Peace until my next update peeps.
Location: Toronto, Canada
Hey all, not much new to report at this stage. With the Canadians back at University there's not a lot of people around to keep me entertained. But I make my own fun. I went out to the Art Gallery of Ontario with a friend of mine last night, which was fun except for the fact that they're renovating and only two exhibits were open. But we went out for supper after, which was cool.
Mark and I are heading to Niagara Falls on Saturday for the day. If you take the Casino bus it's pretty cheap, and then you just 'pretend' to gamble for a while and then leave to explore the town. So that should be fun. In Winter the Falls are mostly frozen, but because it's been sooo damn warm lately, they'll probably be flowing just fine. It has been 8 degrees the last few days, whichis absolutely ridiculous for this time of year. It should be minus 10, at least. Hopefully I'll at least get to see a blizzard.
Then we're off to Kingston and Ottawa on the 21-22nd. Mark has to head back to T.O for Uni, but I'm continuing on up the coast to Montreal and maybe Quebec City. So that's the plans for the next few weeks.
Finally got my enrolment organised for the next semster. I have a sweet timetable - Fridays off, Mondays don't start until 3pm. Pretty cool.
Hope everyone is doing well back home. Mark sends his greetings to all of y'all. Later days folks.
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hey folks, it's been a while, eh?
Just got back from Halifax the other day. For those of you who don't know, Nova Scotia is one of the most easterly provinces in Canada. For reference, Halifax is around 7000 km east of Vancouver - quite a long hike. Everyone in Ontario was jealous that I was going, because most people here have never been east of Quebec. The train from Toronto took about 6 hours to get to Montreal, then another 20 hours to reach Halifax. The scenery through Nova Scotia was amazing - rivers, lakes, forests, snow covered everythings. I reached Halifax on the 4th and met up with my friends from the train that I met in Alberta. She is the daughter of the one of the stars of Canada's favourite TV show, the locally made 'Trailer Park Boys'. Her dad is pretty hilarious. I spent the night at ther place, then we toured around her area the next day. We got to see the Atlantic Ocean, as well as an authentic Nova Scotian Fishing village. It was so far the nicest area of Canada I've seen. And so warm - it was about 6 or 7 degrees.
I went out in Halifax that night. There are only abut 360 000 people in the whole city, so it was pretty dead, but still fun. Then it was time to head back to Toronto the next morning. So it was a brief trip, but it didn't cost me anything extra, so that was cool. Haven't done a lot since I got back, but Mark and I are enacting plans to get back to Kingston soon. So I'll keep everyone up to date on what we're doing.
You guys have to be sure and let me know what you're up to as well. Keep me in the loop, eh?
Location: Toronto, Canada
Yo yo and welcome to the New Year
So my New Year's Eve was about 20 hours after you guys had celebrated it. And they played the Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks on TV. We had a good night here. Was going to be a big gathering, but ended up with about ten of us, chilling and what not. One of Mark's friends, who is deaf, brought these friends of his, who are also deaf. So at one stage, there were more deaf people than hearing people at the house. Bizarre, but pretty cool as well. At least there was no worry about having my accent laughed at I guess.
Mark's mate Dayv (yes, spelt like that) completed his 7th consecutive year of a New Year's Eve nudie run, which was entertaining for all involved. It was a good minus 10 outside at the time, which is kinda bizarre again for a NYE party. I'm sure it was ridiculously hot back home. I am definitely glad I missed out on the 42.5 degree day the other day, that's just plain nuts.
Nothing much else to report, except that I leave for Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 3rd for two nights. Whcih should be pretty cool, eh? It's a pretty well regarded city for its night life and stuff. So yeah, peace and a Happy 2006 to all.
Location: Vaughan, ON, Canada
Still recovering from Christmas lunch. So much food. Even just being around the house here, everyone keeps trying to feed me. It's like heaven....
Yesterday one of Stef's friends took me Boxing Day shopping in downtown Toronto. I picked up these sweet hiking shoes for $50, down from $100. My other ones really weren't equipped for Canada, I've had cold feet for three weeks. Also while we were there 8 people were shot. I f you here anything about a Boxing day shooting on Bloor Street in Toronto, me and Gaby we about 500 metres from it. Yeehah
Today was spent up the CN Tower, which is the highest freestanding structure in the world. We got up to about 600 metres above the ground. Apparently you can see Niagara Falls on a clear day, which today wasn't, but you can still see a whole lot.
So ol' Kerry Packer is dead, eh? Hope he leaves me something in his will - an even 1 billion shoud be sufficient.
I'll probably be at Stef's for a few more days, then back to Mark's, then off to Halifax in Nova Scotia. Then New York City. So it's all happening.
Peace, and a BIG Happy Birthday to my dear Father, who I believe is 53 today. Or maybe 52. Anyway, Shan, if you read this pass on my best wishes.
Location: Woodbridge, ON, Canada
Merry Christmas All!
Just got back from Christmas lunch at Stef's Grandparents house up in Mississauga. Her family was really cool, and I might as well have been another cousin. I ate SOOO much food, it was ridiculous. I'll be lucky if I eat again for the rest of the week. We had genuine Italian lasagne, pork, beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, apple pie, salads, seafood.... So much variety, and all tasty as.
So it didn't snow on Christmas Eve, which was a little disappointing, but it did snow on th eway home today, and is in fact still snowing right. So I might run out and just in it when it gets a bit thicker.
I'll be hanging up north with Stef for a while longer. Boxing Day sales are really big here, so I might pick up some bargains. Then Mark should be back from Kingston, which will no doubt mean a drunken New Year's. Stef's family got me this really sweet Roots gear, and a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and an Ottawa Senators cap. I've been wearing them all day, they're hella cool.
Hope y'all had wicked Chrissys'. And anyone watching the Boxing Day Test sucks beacause I can't over here. Peace compadres.
Location: Toronto, Canada
Howdy again folks
Things have been pretty relaxed here in Toronto. Mark and his bro and gf have just left for Kingston, so I'm kicking back here until I get to Stef's for Christmas in the next few days. There is some talk of snow the night before Christmas, so that will be awesome.
Other than that, not much is going on. Plenty of partying, of course. Some drunken sledding, and a visit to the little town of Kitchener-Waterloo. And all the BBQ Snax have now been eaten, so I'm cold turkey for the next few weeks, God damn it. Oh well, maybe a moose burger instead...
The most interesting thing so far is that Mark wears glasses most of the time, trouble seeing things in the distance, and night driving was getting to be a problem. That's about it really, should have more interesting stuff to report after Chrissy.
So a Merry Christmas to all back home and abroad, and peace be on your heads.
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Hope everyone's hols are rockin and stuff. Toronto so far is pretty cool, lots of people and massive buildings. Plus it's bloody cold here. Last night Mark and I went tobogganing in this park with a really sweet valley. Man, you get some real speed up sliding down ice on an election poster! Good times.
Other than that there's been plenty of random wandering around the city, seeing the sights and immersing in Canadian culture. There's some pretty good beer over here, much better than the crappy Americn stuff I've had. Plus, there are entire shops here that just sell beer. Funnily enough, they're called 'The Beer Store'.
Right now I'm up at York University. It's kind of a depressing concrete campus, and it's way out in the sticks. But at least there's a Tim Horton's nearby.
Mark sends his greetings to all. If anything, he's more of a delinquent than before, but I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that knows him.
Peace until next time.
P.S How did everyone go with their results? Did you pass QM Geetz??
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Have been away from the computer for about a week, but have FINALLY made it to Toronto today. Jasper was really cool and quite mountainous, so I'll post some pics when they get developed.
Made it to Edmonton safe and well. Alicia's bf was really cool, and he had a hot tub at his place. Hot tubbing while it's snowing on you is really cool, I strongly recommend it.
So from Edmonton it was supposed to take 2 days exactly to get to Toronto. But from Winnipeg, Manitoba onwards we were diverted to another track because of a derailment up ahead. So that meant instead of getting there at 8pm Friday, it was actually 8am Saturday. Hence, Mark couldn't meet me at the station. But fortunately i met some cool people and we taxied it here.
I am now at Mark's house. It is pretty much as you'd imagine, full of stolen thingts and random posters. I'll try and photograph some of the better stuff. So that's that. I understand there'll be mucho drinking tonight as welcome, so we'll see how that goes.
BTW I don't recommend spending 2 and a half dayss on a train, ever. It is hellish, and I smelt a bit like a llama by the end of it.
Peace out, and more adventures in T.O soon xx oo
Location: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Howdy again. Spent the last few days wandering around Vancouver on my own, so nothing very interesting to report. Although I did find an Australian themed bar, where I paid imported beer prices for a Coopers Sparkling. Ridiculous, eh?
So on Friday, me and Janine went to see Harry Potter. Finished at 4, leaving us an hour and a half to get to the train. Bam, we hit traffic heading to the Vancouver Canucks game. We make it literally with ten minutes to spare. But I made it, so all was good.
19 hours later we pulled into Jasper. Made it to the hostel, where everyone but me was speaking French. But fortunately I met a couple from Halifax in Nova Scotia, and we've been hanging out, drinking wine and playing Monopoly. Today is for wandering around Jasper Town, which is pretty cool, nestled right in the Rockies. So that's that. I'll probably update again from Edmonton when I get there tomorrow. Peace, y'all!