May 10, 2005
May 11, 2006
! Free half hour internet connection with only a short wait (which you can extend). We visited Chinatown, larger than in Boston, very interesting if not inspiring (think I'd best go to China!) We would recommend Central Island, which is a $6 return ferry ride - it's where the locals go for peace and tranquility. You can picnic, there's fountains, coffee shops, fair for kids (in season) and you can hire bikes (which in hindsight would have been a good plan 'cos yep, once again we walked our socks off. If you are a good walker, you can cover the whole island in a day, but we had more to do, so spent half a day and covered the larger half. Spectacular views and photo opportunities from Hanlan Pier, our departure point. Check the ferry times, cos you could be stuck for a couple of hours. We went up the CN Tower at dusk which was about $20 each with our YHA card, but to be honest we were a bit disappointed. You don't get the 360 degree view as the posh restaurant gets a percentage of that, so we kind of felt ripped off. The lower level, one down, had the glass floor which we were both brave enough to have our photos taken on (you get huge macho men that won't set foot on it - ha ha!) but the outer area is meshed off, so although you can see through it, you can't take pictures. There is a cheaper alternative, refered to as the poor man's tower which is free, basically as long as you buy a drink at the top which is located up town. So that decision is up to you, although the perspective on the city would be different and you wouldn't be able to view the island from the latter.
Arrived in Toronto after hour and a half flight in a small, 56 seater plane, but smooth landing fortunately! As usual, trying to negotiate your way out of the airport and to your accommodation can be a problem, so from a woman's perspective, just ask and don't be a typical man and try and work it out by yourself. Big thank you to a kind lady called Cara who spoon fed us through the subway and pointed us in the right direction. How the hell are you supposed to have exact cash, $2 with no change given when you've just set foot in Canada. We made our way to our hostel, slightly apprehensively as Cara had said we would be staying in a 'colourful' area!!! All was well but as we were a bit of a way out, we opted to move to a Hostelling International site which was closer to town, be it a little more expensive, but being closer to Union station helps when you have luggage and it was better equipped too. So, what of Toronto? Well we can recommend the time of year, it was quiet on the tourist front, but we had brilliant weather. We visited the excellent library once again to read up on the next stage of our journey and had our picnic lunch by the fountain in the foyer!