Driving and day 1 in Toronto

Trip Start Oct 08, 2013
Trip End Nov 18, 2013

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Saturday, November 2, 2013

This will be a short entry as I want to go to bed and take advantage of the clocks being wound an hour backwards and be up to date with my writing for Saturday!

It was overcast when we left Ottawa on Friday morning. I was the driver for the day.

We stopped in a place called Carp and visited the Cold War Museum-the Diefenbunker. This was built during the time of the Cold War and was only decommissioned in 1994. It was re-opened in 1998 as a museum. Its not that long ago is it? Yep... Canada was prepared for a nuclear attack and had set up a whole range of emergency bases that enabled the continuity of a functioning government.

This one was the closest one to Ottawa and those officials designated to be sent here included the Prime Minister and the Governor General. It was quite a stark reminder about how real the threat was perceived to be. It was weird looking at the living quarters, listening to the assumptions that were made about how long they would be underground for (30 days was the plan), the assumed destruction and how similar the logistics were to the setting up for a battleship or submarine that could be at sea for months at a time.

We kept on moving and I steeled myself for an intense driving session when we realised we would arrive in Toronto around 6.30pm on a Friday night. Apparently the traffic jams are legendary...even worse then New York. I had one wrong turn along the way as we approached the outskirts of the city and we readied ourselves.

Lets just say it was a period of intense concentration and a bit of swearing on my part. Miss Garmin came into her own during that time. The multi laned freeways were daunting and as it was night time, it was a real challenge. With Gabe keeping an eye on my blind spot over my right shoulder, the early instructions from the GPS and getting to the left or right exits ahead of time, we made it in one piece with no wrong turns. I have to say, when I parked the car it was partly with relief but partly with exhilaration as well! Was I awake now!

We checked into Hotel Victoria and are really happy with the location. The Ice Hockey Hall of Fame is just around the corner, the St Lawrence Market, a five minute walk, and surrounded by restaurants the theatres are around us. We look for somwhere to eat but a couple of places that we were interested in had long lines, so we head to a non chain or franchise small burger joint we noticed earlier. We were pleasantly surprised with the flavour of the burgers and fries. I think we may go back.

This morning, we headed off to the Hockey Hall of Fame....Gabe's nirvana. I stayed till lunchtime. It was interesting seeing the Stanley Cup, looking at the gear, jerseys, reading the history, watching the films...like any museum really....Ice hockey is really serious here. Its on tv morning, noon and night. Its all encompassing....much like how baseball was in Boston...or I guess being in Melbourne during the AFL finals....thing is over here...its finals week, every day.

After lunch Gabe continued and I catch up with my writing whilst having coffee. We then stroll in the drizzle towards the market and take more photos of Toronto. There is a lot of building and road construction work going on. We think about walking to the CN Tower but decide to leave it for tomorrow.

Dinner is in a little thai restaurant and we are back in our room by 8.30. Watching the weather report and tomorrow is going to be a cold one...maximum of 4 degrees...bbbbrrrr. No rain is forecasted but the wind will be cold. I think my new boots and all me clothes will keep me warm so all is well in the world.

More sight seeing tomorrow so stay tuned...

Oh..trivia...did you know that on this trip so far, I have acquired the following ice hockey stuff- a New York Rangers shirt, a Boston Bruins shirt, a Montreal Canadiens beanie, a Washington Capitals cap....nothing for Ottawa or Toronto yet...there is still tomorrow.

Don't fret the bank balance...most of these things were on sale at the time! lol! And no I dont't follow any of those teams. I'm just collecting stuff on our travels. Gabe is laughing as he has bought much less ice hockey stuff than me and he's the fan!

But my pride of place purchase so far is my Red Sox jersey.

Have to go now as I want to watch the curling on tv....lol! Its like lawn balls on ice. The ladies are on...if I can find a rink that is willing to let me have a go...I'll send photos of me spreadeagled on the ice trying to push the rock or with a 'broom' in my hand...spreadeagled on the ice!
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Hazel on

Loving the stories... loving the pics... I think you're seeing too much sports 'tho...haha

Sporting vicariously on

Lol! You know me...not the most participative type-sport is too tiring! better watching! looking forward to the country and western sharing sessions when I get back. Thanks for commenting and glad you are enjoying same

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