Base ball match in the Blue Jays stadium in Toronto (view from CN tower)
01-02.06: Toronto: sky scrapers and sleeping beauty
Those who play hard, pay hard. And I paid dearly for yesterday’s late night and other previous self inflicted sleep depriviation. My train left eeaarrllyy to ‘Torono’, my next destination (Canadians don’t pronounce the last ‘t’). I had two 2 days to explore the city. My feet refused marching service and my brains were stuck in reboot mode, so no physical condition to go on a guided [walking] tour. I hence took off on my own with a sight seeing plan that was far too ambitious.
It didn’t take long to figure that out. At my first sight, the Toronto University’s campus grounds, I found a wonderful spot on the grass in the shade. I sat down for a quick rest and… woke up 2 hours later in fetal position. Oops! Luckily, Ontarions are honest people and left my valuables untouched. Mental note to self: I really need more sleep!
Toronto surprised me with an abundance of marijuana shops. I am indifferent towards such shops as ‘drugs virgin’. I never even smoked a joint in my life. This is probably quite hard to believe for most [foreigners] but I just never felt tempted and in my teens my dad used an additional deterrent; he threatened that he -should he ever find out of any drugs- would bring my horse to the butcher. Pretty cruel, huh! (my horse is still alive today, 28 years of age 🙂 )
02.06: The Niagara falls; wonder of the world
The Niagara falls have been in my itinerary since day 1. Finally the day had come to tick the box! I arrived by train -how else- to see most people disappear in taxis to take them to the falls. Not me though! I wanted to walk up there myself, get stunned by the sight and then have all the time in the world to enjoy it. I got my surprise despite deliberately planning for it, surprisingly.
Two hundred odd photos later I decided to walk on and noticed something strange in the far. Damn, another waterfall! My oracle, the Lonely Planet Guide, clarified that the other one was the actual Niagara Falls and that I had marveled at its little sister, the American Falls. I had deliberately abstained from prior research so that I could have a ‘pure’ experience. I guess this strategy paid off; the falls took my breath twice.
This blog is not intended to promote commercial tours. However, if you ever visit Niagara… buy a ticket for the boats. Oh my god! Or better: OMG, OMG, OMG! To see the falls from above [from the road] is great, but to see them from beneath [in a boat] is unbeatable!
On the day of my visit I posted a sneak preview on Facebook saying: ‘So they say Niagara is a tourist trap?? So WHO cares!!’ And now that I am posting this blog [and have seen the rest of the North American continent] I still agree that it truly is a wonder of the world.
Life was perfect until I messed it up. I managed to have my sunglasses picked up by the wind, whoosh, over the barrier and, flop, on a scratch of grass close to the rim. I searched for the best place to jump the barrier and recover them… until it slipped my mind that my action might distress other spectators. They could possible conclude that I was suicidal.
So I went to the security office instead. The first thing I saw was the sign ‘20,000 USD penalty for trespassing’. Boy was I glad I hadn’t execute my initial plan! Even the officers didn’t jump the barrier and used a giant stick instead. I guess it would have been really, really difficult to have talked myself out of that fine…