Thursday, 23 September 2010
My favorite places: Canada
One place you have to go and see is definitely Canada! I happened to have a good friend there who was my guide for most of my trip. I travelled around the states of Ontario and Quebec.
My first 2 days I was on my own in the modern city of Toronto! I was fascinated by the skyscrapers in the downtown where I stayed at, the beautiful harbour , the Ontario lake and the islands and I have to say that although there were some homeless in the street, i felt pretty safe. There was one square that reminded me of the Picadilly Circus in London and even the tour double-deck buses were red! Toronto has very good means of transportation> tram,bus and subway. Although the private coach company (airport express) from the international Pearson airport was a bit expensive, i'd advise you to buy a return ticket for 36 dollars which is valid for 90 days and takes you to downtown in only 25 minutes.
I wish i had had more time to spend in Toronto to be able to go on a cruise to the islands or to the Museum of Contemporary art and to do some shopping in the Eaton centre! Toronto is a expensive city and all around Canada taxes are not included in the prices you pay for clothing,food or bills in bars or restaurants, so always take that into account.
I spent half a day in the Niagara Falls, next time I'll stay overnight there since there is so much to do with the Niagara city entertainment shows and funny museums! It's worth it to stay! you can go by bus form Toronto like I did on a budget company that goes there daily for only 15 $ one way. Once you get ot the Niagara City coach station, it's a 40 minute walk to the falls or you can take a transit bus or taxi. I felt adventurous and walked all the way but I would advice you to take the transit bus not to lose any time! You can also go to the Niagara falls from Toronto on a tour bus but they charge you minimun 50 $ and you dont have a lot of free time to hang out.
After coming back from the falls, on my third day from Toronto I travelled by rail canada train (I bought the tickets on their web page), the ticket was a bit expensive but it was a nice way to see Canada for longer than 4 hours until I got to Ottawa.
Ottawa is a cozy traditional city with an impressive parliament which reminds me of the Big Ben and lovely castle just above the river.
By car we got to the beautiful mountain landscaping full of wild woods and lakes in the bilingual area of Tremblant in Quebec. It has it all, you can have a swim in the lakes in the summer and in winter yo can go skying in the multiple skiing resorts with lovely cafeterias and restaurants. Hidden in the mountains you have an amazing shop of Tommy Hillfiger where discounts up to 50 % can be found all year long! These discounts are only offered in this place because Tommy has a house in the area.
Last but not least, I spent my last day in the European-American style city of Montreal. I would have need at least other 2 days to be able to enjoy the city more, i only could appreciate the charm of the old city of Montreal, the harbour with its great atmosphere and inviting cafeterias. It was amazing to see the mixture of skyscrapers and Georgian style buildings. Montreal even has a replica of the French Cathedral of Notredame, they are very similar indeed!
Dont leave the state of Quebec without having maple sirope and poutine! 2 of the specialities of the area!Canada is a very ethnically and culturally mixed country and specially in the state of Quebec inhabitants speak more French than English and street signs are in both languages.
Ah! i almost forgot the cheapest airline that goes to Canada is airtransat, it's actually good value and they fly to the main cities!
I have to thank my friend Cristina and their family for the wonderful tour around Canada! i hope to be back soon!