Sneak Preview of the Canadian Adventure
Maid of the Mist boat at Niagra Falls
Canoeing in the wilderness looking for moose, sailing the world’s biggest lake and getting soaked by epic waterfalls; you can definitely find adventure in Canada, and quite often it is the kind that has the danger of getting you wet.
I lost count of the number of canoes/boats/ferries/ships I boarded during the two weeks I was in Canada. Canadians seem to have a fascination for water, which makes sense as there are about a quarter of a million lakes just in Ontario, including Lake Superior, the biggest fresh water lake in the world (and bloody cold one too), although they do share that one with the US.
Toronto, it’s really nice
Toronto skyline as seen from CN Tower
Canoeing back to Toronto on a big voyager canoe
Toronto has lots of cool street art
But we didn’t spent the whole two weeks in Canada on the water; we also explored and fell in love with Toronto, where we admired the fastest growing skyline in North America; it has five times as many skyscrapers being built as New York has. We looked at the skyline thru castle windows, high from the CN Tower, across the lake at night, from a canoe…
Alright, so apparently water was involved with the Toronto skyline too, that isn’t a good example then, but we also walked around Toronto, in downtown with the skyscrapers, in the funky Kensington Market, the central islands you can only access by a boat…
Alright, something not water related. Let me think… The food!
I wasn’t expecting Canada to have such great food scene, I don’t know why, I just wasn’t. Yes, I expected that they’d have good food, but it was better than good. They have french fries and cheese curds soaked in gravy. And if you don’t know what cheese curds are, imagine cheese in the shape and consistency of a marshmallow…
And they call this combination, poutine. Yes, when you eat it, you can feel your life span getting cut by three weeks, but it’s worth it for the cheese curds.
I also ate too many Tim Hortons donuts (and I’m using the American spelling here, so doughnuts for you non-North Americans), but if you’ve been to Canada and didn’t have a Tim Hortons donut, you probably didn’t go to Canada, you probably went to the US. It’s physically impossible to visit Canada and not eat a Tim Hortons donut. If you haven’t tried one by the time you’re trying to leave the country they’ll make you eat six before you’re allowed on the plane.
Tim Horton’s donuts are a Canadian tradition
Poutine: french fries, cheese curds and gravy
Finnish pancakes and Karelian pie for breakfast in Thunderbay
And much like the US, Canada is big, I hadn’t realized how big it is. Ontario alone is over a million square kilometers (that’s 400,000 square miles for you Americans), that’s over twice the size of Spain. So when we needed to go to Thunderbay for some sailing and Finnish pancakes, we had to fly, as driving twenty hours wasn’t an option really.
With so much space it’s hardly a surprise that there are lots of wilderness and national parks in Ontario; and this wilderness is home to one of the most known residents of Canada, the moose; yes, we went on a moose safari (to photograph moose, not to shoot them); we camped and kept warm with a fire, canoed and carried our canoes. But did we find any meese (meese: accepted plural form of moose, and my new favorite word)?
Well, you’ll have to come back later to find out.
After the moose safari however we canoed over to a private island, where we disconnected from the world for a few days. No mobile phones, no Internet and the fastest way to reach someone was by a canoe.
And if that sounds medieval, I probably should admit that we had running hot water provided by solar power. There is no need to throw everything away from the last 300 years. After some camping, running hot water is luxury on bar with marshmallow cheese.
Sailing on the Lake Superior
Packing canoes for a moose safari
Our private little island, that really is the whole island
So there you have it, a sneak preview as delivered by my iPhone of what I was up to in Canada for the past few weeks. More detailed stories and photos to follow in the upcoming weeks when I manage to sort out my two thousand photos from Canada.
You’ve been to Canada, Eh? What’s your favorite place there?