CanadaPosted by Martin 2009-07-22 05:27:18
Leaving Ontario, we set forth for the
french speaking parts of Oh Canada. Straight over the border to
Quebec lies Montréal, the host of the 1976 summer olympics.
The river flows quickly at points and with the assistance of a
specifically designed jet boat, we challanged and conquered the grade
4 and 5 rapids.
The combination of Montréal's
bustling nightlife, the ongoing festival Jusqua pour Rire, and the
fact that we all had nice clean beds to stumble into afterwards led
to a night of barcrawling and clubhopping. It was good fun, as was
the restaurant we patronized the second night:
O Noir, a theme
restaurant whose theme is exactly what it says on the tin. Where the
blind literary lead the (temporarily) blind. The place is completely
void of the tiniest shimmer of light, leaving it pitch black. You
can't see your hand in front of you, much less the food you're
eating. As the other senses enhance, you get an insight (infeel?
inhear?) as to what it's like to be blind. A must have experience!
CanadaPosted by Martin 2009-07-19 15:52:52
In between the cities of Toronto and
Ottawa lies Algonquin Provincial Park. It's a landscape full of
forests, lakes and mountains and it's big time scenic. For those who
aren't from Norway or Sweden, that is. There are also beavers, bear,
moose and heaps of chipmunks running around, and about two gazillion
mosquitos. After a mostly cloudy day on which we went for a hike, the
weather gods smiled upon us and gave us a nice, sunny day for our canoe
trip, which was a rewarding experience. One of the more lasting
memories from Algonquin, though, would be the staff at Portage Canoe.
Friendly and nice and not hard on the eyes.
CanadaPosted by Martin 2009-07-19 15:51:17
The land of maple syrup, mounties and
lacrosse was now ready for exploring. Toronto, with its magnificent
view from the CN Tower, was first on the agenda. It's a decent enough
city, and it has a bit of a nightlife, which was utilised. It also
has the Hockey Hall of Fame, but unfortunately it was closing within
five minutes when I arrived, so the $15 it cost didn't feel like good
Although smaller, Ottawa is the
capitol, and a very nice one at that. Byward market is a place to
wander and wonder for quite some time, and the official buildings,
such as the Parliament, have an almost European feel to them, partly
because of the British Empire-ish guards watching the place.
And just outside of Ottawa there lies
an old quarry, which now serves as the location for Canadas highest
bungy jump. I got slightly wet.
US of APosted by Martin 2009-07-17 16:47:35
Per overly expensive taxi I got myself
to New Jersey, where it was time to board the Trek America van, along
with three couples (from Germany, Norway and UK) and six solo
travellers (from UK, Malawi, Ireland, Switzerland and
Germany/Poland). Upstate New York, first stop was Taughannska Falls
near Itacha. But the real falls were waiting just round the 100 mile
762 metres wide, 51 metres high,
sending water down with a flow 2,5 million litres per second, it
divides the friend nations of USA and Canada. And it is impressive.
US of APosted by Martin 2009-07-17 16:45:53
Late at night we reached the biggest of
apples, got our gear in order and headed out for the NYC club scene.
The morning after, our little group more or less disbanded. Some went
home, some went elsewhere, most switched hotels, but eventually I
found myself with the dutch and the english on a hop on-hop off bus
around downtown. And in just one night and one day I got the frosting
on the New York cake: Times Square, Empire State Building (not up it,
just into the lobby), Wall Street, Rockefeller Center, Statue of
Liberty (from far, far away), Brooklyn Bridge and even more. I didn't
go into any depth, I will have a week to do that when I return from
Canada and New England in two weeks time.
US of APosted by Martin 2009-07-17 16:44:23
Liberty Bell, Independence Museum,
Freedom fries, and the best cheese steak in the known universe. It's
all in America's first capitol: Philadelphia, the city of brotherly
The stairs to the art museum is
probably more famous than the museum itself, and most of us,
including myself, ran up the stairs, waving our arms triumphantly
upon reaching the top. Rocky style!
US of APosted by Martin 2009-07-17 16:43:04
The capitol of the world's most
powerful nation is totally void of skyscrapers. What it lacks in tall
buildings, it takes back in monuments and memorials. Washington DC is
jam-packed with structures honouring dead presidents (and sometimes
their wives); Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam veteran
memorial and so forth. The Smithsonian institute is huge here, and a
visit to the American History Museum and Museum of Natural History
was a must. And of course the Capitol Building and a certain white
US of APosted by Martin 2009-07-09 06:44:34
At the very border to North Carolina
(which I crossed, just because), we put on lifejackets and helmets
and grabbed a paddle. To the imaginary sound of banjo music we
entered the raft and strode gently down the river. It wasn't gentle
for a long time, though. Rapids were ahead, and we all got wet, we
all fell out, we broke the raft and we even managed to make the guide
swim. Couldn't be better value for the money, could it? Apparently,
it could; local Moonshine was served at night, and when in Rome...