North America 2009

North America 2009

Usacan

Well. At some point I had to break the Southern Hemisphere tradition and stick to the north, and thus travelling in June-Augustish.
And at some point I had to break the Eastern Hemisphere tradition and head west. And thus, USA/CAN, here I come!

Into the night

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!



That don't impress me much

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.



Okej (Nu Tar Vi Dom, Nu Tar Vi Dom)

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 value.

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.



Waterfalls (again)

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 corner: Niagara.

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.



Theme from New York, New York

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.



Rocky

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 love.

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!



Burn after reading

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 house.



Deliverance

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...



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