Date : 27 May 2013
Awake early again. Out of bed at 4:30. Glorious sunrise again to follow last night’s glorious sunset. Tried uploading photos again to my NAS but the WIFI in the hotel is really not up to it.
Trying to eat lighter today to keep the good work of the last 18 months going so just tea and toast for breakfast. Once Wifey was up and ready we wandered down to the concierge to check-out the sight-seeing hop-on-hop-off bus. Concierge was great, called the company up there and then and booked us on. next pick up was at 09:55 opposite the King Edward Hotel across the road from 1 King West. Worked for us.
While waiting we grabbed teas and coffees in the Starbucks opposite watching the workers trundling to work in Downtown. Surprised at just how many people call in to Starbucks for a coffee before work.
There was another family waiting for the bus which turned up about 20 minutes late. One of the buses had had problems knocking their schedule out a bit. Just like Chicago it was an old topless Routemaster. Unlike Chicago it was completely manned by University students. Bryony was English. Very plummy but with lots of ‘guys’ and ‘good stuff’. Would have preferred a Canadian, but she was confident and interesting. Just her voice was rather annoying.
24 stops that take about 2 hours to go around and a ticket that lasts three days and a 40 boat trip around the islands for $35, I think it worth it, although the PATH subway probably a lot cheaper but do you get a description of the areas you travel through?
The bus takes you up to the shops and museums and Castle Lomas and down to the CN Tower, docks and Distillery districts. To get our bearings we stayed on it all the way round to the CN Tower. They then had a 15 minute break and we decided to make a break to catch the boat. If we’d waited for the bus to resume we would have missed the 11:45 sailing so we dashed over the railway tracks, between the CN Tower and Rogers stadium, round the Roundhouse and then to the Ann Tindal Park on the waterfront to jump on the boat.
As it was and absolutely glorious day the boat was absolutely packed and we only just made it. Seats we got weren’t great an some girls tried to squeeze in which wasn’t happening. Still, got some fantastic pictures. Last time I did this was back in 2006 when I worked for RIM and we had a team building day. Looked the same but the weather was much better today.
After the boat we looked for a light lunch and happystanced upon a little cafe next to the Simcoe Wave Deck, Williams.. Nice open tuna wasabi melt for me and chicken quesadillas (why had we never tried them before Qatar?). Very nice. The cafe was in a pet information centre that had water fountain for dogs. Missing the girls.
Walked back to the Roundhouse and took some photos of the trains. One of the bus stops was here and whilst waiting we had a good long chat with one of the students working on it. As Canada only has two semesters they have 4 months off during the summer. Plenty of time to earn some money to pay for their tuition fees. However, the girl we talked to, being Quebecois, had her education paid for by McGill University. Having said that, the tuition fees in Canada appear to be about two thirds that in the UK. She was very chatty and helped pass the time waiting for the bus.
Next up as narrator was Vit. Could hardly hear her and when we could she wasn’t very engaging. Took the bus all the way to the top of the journey, Castle Lomas. $20.95 each which I thought was a bit steep, but an interesting history and a big and attractive house, used today as a wedding venue. Poor bugger that built it had his company taken from him by the council with no compensation and then promptly became bankrupt. That’s councils for you the world over.
Back on the bus with a young bloke, obviously a comedian who brought us back to the CN Tower. Very funny young man Better than Bryony and Vit. Saving the Museums for tomorrow when the weather is meant to be wet with thunderstorms.
Decided to have dinner at East Side Marios. Used to enjoy the ESM in Waterloo when I visited so had no worries. Ah. Hmm. Didn’t enjoy the experience at all. Staff not exactly happy to serve us. I ordered a pizza that was only half covered in toppings and had no tomato sauce and was very dry. Couldn’t eat it. Left. Never again.
Finally for the day walked back to the hotel.
For tomorrow we will have to check out before 11:00 am and the train doesn’t leave until 22:30 pm. This means we need to find somewhere to leave the bags for the day. Asked the concierge and he said we could leave bags with them for as long as we wanted. Sounds perfect.
Long day and tired now. More of the same tomorrow and then, the Canadian…