Tuesday Day 3
Today we got up early and went for Breakfast at a typical American all you can eat breakfast diner, my first time ever!! After that we set off to drive towards Kitchener, that is located west of Niagara falls, we read in the travel guide that once this town has some kind of a German flair to it and that once it was called Berlin and also that Amish people settled down there. I will tell you more about that in a second though. The ride there took about 2.5 hours and while we were driving, we decided to go and see a small town just behind Kitchener that was called St. Jacobs. It is very popular for its Farmer’s Market that unfortunately only takes place on two days of the week during winter and it wasn’t the day that we were there, sadly! However we drove to the market place which was around 3 km outside of St. Jacobs and it looked adorable with a big shed with many at this point empty stall and a few empty build up stalls outside too (see the picture above). After that we drove into the town centre of St. Jacobs which was only around 20 shops, I would say, along the market road. It was full of cute little grocery shops, a bakery and a few clothes shops. Inside the bakery we could watch the workers, that were mainly amish people making the dough and all the pastries and cakes. we also visited the local Maple Syrup museum that was very small but quite informative with a movie that showed the making of Maple Syrup. So now to the Amish people are basically a community that includes around 2 Million people all around the world and they are very pacifistic and also very Christian. Many of them live without electricity and they live off farming and usually as cars, many of them use horses and carriages. We saw a few families, where the women and the girls wore long dresses or skirts and many of them also wore a white cap on the back of their head whereas the men and the boys wore some type of suit often with a hat. Nowadays, some families sent their kids to public schools which was not usual in the old times however there are also a few Amish schools in this area and all around the world.
We spent around 2 hours in Kitchener before we set off to go to…TORONTO! Honestly both of us were debating whether we should even go there as the weather was forecasted to change on Wednesday, so we wanted to make sure that we get to the park before it started raining and snowing. Anyways we came to the conclusion that since we are already so close to the city, we should at least go for the night and so we did. Our first destination in Toronto was the Art Gallery of Ontario! It is an amazing building and they had a huge room just with Henry Moore sculptures that Petra was very excited about! After we just made it out of the Gallery before it closed, we made our way to our hostel which was located in the centre on Toronto. Our room was…furnished in a very simple way and the air conditioning was quite good – a broken window only covered with some wood. Oh well, we did not actually spend a lot of time in the room so it was totally fine. Planning on going to the Nathan Philips square to see the colourful TORONTO letters and then to the waterfront to see…the waterfront, we ended up going to see the TORONTO letters and after taking hundreds of pictures from all the different angles and with all the different lights, we headed towards the waterfront passing the Hockey stadium… and there was a game on that evening, the Toronto Maple Leaves versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. To be honest, we probably got ripped off by the ticket sellers outside the stadium but WE GOT TICKETS to see a hockey match! How exciting, right?! Having seen a few games in Germany I was super excited for it as the atmosphere was always amazing. Well…here in Canada it’s different. I don’t know why, maybe we picked a bad match or maybe it was because of all the business men in their suits, the atmosphere was pretty shitty, I am not even gonna lie! So we left after the second third completely frozen and tired from the one can of beer we had and we went to get Chinese food before we went back to our hostel and straight to bed. Man, that was a day, eh? As you can see we only spent around 15 hours in Toronto so we did not have the chance to do an awful lot of sightseeing but we still got a good impression and I will definitely go back one day!
Wednesday Day 4
Today is the day! We are finally on our way to Algonquin Park. We left Toronto at 6 in the morning to avoid the rush hour traffic and so that we will arrive at the park before the sun is setting. I just loooove seeing the sun rise! The picture was taken on our way when we stopped for breakfast along the highway.By around 11 o’clock we arrived at our super cute hotel which was about half an hour away from the Park. The accommodation was called Tally Ho Inn and you can find the website here. It basically was many ‘sheds’ or simple houses facing the Peninsula Lake where each house has 3 rooms in it, that all had their own entrance and they were all next to each other on the ground floor. The view of the lake was simply breath taking! Our house was only around 20 metres away from where I was standing taking these pictures! Beautiful, right?!
At around 1 in the afternoon we set off to explore the Park and go for a ‘hike’ or more like a long walk! The main road that goes through the park is the highway 60 and along that highway, you can find all the trails to go for a hike. Some of them include great look outs and some of them are more popular for wildlife viewings. We chose the Track and Tower trail with great lookouts and bridges along the way and we indeed had some pretty nice views. See yourself! The hike was not too exhausting actually and the forest just looks like most forests in Germany, apart from the lakes though! Ohh and I almost forgot, there was snow (as you have probably seen on the pictures already)!!!
After our 4 hour hike, we drove back to our hotel and sat down in the lounge, the only place there with WIFI, completely exhausted but absolutely happy! We were going back and forth with our plans for the next days and with my Aunt’s New York trip after that weekend. 2 hours of planning and calculating and looking for hotels later, we decided to go and have dinner at the pub just across the street, and by street I mean the highway! Our night there started off very peaceful until we both got rudely woken up by loud laughter, screaming and talking from the room next to us, occupied by 4 university students, that I am pretty sure were on some kind of drugs. Long story cut short… I was never that scared about my life, but an hour later it quieted down until the police came to check on them but of course they could not do much and so they left and luckily the guys had gone to bed too so that we could get at least a few more hours of sleep. That was a crazy night, I’m telling you!
Thursday Day 5
All the planning has led us to go back to Ottawa today, return the car and then make our way to Montreal on Friday. Besides visiting the visitor centre near the east gate of the park and then driving home for around 6 hours, not many exciting things happened that day!
It feels great being at home again! As much as I loved the travelling so far there is nothing better than sleeping in my bed! 😉 In the next blogpost I will talk about the rainy, yet beautiful city – Montréal, that we visited for the weekend (Day 6 and Day 7)!