Sunday, 23 August 2009

Home sweet home.

Excuse my lateness, but in case you hadn't realised, we are safely home from Canada. We got home two weeks ago today, and life has been pretty busy, hence my delay. We spent a few days in Suffolk (REUNION IN SUFFOLK!), unpacking and then repacking, before moving into our new flat in Canterbury. The girls came to visit (REUNION IN CANTERBURY!), I registered at my new uni, then Seamus flew to Ireland (REUNION IN IRELAND!) and I went to London to see Kyra (REUNION IN LONDON!) before I flew to Germany (REUNION IN GERMANY!) to see Meike, Hanna and Vanessa, and last night, returned home to Suffolk (RE-REUNION IN SUFFOLK!). I think the reunions are all over now, and I have a couple of weeks to relax and hang out with my family (and new puppy and kitten!) before I move to Canterbury properly and start uni. So, I've really been too busy to miss Canada, or even contemplate missing Canada. It WAS good times, though.

I worked out we were there for 297 days, during which we visited fifteen cities, nine provinces (and two US states), and an awful lot of national and provincial parks. Waterton was so the most beautiful place we went to, although Newfoundland came pretty close, and BC would definitely be the province I'd move to. I liked everywhere we went, minus Lethbridge and Calgary (yes, even Toronto!) and my favourite thing about Canada is the diversity across the country. Diversity in every way...landscapes, climates, ethnicity, language, food, people, attitudes, industry, rates of GST...who needs to travel the world when you can just go to Canada? I will never forget the mountains, or the coastlines, or the people who shared their Canada with us (Erik the tour guide, Moose Travel, our two lots of farm hosts, our two lots of Couchsurfing hosts, the Algonquin crew, and our Waterton friends, especially Sue and Zen, Claudia, Al and Alex, Irina and Mayor Al, who I think about and miss every day). I am so happy to have met these people, seen these sights, done these outdoor activities, and drank all those beers.

I was thinking about making a new blog (our Canterbury adventures?), not that my life is that exciting these days (if it ever was), but social work/social issue-based. There is a lot I've wanted to talk about in terms of current events, my future studies etc, so I'll put a link here if I end up doing that in the next few days. I'm sad to sign out from my blogging career for too long, I'm pretty self-obsessed, so telling the internet world the ins and outs of my daily life has been fun. Until next time...

Saturday, 8 August 2009


1.Montreal on a cloudy day.
2.Montreal on a less cloudy day.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Lobster traps, Gros Morne.

Making friends.

Marche Maisonette, Montreal.

Photos from Ottawa.

Ottawa was nice, we had a lot of fun there. We stayed in the jail hostel, which was a prison until 1972, and hasn't changed much since. It's meant to be one of the most haunted buildings in Ottawa (a place apparently known for its ghosts) but we didn't notice anything. It was a cool place to stay, anyway.

Apart from the aforementioned rafting adventure, we did some exploring, went to a great art gallery, drank a caesar, and did some shopping. Now we're back in Montreal; today we went to the Biodome, which has four different habitats and climates, and lots of animals, and actually changes temperature depending on which part you're in. It was cool. Then we visited a lot of, Quebec is good for markets. Tomorrow we're going on a bike tour! And then Friday is our last full day...

Monday, 3 August 2009

My scariest day.

We're back from rafting. Such a scary day. Very fun though. There was one rapid; Bus-eater, where I had a near-death experience. We all did. We all knew it was going to be the biggest rapid of the day, with the highest chance of the raft flipping. I remember approaching the rapid. I remember flying off my seat. Then I remember surfacing and coughing up water, and I was surrounded by boats and people and paddles and everyone was screaming. And all I could think was:
1)I need to save the paddles!
2)I need to save Seamus!

Then a boat came up beside me and they were screaming at me to grab hold of them and come aboad. But in my panic, I didn't recognise them as the rescue team, and thought they were pirates trying to steal me. But then I could see Seamus on the boat too, and he had snot all round his face, so I thought I should go with the pirates, to clean Seamus' face if nothing else.

And Natasha smashed her leg on a rock, and got hit in the face with a paddle, but she was safely on board our own raft, and soon Seamus and I were there too, clean faces and everything.

But then I was a bit shaky for a while. I wasn't scared or nervous beforehand, but I guess you never know how you're going to react in emergency situations. Turns out, I don't react well.

And then at the end, we jumped off the raft and swam in the river, and I was wearing a wetsuit and I pretended to be a dolphin.

So maybe I banged my head a little when I went underwater.

Ottawa and whitewater rafting.

We're in Ottawa, which is an underrated city I think, and today we're going rafting! And yesterday, we had our first, and last, caesars (the disgusting Canadian cocktail that I made a thousand of when I was working at the Kilmorey). Home on Sunday!!!

Friday, 31 July 2009

My feet hurt.

We've walked so much in Montreal, I am exhausted! It's great though, there's so much to do here. We went to this light-and-sound show at the Notre Dame tonight, plus a museum, and Chinatown for lunch, and the market at the river. Tomorrow, we're going to Ottawa for a few days - including whitewater rafting! - then back to Montreal for a cycling adventure, an art gallery, and possibly a Martha Wainwright concert. SO EXCITING!


Montreal's cool, it's like Toronto but with grass, open space and attractive buildings. More people speak english here than Quebec so we're embarrassing ourselves less. We walked miles yesterday; to the university, the park, the plateau (a cool district with nice shops and cafes), and the waterfront. And we are starting to conclude that Quebec culture is a little different in customer service (i.e. they don't really give any). There's so many things here we want to do! It's less pretty than Quebec but much more going on. And I found "British-style" crumpets in the supermarket!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Last few Quebec photos.

Ten nights!

We're on the train from Quebec City to Montreal, our penultimate stop on our adventure. Actually, it's our ultimate stop too, since we're going to Ottawa for the weekend, then heading back to Montreal for our final trip in Canada. Can you believe ten months is nearly over? I can't wait to see my parents! And the rest of my family, and my friends. Other than that, I haven't missed home much. There's a few things about the UK I prefer to Canada (banks, mobile phones, the difficulties of long-distance travel, architecture) but I'll miss the space of Canada, and the diversity (in terms of culture, landscape, buildings, accents and chips), the countryside, the lakes, mountains, forests, the snow, the's a good country. I can't believe I'll be home next week! We can have proper roast dinners, proper cider, and watch better television (sorry, Canada). It's hard not to count down when you're nearing the end. But I'm excited about Montreal, there's so much to do there. Although, the weather looks to be rainy, just like most of our summer. I tell you, one summer I'm going to go somewhere dry. I am sick of rain. I'd rather have -20 and snow than this endless rain.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Some Quebec City.

1.Cute houses, in a carpark.
2.One of several murals.
3.Seamus and me!
4.Natasha and Seamus, sunbathing.
5.The Frontenac at night.

We've had fun in Quebec. Yesterday we went whalewatching and had a very exciting boat ride (it was like a rollercoaster! On water!), and saw lots of whales, plus some seals (poor seals, nobody cares about them), and a fjord! It was a great day! Today was sunny, at last, so we did pretty much nothing...just had some unsatisfying poutine, drank some beer and lay in the sun.

We're going to Montreal tomorrow, and there's so much to do! It's too exciting. And next Sunday, we'll be home.

Oh, my favourite thing about Quebec is the good and wide choice of local beers, plus the Quebec way of drinking. No longer do we have to go to liquor stores...they sell alcohol everywhere! And bars let you drink in isolation, rather than in combination with food. I love that.

Sunday, 26 July 2009


We are reunited with Natasha in Quebec! She's changed a bit since I last saw her. She's now a damsel with a small child, has a muffin for a face, and is a convicted solider. Life's funny like that. We just have to go with the flow.

Quebec is shitty in the weather stakes (but where isn't? Canada, you break my heart!) but is very pretty. My favourite thing is the good and varied alcohol supply. Today, we went to an interactive tour called 'The Convict's Last Drink'. Natasha was the convict, and we had to decide on her punishment. It mainly involved learning about 19th Century torture devices, and drinking local beers. My favourite kind of Sunday! Tomorrow, we're going whale-watching, hopefully. We've been buying lovely things, and hoping Montreal holds more shopping opportunities. I still haven't had Quebecois poutine, but I have had croissants.

More photos from this beautiful city later.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Bye Fredericton.

After a lovely two days in Fredericton (oh, it is so good having our own room. Screw residences all the way!), we're now heading to Quebec City in yet another epic journey, which could result in disaster if the train workers strike as they are threatening to. I'm sure it'll be fine though. And Natasha will be here tomorrow! And it's going to rain the whole time she's here!

Some more Fredericton.

1.We stopped at Mexico on our way here.
2.Cultural Capital.
3.View across the river.
4.Christ Church Cathedral, which is modelled on the church in Snettisham, Norfolk.
5.An unexpected changing of the guard.

Lovely Fredericton.

1.The lighthouse, which is also an ice-cream shop.
2.The old Government House.
4.Blueberry ale.
5.Our house of residence.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Victoria Row, Charlottetown.

Things I haven't mentioned.

Since my internet supply has been substandard for the last month, I feel I've missed out on so many things to share with you. I haven't talked about the warm, funny and beautiful family we stayed with in Cape Breton. I haven't talked about our Couchsurfing/farm work experiences. I haven't talked about Tony the sheep and how she met her unfortunate end. I haven't talked about how Seamus is growing his hair "for my birthday present", and how he looks beautiful yet messy, but very much like a traveller. I haven't talked about how I woke up one morning in Port Aux Basques with no hearing in my left ear, a situation that lasted a week, and resulted in the loss of my tragus piercing. I haven't talked about all our lovely bus journeys through Maritime countryside, which is prettier than Albertan countryside. I haven't talked about the Anne of Green Gables fever all over Prince Edward Island. I haven't talked about how we're going whale-watching in Quebec, and whitewater rafting in Ottawa. I haven't talked about how we seem to be missing every significant event in every city and town by just a couple of days, something which resulted in Seamus throwing a tantrum yesterday because we miss 'Family Fun Day at the church' in Fredericton. I haven't talked about how we saw a bear in Cape Breton. I haven't talked about how eastern Canada is generally more charming than western Canada in terms of architecture. I haven't talked about how I am excited to come back to the UK so I can drink Kopparberg, Magners and Aspalls! No more Strongbow please!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


We're now in Fredericton, which is surpisingly lovely. You know when you just have a really good feeling for a place, for no concrete reason? That's how I feel about Fredericton. We're staying on the university campus, which is beautiful, and makes me want to be a student on a North American campus. We found an amazing thriftstore, the first I've really found in Canada, and we bought EVERYTHING. I have new tops, a new dress, and a beautiful/ugly (depending on if you are young and normal, or if you white cardigan. Photos tomorrow xxx

Sunday, 19 July 2009


It's so hard visiting places for only two or three days. You never really get a feel for a place, and just feel like you're passing through. Nevertheless, Charlottetown has been relaxing, we've pretty much just walked around, eaten and drank. Here's a few photos. Yesterday was gloomy and depressing, which made me sad towards Charlottetown, but today was so hot and sunny, and we met up with Bodeene, had lunch at the harbour, ate ice-cream, and drank a beer on this little street overlooking a bandstand with a band full of Michael Cera lookalikes. It was beautiful. We just have the morning here tomorrow before our bus leaves at 2pm for Fredericton. As far as I know, the city is very small so it'll be some more relaxing time before we head to Quebec for our final two weeks with Natasha. Charlottetown is full of lovely souvenirs by the way, it's pretty hard to restrain myself. We've barely bought anything since we've been travelling (except for my beautiful Newfoundland winter hat) but I'm making up for it now...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Last photos.

1.The best goats have beards.
2.Just one of many bugs. This one was in our bed.
3.In Baddeck.
4.Me and Tony (RIP)
5.Me, Alexander Graham Bell, and Mabel.