Thursday, 2 May 2013

Canada April 2013

I recently went to Canada and had a great time. My friend and I flew to Toronto where we spent a couple of nights. With only a couple of days we decided to visit the things that interested us. First up was the amazing CN Tower which is an engineering wonder and Toronto must-see attraction. Within a few seconds of being in the lift we were over 1,800ft high and looking out at the spectacular views of Toronto. We didn’t bother with the Sky Pod but I did stand on the glass floor, whereas my friend was too scared!


We went on the tour bus which is pretty good because you can hop on and hop off.  It costs $34.96 and lasts for up to 3 days.  This seemed the perfect solution for us.  They drive you around the whole town stopping at tourist spots such as the CN Tower and Castle Loma.

Castle Loma was one of my favourite places in Toronto. The castle was once owned by Sir Henry Pellatt who was a Canadian financier.  The house is built in a Gothic style and now a museum and landmark open to the public. The castle took three years to build from 1911 – 1914 and cost approximately $3.5 million! 

My favourite room was the conservatory (see below). With marble floors and large gothic style windows and a beautiful Italian stained glass dome in the ceiling it truly was a beautiful room.

The Royal Ontario Museum was pretty impressive.    We went on a guided tour as we didn't have all day which could have easily been spent seeing everything.

 We also walked around the harbour and took in some of the shops and restaurants.  Here we tasted the delights of Cora's for the first time.  More about that later.

Here are some more images of Toronto:

Next up was a short personal (only us) coach trip to Niagara Falls where we stayed one night in the Sheraton hotel:

This was the view from our room:  Pretty impressive right?

WOW is all I think about when remembering my time there.  The bridge in the background of the picture above is called the Rainbow Bridge.  Over the other side is New York which we crossed.  The chap at the hotel said we would be in trouble if we crossed the bridge half way just to stand on UK soil.. This turned out to be a load of rubbish.  We did cross the border and met with some very serious US border men.   We walked around and saw the back of the falls but my camera died. I got one picture of behind the falls and at the border:

I didn't know you could buy an ipad from a vending machine:  This was in the lobby of the hotel.

Our time in Niagra was great, we loved every minute.  We would have liked to stay longer but we were off the next day to Ottawa the capital.  We stayed at the Lord Elgin for 3 nights:

One of my favourite places we visited was Notra-Dame. (below)  I went to the one in Paris some years ago and it left a lasting impression on me.  So when I found out there was one in Ottowa I knew I just had to go.  I wasn't disappointed.

Parliament hill in the background
View from inside the Peace Tower inside the Parliament of Canada

We went on a tour of the main parliamant building (above) but our tour was cut short because of Google!  They were there that day filming for their street view/building view or whatever they are going to call it (Google now plans to film inside some buildings).  We saw inside the library and the peace tower and memorial chamber. But the rest was off limits.  Thanks Google!  I can't even get away from you on holiday!

One of the things that stands out for me on this trip is Cora's. Cora is a Canadian chain of resturants serving breakfast and lunch.  OMG the food was amazing.  My friend Shelley below is a bit of a food junkie and she just loves her food.  Here she ordered a bit too much and couldn't manage it all. The pancake below is what I had a few times over the week.  

Since coming home I have created the same pancake dish (see below).. Trouble is I ended up putting on about 5 pound so I am on a diet now.  I was a little over my target weight before I went so this and all thanks to Cora I am back on my diet!

My version!

All and all the holiday was great. I have more photos to add which I will later.  But if your thinking of visiting Canada I would say GO and make sure you have a couple of days at the falls as one just wasn't enough.

If your planning to go with children this website is great for things to do in canada with kids.