Monthly Archives: May 2016

There and back again…Algonquin park yesterday

IMG_20160516_154642 !!!!!!! ROAD TRIP !!!!!!
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Yesterday, we dropped Heather off at the trailhead of the the Highland Hiking Trail in Algonquin Park. She doesn’t start at the village till next week (…long story), so she is hiking this week to kill time, and I suppose because it is one of her favourite things to do. I had the day off and Alan took the day off so we could go together to take her up. Her cousins will pick her up on Saturday on their way through the Park to mums for the long weekend.IMG_20160516_151352Here they are. What Alan is covering up is the part of the sign which says don’t hike alone. Which is one of the reasons I am awake at 4 in the morning, although it is dawn and so time for the other people to soon find her lifeless body on the trail, don’t you know…IMG_20160516_152447It was great to be back, however briefly in the land of Tom Thompson. I spent five feild seasons in Algonquin park when I was Heather’s age, back in my biology days. IMG_20160516_155351It is truly one of my favourite places on earth. No matter where I go, it will always be one of the best. IMG_20160516_165133This church on the way up to the Park has always killed me. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, yet it is so huge. When you google the nearby village of Wilno, Ontario, you find out about its “famous” annual chicken dinner.IMG_20160516_170028This nearby plaque explains the history of the Polish settlers in the area. There was probably a lot of timber money in the past to bankroll the church. They clearcut the whole area and sent it floating down the Madawaska River and on to the Ottawa River and the world at large. I remember seeing the log booms from the Peace Tower of the Parliament buildings as a kid, when they were finishing up the process 50 years ago.IMG_20160516_155804This is the trees now. Still beautiful but not really very old.

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Ok, I lied…one more travel post

IMG_20160505_045825Just before my flight was supposed to start boarding, I heard my name over the PA system. When I got to the flight crew, they handed me a new boarding pass for business class. YEAH!
This was my first and maybe only time in business class so when I was greeted with a tray of wine, beer, fresh squeezed orange juice, and Champagne, I chose the Champagne to celebrate, even though I pretty much hate it. The next time I had a Heineken, cause I am much more of a beer gal.IMG_20160505_050009I was also given a flight kit with socks, blindfold, earplugs, lipbalm, toothbrush and paste.IMG_20160504_173429They have WAY better food in business class, served with a ‘tablecloth’ over your tray and real glassware, china and heavy cutlery wrapped in a cloth napkin (so you know you are in a classy joint). This was dessert course of the first meal. When the flight started, the pilot announced that there was someone with a peanut allergy on board, so there would be no peanut service… No problem in business class, they serve your choice of gouda or mixed nuts (the no peanut kind) IMG_20160504_201802Of course, being me, I spent most of my time watching movies on a much bigger screen than I would have had on the other side of the curtain. The chair reclines and changes shape infinitely. I was using those buttons constantly. No chance to get uncomfortable! Oh, and did I mention the massage feature? And the two rounds of hot towels.IMG_20160505_045925At the end of the flight, they gave me this little ceramic house. I had previously been unsuccessful in finding a small object to join the collection I have of little mementoes from my travels. This will do nicely. If I had actually paid for this experience, the difference in price would have probably equalled the amount of money I spent on 6 weeks of hostel accomodation. Would I pay for it? No way. Anybody who knows me knows I am too cheap for that. But it was a perfect ending to a perfect trip and it was by far the shortest 7 hour flight I have ever been on.

Last travel post till the fall…

IMG_20160503_105810Yesterday, I crossed the chain bridge past this guy and entered the Buda side of the river. Six weeks ago. Charles and I had done Pest.IMG_20160503_110852This time, I eschewed the funicular, mainly because the lineup was huge and it cost $10 one way.IMG_20160503_114450I have been trying to walk around a lot anyway to get some exercise every day. I got the lovely surprise of this view of Matthias Church as I rounded the corner.IMG_20160503_123011Then this view of the Parliament buildings in Pest on the other side of the Danube.IMG_20160503_082340I am now at the departure gate waiting for the first leg of my journey home. It has been a great trip but I have to work tomorrow. Yikes.