"W-I-P Canada in a day, not possible !" Personal Page by jethanand
Wed August 5 2009
After arriving at the dock (long story) we were herded to the airport intead of the dock by the ARROGANT staff at Carnival Cruise Lines,
the staff at National Car was also bent on sending us to the airport
after we got a car, we went to Granville land and later visited Granville Island and then took the last ferry to Nanaimo and drove to Victoria BC Inner Harbor
We accomplished much , but there was much more to see and do . All the driving around, unfamiliarity with the ferry system, inability to get good estimates for travel time wreaked havoc with our timetable
(FYI march and November are the rain-iest months in Vancouver BC, the best time to be there is June-July-August, the worst times are March and November, rest of the year, be prepared for cloudy, rainy days! )
LESSON LEARNT - do not depend on Carnival Cruise Lines to handle special requests, the employees are just too overloaded and unfamiliar, their uncooperative attitude took us to the airport instead of the harbordock. This caused us at least 1 1/2 hours delay and we could have used a taxi instead of a rental car for one full day, spent more time in downtown Vancouver
LESSON LEARNT - National Car Rental Employees at the dock are not well trained in Customer service or their job, their ineptitude cost us atleast 3 hours of extra driving
LESSON LEARNT - make detailed plans in US before arriving in Canada
lot more OUTSIDE Vancouver...
Thu August 6 2009
Vancouver Island BC - (FYI, this island gets much less rainfall than Vancouver BC, the best time to visit is summer but this island is so pretty that I could spend most of my year here)
Victoria tour by Mr Vijay Punwani,
Thai restaurant lunch,
Inner Harbor light show
Fri August 7 2009
Victoria BC Museum (must see),
COHO ferry to Seattle
I spent 5 days here and saw very little because we had a heavy family schedule. (I am definetely going back there and alone at that, I need to experience it first hand)
best of Toronto - water front , CN tower, STREET CARS, subway, lots of upscale shopping in downtown, Little India and of course, the NEWEST doll in our midst, her name is Kashish and she is Deepa's neices' daughter. HELLO 100 percent !
worst of Toronto - the streets have potholes and are always W-I-P ha ha (repair estimate for car front-end = $1200.00, 1 side - OUCH, not ha ha )
Tip for you Americans (me included) - leave your car parked. Use TTC or a taxi or rent another car if you have to, and dont move without a GPS if you are driving. There is no free parking in Toronto, the locals are not used to driving and will not provide much help with directions, gasoline is called petrol, it is sold in litres, not gallons, priced in Canadian dollars and distance are measured in kilometers and speed is measured in Km/H. 100Km/H equates to 60 mph and 80 Km/H equates to 50 mph.
Not much to write because we did not do it at all.
My overall impression of the city - it is cleaner, better planned than Toronto.
We had a lovely dinner at "Bombay Bhel" on Hurontario. We were joined by famous Faiza of VT and her dashing hubby Suhail
My BIG regret - I did not meet the city's mayor.
We drove from Toronto to Ottawa (5 1/2 HOURS) on Friday evening and drove back the next day. We stayed at Bearbrook Inn and Resort which is 1/2 hour outside Ottawa downtown area. It was a B&B , definetely not 5*****, but considering the budget, it was good for one night's sleep
We were extremely lucky.The weather was perfect and our local host was the best ever, VT member Greggor58, who is steeped in the history of Ottawa and Canada. We spent the entire day in his company and had a blast.
Canadian Museum Of Civilization - definetely 4****, I could have spent two days here but we had only 2 hours. Definetely recommended for students of Canadian history. Admission was 8.00 CAD for seniors. Get your picture taken with a RCMP for free !
Macenzie King Estate definetely 3 1/2 ***. we spent 2 1/2 hours there and the weather was perfect. The best place for an outdoor picnic. This estate was skimpy on historical information and not too extensive , but still worth it. Admission was 9.00 CAD per car. Beware the STOP sign in french reads ARRETE and you must come to a FULL STOP or else the RMCP might give you an expensive ticket (167.00 CAD)
By Ward Market Place 3 1/2 *** outdoor fruit and vegetables, farmers market
and food court. Very centrally located and fun atmosphere. You could walk into one of 30 odd bars and retaurants in the neighborhood, have a bite and resume your walking tour of downttown Ottawa. The highlight of the lunch hour was BEAVER's TAIL" ... yummmmm. BTW, just FYI, Mr and Mrs Barack Obama also visited the same place and also had the same dessert.
Our walking tour lasted 3 hours and we covered a lot - the memorial to the fallen soldiers from the wars, the memorial for UN peace-keepers, the Parliament house, street artists, the US Embassy, the shelter for homeless cats, the 1st lock built on the river. There was SO MUCH to see and DO, we just ran out of time. The weather was PERFECT in the day, a slight chill in the evening. We could easily have spent two days being there. It is a great idea to stay in a hotel downtown, oh well, maybe, next time ?
Do walk in Ottawa, you never know who you will run into, we had a very pleasant meeting with Mr Larry O'Brien, mayor of Ottawa , there in the streets, we chatted and said bye!
While walking the streets, we also saw many street weddings, fully dressed groups brides grooms photographers, everybody beaming and the marriage ceremony performed in the street. Myabe Ottawa is the romance capital ?
There is MUCH MORE to Ottawa, but I will let you discover it on your own, just get there and have fun. There are more museums, art galleries, monuments and hotels that are worth a visit
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