Tag Archives: Waterfront

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Day 7 – Downtown Toronto

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Categories: Canada, North America, Trip 2016-1, Tags: , , ,

This morning I woke at around 8:45am which is a little uncommon these days.  I willed myself to get up and go through the normal motions of showering, changing and preparing breakfast.  Luckily, I’d had the foresight to do some basic shopping the night before, so I was able to fuel myself with coffee, cereal and toast.

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Actual view

On with the show!  I had to do a little surfing (of the web) to decide on what to tackle first.  In the end, I decided to walk to a Metro station and catch the underground up to Yorkdale Shopping Centre.  The weather was pleasant, and the exercise is doing me well.  Along the way, I took a peek at more of downtown Toronto.

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City views / Crossing over the lines

Once I reached the station, I inserted $20 into a token machine, which spit back 6 tokens and some loose change.  The tokens are quite quaint, a nice little souvenir to be sure.  I inserted one into a nearby turnstile and waited a few minutes for a northbound train.  The train moves along well enough, although I had a few stops to go.

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Metro entrance / Waiting

The shopping centre itself was quite nice, spacious even.  It was under some renovation, so some areas were closed off.  I located the Lego store, and enquired about a set I was after, unfortunately they had run out of stock.  I decided to target the next item on my list: getting a local phone number.  For this I found a Virgin Mobile kiosk and loaded $40 worth of credit onto a sim.

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A wide promenade / Well stocked Lego shop

Shopping done, I returned to the Metro for a ride back to downtown.  This time I travelled to Union Station, to make it easier to commute back to the unit.  On the way I encountered the blue army of Blue Jays supporters making their way to Rogers Centre for the afternoon game.  I was thinking about ascending the CN Tower, but the queues were quite long, and the sky was an uncertain and patchy grey.  I blew past the stadium, picking up two items from the team shop, then made my way home.

Back home I prepared a basic lunch, and decided on what to do next.  There’s quite a few green areas dotting the harbour side, including one right outside my place.  I decided to go for a walk, and it ended up taking almost three hours.  I started at Canoe Park which is right in front of my building, then followed the harbour side east until York street.  From here I passed Union Station, the Hockey Hall of Fame and then continued east until I reached the St Lawrence Markets.

After I’d browsed through both levels of the markets, I exited and made my way to King street, and decided to follow it all the way back to Spadina Avenue, and from there back home.  It was a long trek, and there were many highlights including:

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St Lawrence Markets/Streetcar

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Old Church/Rogers Centre with roof open

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View from my balcony

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View from Canoe Park, below my building

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View of my building from Canoe Park/A golden building?

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Waterfront/From the Canadian Walk of Stars (Deadpool)

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Harbour side/Hockey Hall of Fame

I cleaned up, made a coffee and pulled photos from my phone.  I probably should have been resting, but instead I spent time on the laptop until it was time to head to the Sheraton for the Microsoft Australia trip to Niagara Falls.  More to follow.

To be continued with a supplemental (visit to Niagara Falls).

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Day 6 – Queenstown [Part 2 of 2]

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Categories: New Zealand, South Pacific, Trip 2014, Tags: , , ,

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This article continues on from yesterday’s “Part 1” of our overnight stay in Queenstown.

When we left off, we’d just checked into the Novotel and had dumped our bags and things in the hotel room.  Damian and Jake both needed nappy changes, so these were attended to first.  By the time we’d began to get our bearings, this happened:

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Poor D, he was tuckered out from the early start and all the flying.  Toni looked quite tired too, so she volunteered to stay and keep Damian company whilst Jake and I did some exploring of the local area.  Jake and I set off towards the waterfront, and then deviated left towards the gardens which resemble Stanley Park in Vancouver.  The weather was still somewhat miserable with pockets of sunlight mixed with pockets of light rainfall.  Luckily we both had fleecy lined jackets and light rain jackets.

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On our way we passed a playground, and since Jake had been so good during all the flights and with the early start, I helped him climb and slide down the equipment for about 20 minutes.  Then we started walking around the edge of the gardens, taking in sights of the city and the amazing mountainous backdrop surrounding it. 

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My aim was to get to the tip of the gardens, for a better view of the mountains to the south of Queenstown.  What you see here (above) is the result – unfavourable weather made it difficult to get a sense of the height of the surrounding mountains.  It was jaw droppingly beautiful though, it reminded me a little of Vancouver.  On our way back through the gardens proper (walking through the center of the park) we came across a stream with a curved bridge, tennis courts and a bowling green.

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Once back at the waterfront, Jake had an extra 5 minutes on the play equipment and then I had to haul him back to the Novotel as I was about 15 minutes late – I said we’d be gone about half an hour!  Once back, Damian stirred, so it was time to go hunting for a late lunch.  Dropping the jackets and just keeping the raincoats allowed us to move around with less bulk.

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We finally had lunch after circling the main CBD area (between the mall and church street) and opted for Devil Burgers.  I had the chili one, naturally.  Toni took D for a walk and returned with cookies from a place we’d passed when navigating the area :)  After lunch we walked the waterfront to steamer’s wharf.  Toni wanted to locate a supermarket, so we walked uphill based on a map I had torn out of a visitor’s guide.

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We ended up on the road which led to the cable car which we’d seen from our hotel room.  Since we were in the area… 
We paid the money and took a journey uphill – a long way uphill – to the Queenstown skyline!

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Cable car adventure!

At the top was a huge viewing platform with shops and a restaurant.  There were adrenalin rides such as bungy jumping and canyon swinging on offer, as well as… luge!  We walked outside initially, to stand above a tunnel which luge riders were zooming through.  A nice lady offered to take a family picture of us together.  It started to rain more heavily, so we retreated back inside the complex, and found our way past a jelly belly store (Jake tried a sample) and out onto a viewing platform which was partially covered.

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At the edge of the platform looking south east, we could see a rainbow forming over Queenstown!  Eventually we went back outside as the rain stopped, and Toni mentioned how much she thought Jake might like the luge.  So I volunteered to shadow him down the mountain.

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Once the ride was over, and we’d taken in as much of the awesome spectacle which is the Queenstown skyline, we descended back down the mountain, and resumed our search for the supermarket…. which we found, incidentally, but as it was a Sunday it closed at 6pm – which was precisely when we got to it!  I snapped some pictures from around Queenstown as we walked back to the main ‘downtown’ area.

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Ultimately, we ended up back at the Novotel, after walking along the main roads, and getting an idea what food options were on offer.  Once back in the room, we had two nappies to change, and a bit of rest to give in to.  Somewhat refreshed, but still quite tired, we decided to go out to eat dinner.

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The city was beautiful in the twilight, as the sun danced across the mountains and the weather had fully cleared.  We ended up at a Mexican restaurant (“Coyote Grill”) which we’d seen on our walk back from the gondola.  We had a very nice meal, although Jake was restless and behaved a bit, being restless.

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After a bottle of lime Jarritos and eating a ‘surf and turf’ (spiced prawns and seasoned steak) with a side of guacamole, salsa, beans and rice I was full and very satisfied.  A very nice meal, and a great way to end the evening.  We walked back via the waterfront (yet again) to take in the city in full twilight swing.  Being the last day of a weekend, there were plenty of people about, especially young folks ready to kick off their night.

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In the morning we were in for yet more transiting, north, to the lakeside town of Wanaka.

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