A Travellerspoint blog

Been A While I Know!

But now in Montréal

overcast 25 °C


Yes! It has been a while since I last wrote here but a lot of things have been going on since my last entry. So here is an update of what has been going on since I arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Well after my first night in Halifax, I woke up to head out again downtown to the Citadel in Halifax and my timing couldn't have been any better. As I arrive at the gates to the Citadel they were going through the changing of the guard, which not as specatular as in London but then again Halifax is a lot smaller than London. Shortly after...well about an hour or so then everyone was surrounding one gun in the citadel as it was exactly 12 noon and the gun they fired was of course the noon gun. Now this has been a tradition for hundred of years that the gun is fired at 12 noon and 9pm everyday excluding Christmas Day. However there has been one change since the early times where they only use 1lb of black powder today instead of 4lbs back then and there was at one point a legislation act that the British Military were not responsible if your windows broke during the firing of the gun.

The citadel itself wasn't as good as the one in Québec City but was still impressive and after my little walk around for a few hours I was back downtown looking around town and watching a magician or two ont he harbour front before heading to Pizza Corner for a Donair, which Pam told me I had to have otherwise I would not have had the Halifax experience.

So back to the hostel to pack and check out before heading off to Truro to meet Pam's family for a couple of days. It was a nice surprise when Pam was telling me about it when I was in St. John's and to be honest I was quite shocked that they offered but not complaining.

So first night at the Tiller's and we spent the night with the grand tour of the house and chilling in the living room watch a film and grabbing a piza delivery so a pretty chilled out night and then a lie in until fairly late, well 10am anyways and then we headed out in the car to drive along the northern Nova Scotian coast. We stopped off at a few places like lookout towers, beaches and a few other places like Southampton and Denmark before finally getting home to relax at night with some Canada Day fireworks from the hill near to where we were. So time at the Tiller's was funfilled and no time to laze about as we were out in the car for a good 8 hours or so. Well atleast I slept well that night.

So the next day I was bound for Moncton so in the morning, Pam's mum drove me around Truro to show me this and that etc, etc and then we stopped off at a drug store for some food on the train and also for a snadwich to eat then. So at the train station, I checked in my suitcase and then Pam's mum took me out to the station platform to show me a wall painting that Pam had started but did not quite finish. This painting was for an art scholarship and was a pair of hands holding the world and all about recycling.

So off I go to Moncton on the train and considering we were up in the north of Nova Scoita, it still took me 3 hours to get to Moncton and when I arrived, I ended up wasting $6 on the taxi because I didn't know where the hostel was from the train station but turns out that it was right up the road about 5 minutes. So the hostel itself looks like a student house with a student-esque feel to it as the people running the place were fairly young. So for the first night Mike (owner), Pete (Australia) and I went to the river bank to watch some belated Canada Day fireworks as apparently the weather was so bad that they didn't go ahead on Canada Day. The display was more impressive than the display I saw in Truro.

So Tuesday came in Moncton and I decided to go walk around town and wow the downtown area was small and I ended up in Dieppe which was a settlement next to Moncton. During the time I was out which was about four hours it had chucked it down 4 times and the last time was just after I had my hair cut and I was outside with my hoodie so I get absolutely drenched wet through. So a new city and new look for the time anyway and when I got back to the hostel there were plans for a new thing too when a few new people moved into my room and one of the guys [John] brought he guitar so him and Pete were jamming away in the lounge and then later on whilst Pete was playing the guitar, John pulls out his violing as well and they continue to jam. Later some of Mike's friends turn up with guitars, drums and other stuff and we all end up jamming in the downstairs lounge for a few hours which was different because half of the time I couldn't understand a word some of them were singing as it was in French but oh well it was good.

So Wednesday comes around in Moncton and the weather is still bad so I decided to take the day off and chill at the hostel and work on some of my assignment for university back home. As I had stayed in all day I decided to go out and grab a bite to eat and ended up in this Vegitarian restaurant which was not what I expected not only was it nice food but it was cheap too! So got back just before we all headed out to the pub to see some live music and drinks all night so walking back was fun as everyone was a different nationality and all having a laugh, which is what I like about hostels.

Thursday came around and it was time to pack up and say goodbye to Moncton...Well after packing and checking out by 10:30 I had to wait until 4:30pm until I could leave to go to the train station and get ready for my 17 hour journey to Montréal. Well it lasted 19 hours in the end as we had to go slowly during the night and we stopped for 30 minutes to have an extension to the train so we were now about 20 odd carriages long! So arriving in Montréal at 10:20am instead of 8am on Friday.

So I'll leave it there for now and write up about where I am tomorrow so I'll catch upi tomorrow now!


Posted by Nibsy_86 18:32 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The Journey Continues

From St. John's to Halifax

sunny 18 °C


Well yesterday was my last day in St. John's and Newfoundland and man it was a really good day! Starting off with booking a trip to go into the Atlantic Ocean and go sea kayaking at Bay Bulls and hopefully catch a glance at some icebergs and whales in the area. So Steve (Instructor), two guys from Winnipeg and I set out into the bay in our two man kayaks. Well during the three hour paddle we got to the edge of the bay and into open waters after viewing some amaing views of the Newfoundland coastline with its sharp points and water filled coves and caves and jellyfish invested waters along with whales and blue sharks (which unfortunately we didn't get to see...the jellyfish however we did see and by the hundreds. We got hit by a few wakes due to a cat sailing past carrying it's whale watchers. The second time we paddled into the wakes and it became a bumpy ride for us and almost losing the camera a few times by either getting soaking wet through or actually falling into the sea.

So in open waters now and we see a boat in the distance on the horizon and thought nothing of it. However on our way back into the bay the ship we noticed was coming in our way and a a quick pace too! Within 20 minutes it had left the horizon and was literally on its way into the harbour. Luckily we had made it across the bay before it past us and attempted to dock and we were within distance of the ship where we could yell at the crew...we didn't however as we are all mature...well the two from Winnipeg were. Steve and I couldn't stop joking around and aiming jokes at them.

So no whales or icebergs but we did see a huge supply ship come into harbour and coves, caves and amazing coastline too. Oh well! I guess I did see an iceberg on tuesday and whales I can see in Vancouver so all is good. Just to add to the good day, the heavens opened just as we landed back on the shore. Had a little scare when I almost forgot about my camera but grabbed my life jacket off the instructor just in time as he was about to submerge the jacket in a fresh water tank to rinse out the salt water. The trip itself was well worth the money and also I don't need to go to the gym to work on my arms for months now! Just had a three hour session in open waters.

So we head back to the O'Brien's base where we started and headed to the restaurant for fish and chips with cod and not haddock which made a change. It was so nice too! Best fish and chips that I have had since I arrived in Canada and a heck of a lot cheaper than the times in Toronto too!

So we got dropped back off in St. John's in the rain and then I attempted to dry off in the hostel before heading back out to George Street for my final night for a few drinks and see if all the hype of George Street was worth going. Well I went into one bar called Greensleaves and apart from one of the guys at the bar they all just looked at me and just ignored me. Although the live entertainment was good with one guy on guitar taking in requests. When I left i was shocked to hear Grease playing in the bar next door and that it was a karaoke bar and my god the people in there were tone deaf. Mind you I couldn't do a better job especially at Sandy's part but oh well. So unfortunately I missed George Street's busiest night (Friday and Saturday) so really can't say it lived up to its hype for Thursday but I assume it would be really good over the weekend.

So up early today [Friday] to pack and finally head out to the airport for my flight to Halifax in Nova Scotia. Luckily got everything I came into St. John's with and hopefully haven't left anything behind...I don't think so anyway.

So I arrive into Halifax around 3ish and into downtown Halifax at about 3:30pm and the hostel is a lot nicer and more the student atmosphere and I actually have a bed frame and not just a matress on the floor. Wasn't complaining though about St. John's as the matress was comfy!

So had a little walk around the downtown before doing the full day out tomorrow and going to the fortress just down the road and up the hill.

Anyways, I must be off now as I am starting to feel slightly tired so ciao for now.


Posted by Nibsy_86 20:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

And On Your Left, We Have...

Off Out Of St. John's

overcast 10 °C


So a long lie in today (11:30am) and tried to book tours to go around the Avalon region on Newfoundland, which turned out to be a big bust as the trip would have been a bus, tour guide and me! This would have been an 8 hour trip around the region but instead I ended up settling for Cape Spear and Petty Harbour with a St. John's tour.

Started off at the bottom on Long Hill where I was picked up in a minibus full of people on the tour. I just happened to be the only under 45 and the only person not from Canada. But it was good fun I must admit with stories they all had to tell of where they were from and why they were in Newfoundland. The tour guide Gordy was a laugh too which made the trip even better and lifted spirits about the cold weather (The Canadians can handle -30 in the cities but can't handle +10 by the coast? Strange!!) The english weather jokes came out too but I've been English weather joked out!

So to Cape Spear we went via a tour of St. John's and trips to Signal Hill, Cabot's Tower, The basilica of St. John The Baptist, The Colonial Buildings, Harbourfront and more. Cape Spear is the most easterly point of all North America and St. John's being the most easterly city in North America. At Cape Spear there was also a fort called Fort Cape Spear where the Allies built a battery to fend off the German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic and there were two sections connected by tunnels. So onwards to Petty Harbour, which is a small remote fishing village south of St. John's, which was nice with all the different coloured houses and boats.

So after the tour I had a little rest here back at the hostel before I headed out again to the Anglican Church for a haunted hike around St. John's for stories of the paranormal in the city. Pretty scary stuff to be honest. We all had goosebumps and the hair on the back of our necks were standing on end with ghosts, hangings, the nexus, unmarked graves, etc, etc.

Now I am back here in the hostel looking up thing to do tomorrow and things to do when I arrive in Halifax on Friday. So I'll leave it here for now and hope to catch up tomorrow...well today...


Posted by Nibsy_86 00:26 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

My First Full Day

St. John's, Newfoundland

sunny 29 °C


Well today has been full of surprises, mainly that I've just found out how to add images to my blogs!

Today was my first full day in St. John's and all I can say is wow! Spent most of the day climbing Signal Hill along the coastline and battery. One amazing clib for sure and note to anyone but wear either hiking boots or running shoes and not casual trainers like I did and in the heat wearing jeans! Well it was pretty mild when I woke up but oh well lesson learnt now.

So I reached the summit of Signal Hill and glanced down at St. John's, the harbour and the smallest iceberg ever. Was a bit of a let down for icebergs but oh well I hope to find some soon along with whales, etc. So on the summit is Cabot's Tower which is a small watch tower but the size of a house with narrow winding steps upto the tower. You really can see for miles out into the Atlantic Ocean and a good 3000km more is England. So I was the closest to home I have been since arriving in Canada. Well as soon as I got up to the summit I found the easier route up the hill which was a roadway for drivers and cyclists to use and there is me with my legs killing me after the climb along the coast but I must admit I would rather have done it the way I did and then climb down too. The only reason I didn't was because of the heritage centre down the road with people dressed in traditional 18th - 19th century military clothing and some civilian dress too. Was cool to look at it really and also along the roadside walk down were more batteries with cannons overlooking the straight into the harbour.

Other than that today I was walking around town along Duckworth Street trying to find George Street and didn't find it. I had to look it up on Google Earth later on as my legs were about to drop off so I ended up recovering from jetlag (yes you do get it after 5 hours on the plane) and not a lot of sleep during my last week here in Toronto so a good little kip did the trick so anyways it's getting late here so off to bed again now.



Posted by Nibsy_86 23:29 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

St. John's, Newfoundland

The Closest To Home I've Been In Months

semi-overcast 14 °C


Today was the start of my main summer roadtrip across Canada starting with a flight from Toronto to St. John's in Newfoundland (via Halifax, Nova Scotia).

So today was pretty crazy with arranging to move out of Wycik for good now and I forgot to take pictures of the rooms. Nevermind eh! Anyways I finally got out and back to Pam's where the rest of my stuff was lying around at around 1:20ish where then I needed to A) Pack to go and B) Sort out stuff to send home still as I got quite a bit left to do.

Got to the airport around 3ish after an hour on the buses and subway and was so glad to sit down finally as the subway was packed and I was slightly heavy with my luggage. So after 2 hours at 42,000ft we arrived in Halifax for our first stop and stayed there for about 30 - 40 minutes whilst people got off and then people re-boarding the plane etc, etc. Then just over an hour later we were in Newfoundland and during the sunset flight I actually saw the Atlantic Ocean for the second time (first time being in Gibraltar).

So I have now arrived at my hostel and the lady who is helping out doesn't have a clue! To add to it they all speak with a strong and thick accent similar to Irish but slightly more mumbled too! So now I am currently sat in the living room of this house converted hostel and typing this up whilst looking through my travel guide and my map of things to do and see tomorrow and try to plan it out to last me four days. By the looks of things, I should be okay! Besides if in doubt there is always George Street. It's the street with the most density of pubs in the world or so I'm told, so must be good!

Anyways, I'm off to bed now as I'm tired and need some long awaited sleep!


Posted by Nibsy_86 23:17 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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