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Posts tagged ‘hockey’

And so it ends where it began

After my brief look at Ottawa I arrived back in Toronto for two nights before flying home. I started the trip here and had completed a large odd-shaped circle of travel…

(All it needs is a couple of legs and it would sort of be a cat?) The mapping tool spazzed out when I tried to include Churchill, north of Winnipeg, as there is no road there only a railway. So the map is missing that wee subarctic foray.

I liked Toronto, the lovely weather helped I’m sure, and it was nice returning there being vaguely familiar of my surroundings for once. These are a few photos covering my first and second visits.

My hostel was on Church Street, this being one of the namesake structures

During a tour on Lake Ontario

CN Tower

And a view from the top of the tower

A fort originally established to protect the city

Casa Loma on the main tourist route. Not overly significant historically?, it's just your average 98 room grand mansion with immaculate gardens

The Hockey Hall of Fame

And with 10 weeks up it was time for the final dose of sitting down for mega hours while getting from A to B to C, though a plane was a nice change from buses and trains. A quick tally now on Google maps indicates I covered 20-25,000kms. That type of information was a bit harder to come by then – so much has changed on the technology front in the last few years to help travellers research, plan, record and communicate. I’m pretty sure I won’t be arriving back from travels with 41 rolls of film again!

With well stuffed bags earlier in the trip

This concludes my 2004 USA and Canada recap. The full collection of related posts can be found here.

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In search of hockey

In planning my trip I was determined to see a game of NHL ice hockey. Along with drag racing, speedway tracks and polar bears, it was one of those North American experiences I really wanted to notch up. I stalked websites waiting for the draw to be released. I saw a game was scheduled in Ottawa that would tie in nicely with the end of my trip. I planned an overnight excursion especially for that, on the basis that I would sort a ticket later when they were released.

What I didn’t count on was a lockout which resulted in the cancellation of the entire 2004-2005 NHL season. It was to be the first time since 1919 that the Stanley Cup wasn’t awarded. Awesome.

While I couldn’t believe my bad timing, I decided to go up to Ottawa anyway.

After my final Greyhound ordeal from Winnipeg to Toronto I overnighted in the same hostel where I began my trip, and caught a train north the following morning. The trip took around 5 hours. It was mostly wet and I had an obscured view – and when I did wander to the rear of the train for a look I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by the scenery.

Somewhere between Toronto and Ottawa

I had booked into a hostel which used to be the city’s main jail for more than a century until its closure in 1972. Such history was an irresistible pull.

My hostel, the old jail

Clearly such a building would not have elevators so had to hump the bags up four flights of stairs to get to my six bed jail cell dorm, which had retained a lot of its charm from its former life. That evening I went on their daily tour of other parts of the building. It was a prison where hangings took place, three apparently, and the hangman’s noose remains today. Though well fenced off!

Where naughty tourists are sent

With less than 24 hours in Ottawa, I got out on foot to see as much as possible.

The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America

The Peacekeeping Monument

On Parliament Hill: the Peace Tower with Centennial Flame

Poking around the old carbide mill on Victoria Island between Ottawa and Hull

Halloween is nigh

Gorgeous autumn (oops, fall) colours

View over the Ottawa River

Alexandra Bridge over the Ottawa River into Quebec

And so this was about as close as I got to ice hockey.

Monument to a famous Canadian hockey player from the 1950s

Despite the hockey disappointment it was still a worthwhile trip. I even won $5 in the Canadian lottery. But with only a couple of nights left on North American soil it was time to scoot back down to Toronto.

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