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Reisverslag Summer, goodbyes and Niagara
12 september 2017
Summer, goodbyes and Niagara
Summer holidays are over everywhere, I need to start wearing a jacket in the evenings here, so winter is coming (but not yet hopefully). Time for an update of my life in Toronto! August has been a busy month with sightseeing in and outside of Toronto! Before starting my story, some good news about my shin splint injury: It disappeared after 3 weeks of resting and I’m now running almost 5 km and playing soccer every week! Hopefully I can keep doing this and it won’t come back!
Mid-August was very nice and warm in Toronto, so this gave the opportunity to go to the Toronto Island, which is an island about 5 mins by boat from Toronto. It is about 5 km long so you can walk from one side to the other or just bike and there are many nice beaches. I’ve been to the island twice in August, once during the day and once in the evening. The view from the island on the skyline of Toronto is amazing. During the evening, we saw a really nice sunset and made a great bonfire (Canadians have skills for this and come prepared, I don’t) and ended up on one of the last boats back full of drugged/drunk people who had been to Electric Island (an EDM festival). It was quite an adventure! Next to the island, I’ve been to Woodbine Beach, one of the nicest beaches close to downtown Toronto as I’ve been told. I thought I could swim in Lake Ontario but the water was super cold and it was better to just stay on the beach. So the week after, when I wanted to swim, I decided to go the public pool in the Christie Pits Park where the water was a lot less cold (btw a lot of public pools are free in Toronto which is great for summer, but they’re all slowly closing now).
At the end of August, Martina (from my master in Wageningen) came to visit. She was doing an internship at Cornell University and had some time to travel at the end of her internship. So we decided to walk around the whole city of Toronto on Saturday, which did not seem such a great idea afterwards when we were exhausted. On Sunday, we went to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) which is a fair/amusement park kind of thing. They basically have shows, food trucks and different rides. We went to see a couple of shows and then we of course had to eat the classic Canadian poutine (fries with gravy and cheese, sounds bad, tastes good). After Martina left, it was time to say goodbye to many people who were unfortunately all leaving Toronto ☹. Most of them were going back to university in a different city than Toronto. Therefore, it is time to find new people to hang out with, especially for the weekends.
In the last week of August, I had a goodbye dinner with Jing and Melissa because they were both leaving for Kingston. We went for Korean BBQ which I never had but was amazing. I met both Melissa and Jing in my first week in Canada and I have basically been hanging out with them every weekend in summer which was great!! Thanks guys! I will definitely come visit Kingston in the coming months. Next to Jing and Melissa, also two of my housemates were leaving and we had a goodbye party for them. We first went to El Furniture, a bar where all the food is 5 dollars which might be the reason why there is always a line outside. After that we went to do karaoke, which is always good! The night ended with pizza in our downstairs living room and a hangover the next day in the lab. That last one is by the way not a very good combination. Since yesterday I have two new housemates so I would say it is time for a welcoming party! Also in the lab, two new people started, a post doc and a PhD student. The latter is gonna work on something similar as I’m doing which is nice since nobody is really doing anything related to what I’m doing at the moment.
The first weekend of September was again a long weekend because of Labour Day. In this country, they do actually take a day off then whereas we just work in the Netherlands. On the other hand, here people only get 10 vacation days in a year, so I think working in the Netherlands is not so bad. During this weekend, I went to the Niagara Falls with ISX, an international student organization. I met quite some nice people on this trip and ended up hanging out with a group of Brazilian guys, an Argentinian and Korean girl all day. We first went to Niagara on the Lake, a small village with a lot of wineries. Then we went to the actual Falls and did a boat tour which brings you really close to the Falls. So close that you actually get wet; good that they gave us a poncho. From far away the Falls did not seem so impressive but when you get so close during the boat tour, it is pretty impressive. After this, we walked around on Clifton Hill for a bit, which is the main street of Niagara Falls and looks just like you’re in an amusement park. There are haunted houses, casinos and several attractions everywhere. I have to say, the Niagara Falls city is definitely just build there because the Falls are there and is just ugly, so don’t stay for too long after having seen the Falls. After this, we went to the Niagara Outlet for a couple of hours where we did some shopping and then we left again to go back to Toronto. It was a very nice and tiring day!
Last weekend, I’ve been back to Niagara, because the girls from Leeds and I had planned to go on a wine tour on bikes. The plan slightly changed when this seemed to be quite expensive, so we just drove around Niagara on the Lake and stopped at two wineries (Jackson-Triggs and Konzelmann, the two big ones) to try some samples. After that we went to a brewery to have lunch and then drove to Niagara Falls to spend our money in the casino. I actually won 1 dollar, jeeh!
So, this was what I mainly did last month, at least on the weekends! During the week, I’m of course still working hard in the lab and trying to improve my research skills while finding new results and learning a lot. All the results are of course top secret but I have to say we found some interesting stuff! Also, the parents will come visit from next week onwards, so I’m gonna take a week off from work to travel with them through Quebec! Exciting times ahead! Next time an update on those travels!
13 september 2017 21:31 | Door: Jan de Jong
Je bent al aardig geacclimatiseerd daar Judith, dat doe je goed. Hartstikke knap! Tot binnenkort!