The last few months have been some of the best of my life. After a year of studying abroad, I treated myself to a heavily extended road trip around Canada and the USA. I could not even scratch the surface of how amazing this experience was. I have visited Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Maine, Algonquin national park, and many places in between. I was accompanied by my girlfriend, Amy, who joined me in Canada for the experience.
-Me and Amy, soon after her arrival.
We started out in good old Hamilton. Rent is cheap, so we stayed for three weeks. We relaxed, played five pin bowling and spent a good few nights at the local pool hall. I have been posting pictures of Hamilton all year, so I will spare you from having to see you any more.
After spending weeks relaxing in Hamilton and enjoying the late summer, we headed north, and began a few weeks of camping around Ontario. We stopped at four sites, Killbear, Killearney, and two in Algonquin provincial park. Killarney is known for having some of the best kayaking in the world. Algonquin is Ontario’s largest park. Killbear is the most popular in Ontario. It seems everyone has been. The parks were true to their reputations. Over our weeks camping, we viewed more wildlife, lakes, trees and vistas than I have in my twenty five years on this planet. We saw two wild bears, tons of moose, turtles and snakes.
-Our campsite, with our awesome rental car.
-Hiking in Algonquin
-Kayaking in Killarney
-Canoeing in Algonquin
-Portage in the North of Algonquin
-Hiking in Algonquin
-Trail in French River Park
After weeks of camping, we set off for a remote cabin, half an hour outside of a town called Boulter. We had a very enjoyable stay in complete wilderness, although the road to the cabin was so bad that we thought it had destroyed our rental car on more than once occasion. After so long camping in the open, we were very appreciative to have four walls and a kitchen.
-Our cabin in the wilderness
-Relaxing in the cabin
Leaving the cabin, we travelled to Ottawa where we viewed the famous Locks at the mouth of the Rideux Canal and the seat of the Canadian government. We then journeyed to Montreal, and quickly discovered it to be our favourite place. We would be very sad if we could not return to visit its powerful churches, eclectic districts, good food, classy European attitudes and classic Canadian good will. Furthermore, we arrived in the middle of an open air jazz festival. I could not have imagined a nicer stay.
-Notre Dame, Montreal
-Mount Royal, Montreal
We then travelled south. The views were so amazing that they were worth crossing the Atlantic in isolation. We stayed with friends in Maine where we hiked mountains and boiled live, fresh lobster. We then travelled to Boston, the only city of the whole trip where we felt underwhelmed.
-Fresh lobster from America’s biggest lobster market.
-Hiking in Maine
Finally we travelled to New York, where we again stayed with friends to ensure a long and affordable visit. We had a long itinerary planned for new York, as does any first time tourist in the city. As the time came to head back to Toronto, we found we had done everything we had planed. We were beginning to become ecstatic with the whole trip. Particularly moving was the huge twin towers memorial, consuming the footprint of the former trade centre building. I’ll spare you the photos. If you want an idea, just ask anyone you know that has been.
Finally, we returned to Toronto and stayed in a private rented accommodation. What Toronto lacks in spectacles (as compared to New York) it makes up for with its relaxed friendly atmosphere. Again, I’ll spare the photos because of their generic nature. What I saw could fill a book, and I apologise for the brief description and associated pictures. They could never relate the exceptional time we had in Canada.
We flew back to the UK from Toronto Pearson International on Air Canada.