Been over a month here in Toronto. Days have gone by in a pretty structured manner. Weekdays have been quite unvarying in nature, essentially consisting of bulk of the day spent in office, then going for a walk or jog in the evening followed by the treadmill, cycle or some weights in the gym, then have a relaxing shower, have some beer at times, watch TV or read newspaper. Have dinner by heating some ready to eat stuff in the microwave, or go out nearby, then crank-up the AC at its minimum, curl up in the cosy bed with a novel till I drop off.
Some of the highlights in the above activities have been.
Never in my life have I woken up before 6.30am consistently for so many days
Jogged for 30 min nonstop on one day, it equals my all time record that I had set :) when I used to run in the Pune Univ jogging track, in my pre-knee injury days. Though the distance covered now may be less
Have sampled quite a variety of beer and ales like Molson, Sleeman, Boddington, Coors, Labatt, McEwan. And Molson seems to be the best
Read quite a few books like Gorky Park, Siddhartha, Forrest Gump, and a biography of Sherlock Holmes, also bought a few books for a dollar each
Watched the Roger's cup tennis on TV which was held in Toronto, lifted up as expected by its namesake. Saw a few matches only, but the standard was good, especially the semi-final between Federer and Gonzalez was very exciting. I as usual supported Fed wholeheartedly
Weekends have been more exciting have had four major trips so far.
This was an impromptu trip, we all just decided on friday evening to go for a drive on saturday, had a vague idea that the countryside up north was beautiful, and we searched on the net found out there were some "falls" and "rapids". Took a printout from Mapquest.com , armed myself with a huge map of Ontario, and out we were in our GM Grand Cherokee Jeep. The maps were so accurate that never for a moment did we feel lost. The countryside was quite beautiful with tall conifers on both sides of the road, and intermittent view of the Lake Huron and undulating terrain.
Finally we neared our first destination, Severn Falls, expecting a decent enough waterfall, after all it is the land of Niagara, we were grossly disappointed, actually Severn Falls was the name of the town, and there were no falls there. One person told us there is a sort of short slope in the nearby Severn river and when it flows at its best in spring it has some fall-like characteristics. Similarly swift rapids was also a misnomer. so our enthusiasm had flagged, but then we saw some good sights, we stopped at a place where the road bifurcated two lakes, there we saw a contraption called the "Big Marina Chute" which transported boats from one lake to another. It moved on rails, and crossed the road. Both lakes were at different heights, so it was quite a sight seeing the huge thing move up and down the slope. another interesting highlight, was making our own path on the banks of a nearby stream, and finding a comfortable rock in the middle to sit.
Toronto DowntownToronto Islands
Best part was going up the tallest structure in the world, the CN tower. Had a nice lunch and a beer on the top, enjoying the grand vista. Looking down upon the Toronto skyline, the aqua-marine Lake Ontario, and the Toronto islands. Also visited the Royal Ontario Museum. Exhibits that attracted me the most were the ones that showed a progression of military armour across the ages, and a huge African totem that spanned three levels.
They are just a few km off Toronto. Went in a ferry, it was full of greenery, and tranquil walking paths, spent half-a-day there just walking around.
A rural fair that we attended, our client, a electric company had put up a stall there and we had free passes, plus we had volunteered to spend a couple of hours in the booth, and impart information to the public about their new initiatives for energy conservation. It was fun interacting with the local populace, it was an unique experience. Also saw pig races,duck races, and best pig/horse/cow competitions, there was continuous live country music being played complementing the atmosphere.
The pigs reminded me of the Empress Of Blandings in PG Wodehouse. Rest of the time , tried out some of the rides, and other games on offer. One ride was mindblowing, in that they put you in a cabin and then it rotates like a giant wheel, but it turns you around total 360 degrees, in a complete random manner, both clock and anti-clockwise. It felt like a gyroscope and I think it is a good primer for Zero-G simulations for space travelers.