Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year in Toronto

Entering Canada

On my way to Toronto I definitely wanted to stop at the Falls, but now problems started to ensue on many fronts. First, my GPS stopped working and I was following directions just by signs on the interstates, which I´m pretty inexperienced with in Germany because I ALWAYS drive with navigation, but here in the US it was pretty OK once I just decided on trusting the signs and instinct. Secondly, I had problems paying at a rest area which put me slightly at unease but I thought it was merely a hiccup in the system and just wanted to continue to Toronto, where it would all work out. At least that´s what I was hoping for.

 The Falls were a real spectacle, unfortunately the Maid of the Mist was not opened due to the winter season, I think to witness the pouring waterfalls standing directly in front of them is even more impressive.
But after 10 minutes, there is not much more to see and I drove to Toronto, starving because I just had breakfast, which was 7 hours ago at that day. No money to buy anything and no groceries or snacks on board, that was rough.
The first night in Toronto I stayed at another couchsurfer's spot, this time it was Amy, who, despite of barely having time and being busy, made sure I had a great stay at her place. She even introduced me to Ken, who I contacted earlier on CS and who accidentally was a friend of hers but wasn´t able to host me.
We were having a great time in a bar, meeting a couple of other Germans who had just been to the Falls, too, on that very day. What are the chances. Ken is a great guy with many faces, sadly I couldn´t make a photo because all my electronic devices were failing me and needed some recharging. 
Thanks Amy and hopefully we´ll have the chance to meet in the future. 

For the next days, I booked a place called "The only Backpacker´s Inn", which was the best decision in my life. So many great encounters and experiences made there.
But there still was the money issue...I wasn´t able to pay for the hostel but was extremely lucky that Dimitry, the hostel´s Maestro, was just all around helpful and made sure I would have a roof under my hat on New Year´s eve. We fixed the problem by using Pay Pal to make a direct transaction from my German account. That worked just fine.
The room was shared by 6 people, we were a great team and had a lot of fun. First of all Dai, a chinese girl who was making vacations in Canada, too, gave me some cash for a paypal transaction as well. That saved my day and finally I was able to get some food.
So later in the evening we decided to join up and Dai, her friend I forgot the name of, Flavio, a brazilian student, his mother, an italian sweetheart, and I went to the Toronto Town Hall to witness the fireworks.
It was amazing. I expected more of the fireworks themselves but the event was just unique. Crowded to the extend to not be able to move and it being extremely cold and wet, we hurried back to the hostel, tired, exhausted but feeling extremely happy to have made this experience.

On to the third day, where I continue the adventure with Matt to Montreal.

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