I flew

    It was R Kelly who sang “I believe I can fly” - but taking that into the past tense is me with “I believe I have flown” - which doesn’t quite work as well and sounds a bit wrong - but hey. It’s true. I have. Courtesy of Eugene and the Barry Flying Club of Canada (http://www.BarrieFlyingClub.com), I took control of a Sky Cruiser Ultralight at about 4000 feet somewhere over Ontario and… flew about for a bit.

    How I ate my body weight in sushi

    ..and how you can too! Here’s how… go to New York visit Ichi Umi (6 East 32nd street - also in New Jersey) pay for the buffet optionally order a nice bottle of chilled sake (Honjozo my preference) fill your plate with a delicious selection of Nigiri, Maki, Sashimi.. whatever takes your fancy eat repeat steps 5 & 6 til stupid with food roll home…… Image1764

    Deserted Centreville

    In the summer, Toronto’s theme park in miniature on an island, Centreville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centreville_Amusement_Park), will no doubt be packed with happy, screaming kids on their holidays. Visiting in early April gives a different vision. A bitterly cold wind sweeps across Lake Ontario, trees are bare and nothing is open. The occasional hardy jogger breaks the scene. The season is most definitely off. Later I find myself warming my hands under a hand dryer in a public loo.

    Around Lisbon (and how to get from the airport cheaply)

    I’ve been to Lisbon before - and also paid over the odds for a taxi - it’s surprising how things don’t change (or maybe not). Anyway everyone has to make a living, and sometimes the driver is really cool and gives you some inside tips and cultural perspective. So that’s ok. But hey - if you want to save a few pennies, then I’d always suggest figuring out how to get from the airport to wherever you lay your hat (and therefore is home) before you depart - even if it’s a shuttle bus to the city center (from where taxi’s will be cheaper) and then you can sit in silence with all the other tourists.

    Tram 28, Lisbon.

    Sweeping and rattling around a maze of cobbled streets and grand squares, pausing for the occasional errant car or pedestrian, Tram 28 takes you West to East (or tother way round, should you prefer) across a grand tour of Lisbon, taking in many famous landmarks, monuments, churches and gardens. For local transport, it’s the one to get, but ride the subway afterwards just to compare and contrast. Start at Martim Moniz and you’ll probably get a seat.

    The Murals of Hornepayne Station

    Right in the middle of nowhere, well right in the middle of Ontario actually, is the township of Hornepayne. There’s not a lot to say about it really. It has a thousand people and is there because the railway is there. However, the train had stopped, and after three days on a train, if it stops, you want to get off. And so I did. The station building, once a hotel apparently, had now fallen into disrepair.

    Frozen waterfalls and ice caves in Maligne Canyon

    Having seen the canyon from up above, (during my biking expedition), and noticed many footprints down below, it took mere nano-seconds of my gigantic Holmesian-like intellect to deduce there was some walking type activity on the frozen river that would gush through the many gorges of Maligne Canyon in the summer.

    Adventures in the Colombia Icefield

    Here’s an idea - rent a car and drive around for a bit. If you’re anywhere near the Canadian Rockies then amazing scenery is guaranteed. Additionally, just down the road from Jasper is the Colombia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier - where, for a few dollars more, you can take a rather funky 70’s style space bus on to the glacier itself.

    Snow biking in Jasper

    Despite being told all the trails around Jasper were closed, I nevertheless fearlessly (or foolhardily) rented a mountain bike (a Kona something or other) from Freewheel cycles in town (recommended) and threw myself about the countryside. I had a good day tiring myself out, and discovered that it’s really quite hard to cycle in the snow.   The trick seems to be to put lots of weight on the rear wheel and keep the steering light and loose.