The purpose of my latest expedition is to visit many of the key cruising port locations around the Great Lakes Region of North America, as you may know the area of the five lakes, which account for 20% of the planets freshwater lakes, is vast, spread-eagling across the USA and Canada.
As mentioned there are five large lakes that form the basis of the Great Lakes title however overall there are thousands of lakes across this area of North America.
To remember the five use the acronym ‘HOMES’ – Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and the largest Lake Superior.
I am to embark on a journey whilst in North America flying over 3500 nautical miles to allow me cover the vast distance in such a short time. As a group of six we are flying in privately chartered aircraft, three different types, which allows us to maximise our days to visit so many locations and speed our way through airport security as we pass back and forth across the USA and Canada, clearing immigration on each occasion.
Initially I am to spend a couple of days in Toronto, Ontario a city I haven’t visited previously, the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest in North America.
My first flight of the trip is on a British Airways Boeing 747-400 series, slightly larger than the aircraft to come!! British Airways continue to offer fabulous service and although the flights departs 90 minutes late the aircraft arrives just 30 minutes later than planned into Toronto Pearson Airport.
Immigration is so fast and efficient in Canada, certain countries could learn a lot from them, bags collected and off I am whisked into the city by private transfer. As a company we can reserve a private transfer for you, a most effective method of travelling into most North American Cities or we can provide tickets for local bus shuttles or of course metered taxis are always an option.
Transfer time into the city is just 25 minutes, a taxi would cost $30.00 and as mentioned we can pre-book a coach or private car for you at a cost of £12.00 per person for the coach or £60.00 for a car.
Home for the next four nights is The Delta Chelsea Hotel in the heart of the City, a solid four star property with excellent amenities and a very spacious room for the coming days.
As I have arrived a day earlier than my travel companions I have booked a day excursion to visit one of the great sites of the world – Niagara Falls, so it’s an early night for me, just a five hour time difference but its catching up with me now!!!
I take breakfast in the hotel this morning, an excellent buffet service with everything you can imagine. Generally as a company we do not pre-book breakfast in hotels across the USA and Canada as we believe that as breakfast is an institution in this part of the world the choice should be yours as a visitor to a city, to partake in a meal either in the hotel or with the locals in a nearby diner.
This morning I am met at the hotel by Michael my tour guide for the day in his ‘Toronto Tours’ 25 seater minibus to visit the amazing site of Niagara Falls, the journey time from downtown Toronto is 90 minutes, which quickly passes as Michael’s commentary is both amusing and very informative.
The weather is not kind, although I expect to get a trifle wet at The Falls the rain is coming down in buckets.
As you would expect, the area around the falls is surrounded by hotels from the major chains, we offer several properties on our fly-drive programmes and we ensure, where available, you have a falls view.
There is a part of the town which is extremely commercialised, it must have modelled itself on Blackpool, but the key attraction is of course the majesty of the two beautiful waterfalls.
There are many options whilst at the falls – for the purpose of research I sample them all!! The excursion I made reservations for before I left from the UK includes return transportation, access to the falls, Maid of the Mist, lunch, a visit to Niagara-On-The-Lake and wine tasting all at a cost of £90.00, in addition I purchase a ‘combo ticket’ which includes a 4D movie and access to the tunnels and portals behind the falls, a must buy.
Michael, our tour guide, chaperones the group around all day expertly, ensuring that we all keep to time and don’t get lost, the first ‘attraction’ I visit is the 4D cinema, I won’t explain too much what the production was like as it is better to witness such shows with little knowledge but needless to say it is the first of many times I was to get soaked today and the first of four waterproof capes of many colours I was to wear, a fabulous show.
Next on the agenda is a trip below to the tunnels behind the falls where there are several portals to view, and hear the deafening roar of the falls all around, an incredible experience that is a must for your day at the falls, the ’combo’ ticket costs $30.00, but certainly worth every cent to gain the full splendour of this natural phenomenon.
Lunch is an International Buffet, before the highlight of the day the world famous ‘Maid of the Mist’, by now the weather was worse than ever as the rain poured down, but so what, my blue waterproof cape was on to keep most of my clothes dry even if by this time my brand new camera was water logged and had a mind of its own!!!
Truly breathtaking is the only way I can describe the view, the experience, the noise, and some people may even say awesome!!! An amazing feeling as first the boat pulls alongside the American Falls and then manoeuvres into the heart of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, walls of water all around, the power and the force of the water making such a roar……..if you come to the North East of North America, you MUST go to Niagara Falls one of the best if not the best site I have witnessed on this amazing Continent.
The day excursion continues with a visit to the tranquil town of Niagara-On-The-Lake, a beautiful spot next to the lake, believe it or not, that feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of Niagara Falls.
It is a town that time has passed by, a feeling of stepping back into the 1920’s, quaint shops selling nic-nacs, hand made ice cream stands, horse drawn carriages, afternoon teas you name it this town has it, certainly a great option to stay at if you plan to be in this area over a couple of nights.
Alas we have to move on far too soon, as the excursion concludes with a taste of a few Niagara local wines, they’re famous for their ice wines where the grapes are only picked after three consecutives nights where the temperature is -8 degrees or lower, the option to buy a bottle or three is temping however the weight limit on the tiny aircraft to come is so low I had better not!!!
The group, on the bus of 25, are returned to Toronto reminiscing on an amazing day that will live in the memory forever, for me I am about to embark on the main part of my trip after first meeting my co-explorers over dinner.
The Thai Restaurant, The Bangkok Garden, for dinner last night served an excellent meal and I met the rest of the party from France, Germany and Canada along with a couple of Brits, it looks as though we are going to have fun.
Today, as I would always recommend to any visitor of a new City, I am, with the rest of the party, touring the city to gain a full understanding of the history and gain my bearings a little, although I have little time here to re–visit any of the places of interest on this trip it serves most useful for future reference.
The City is certainly walkable and offers a plethora of eateries, bars, and shops, along with a stunning waterfront area to pass the day watching ships sail into the harbour along with planes and helicopters landing at the City Airport, all in the shadow of the largest tower in the Western Hemisphere, the world famous CN Tower.
As a group we sail around the harbour and Toronto Islands in the bright warm sunshine, so very different to yesterday’s moist boat ride, taking in the majesty of the Toronto skyline, one of many options a visitor can experience in this cosmopolitan city., thankfully and miraculously my camera has dried out and recovered to full use.
A must do in many cities around the world is to scale their tower, and as the CN Tower is such a famous landmark this will be no exception for me. The CN Tower has two viewing platforms one on the 114th floor and one on the 145th floor if you wish to pay an additional $10.00 for the privilege of being just that little bit higher.
The view on this clear day from the lower vantage point is magnificent, and highlights the very green city that houses over 2000 parks breaking up the homes of over 5 million residents in the Greater Toronto Area. There is a glass floor in the tower, for the not too feint-hearted to stand on and view the huge drop below, an excellent experience for $26.00 per person.
Evening in Toronto brings the chance to view the CN Tower and the surrounding city fully illuminated; tonight the Tower is red and blue and allows one to fully appreciate the size of the structure as it towers over the cities many tall skyscrapers.
The city offers many options for the tourist in the evening, all types of food is served in hundreds of restaurants and bars, there are many west end shows to see, comedy clubs and nightclubs to meet all tastes, nightlife for all comers.
Today is our first flying day in the chartered private business Beech King Air 250 aircraft, six club seats plus just enough room for the two pilots and our luggage.
We are departing from Toronto’s City Center airport located a stone’s throw from the CN Tower, flights depart from the airport to many North American cities primarily served by Air Canada and Porter Air and access is via the shortest scheduled ferry journey in the world lasting 2 minutes.
We are whisked out of the side door and out to the private aircraft terminal, meet our pilots and jump aboard, within minutes we are airborne and off to Rochester, New York State just 45 minutes flight from Toronto.
As we have crossed into the USA customs will need to be passed through, as we are arriving by private aircraft, the Homeland Security Guard comes to meet us at the airport, checks our passports and offers an escort for our journey through Rochester flashing lights and sirens keep the rest of the traffic away!!
We initially take a stroll along the Erie Canal before paying a visit to the port of Rochester where the Great Lakes Cruise Ships dock when visiting and the location of a planned ferry service between Rochester, NY – Kingston, ON – Toronto, ON hopefully to start operation in the next couple of years.
Lunch is taken alongside Lake Ontario before our visit to the home of George Eastman, the founder of KODAK, his home in Rochester is a museum of photography and the house is maintained in its original Victorian State, truly stunning and the main attraction in this modern thriving city.
This afternoon we are flying up to Kingston, Ontario the gateway city to the 1000 islands, Canada’s first capital city and home to Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, another 45 minute flight in our luxury aircraft and we are there.
A beautiful city alongside Lake Ontario, with the key attraction being Fort Henry, with its cannons trained across the lake ready for any invading Americans, though none have invaded the fort yet, several hours can be spent walking around the fort watching the re-enactments at various times of day by the ‘student army’.
Quick meeting with the Mayor to discuss local tourism before we are back to the airport and flying to Toronto.
As previously mentioned there is a wealth of nightlife in Toronto to be experienced and tonight we are visiting a local Comedy Club, 2nd City, a fantastic night with some superb sketches and stand-up improvised comedy, I would certainly recommend a visit and free if you arrive after 9.30pm.
Checked out of the Delta Chelsea Hotel and off to the City Center airport again for our flight to Parry Sound, Ontario on the shores of Georgian Bay, the unofficial ‘sixth’ lake of the Great Lakes, an idyllic location to get away from it all and take part in a number of outdoor activities either on or off the water with the option to take in a meal by flying to dine at the remote Henrys Restaurant on Frying Pan Island, how decadent!
A must do from Parry Sound is a three hour cruise through parts of the 30,000 Islands on the Island Queen, she sails everyday in season to give passengers an amazing Great Lakes Cruising taster, in the evening one could catch a concert at the acoustically perfect Charles W. Stockey Center, alas we have time for neither as we board our plane headed for Little Current, Manitoulin Island, Ontario.
Little Current is located on Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world and is home to both ex-Europeans and the Ojibwe Tribe living as one community but maintaining their own identities, the views across Lake Huron are breathtaking, again a superb location for many outdoor activities and can be visited by car by passing over the Little Current swing bridge linking the island to North Ontario.
Late afternoon, and now to fly to an island without motorised transport and no connection to land – Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Transport around Mackinac Island is by horse, horse and cart (including taxis), bicycle or on foot, there are no motorised vehicles allowed on the tiny island, the home for holidays of the rich and famous in the nineteenth century which also houses its own fort.
It is just like steeping back in time with its quaint shops and wooden clap board style housing, a true gem of Michigan State and although the island is so small, it still houses 2 golf courses so there is plenty to keep you occupied in this tranquil location littered with beautiful hotels and B&B’s.
Complete North America offer the Lake View Inn as a first option in the heart of the main street however if you wish to stay at The Grand Hotel, a luxurious five star property which hosts the longest stoop (verandah) in the world - how North Americans like to boast about something in their town which is the biggest, the first, the highest etc.!!!
A couple of nights is needed to acclimatise yourself to the pace of life, time we haven’t got on this trip, on a fly-drive holiday you would park your hire car at the secure car park and board the ‘Rooster Tailed’ ferry to the island to step back in time, take a look at our Great Lakes Fly-Drive itinerary for more details.
Tonight dinner is served at the Yankee Rebel restaurant, half a rack of ribs or a full one, not much difference in size so I opt for the full rack…….OMG…..I now have half a pig on my plate……the Americans love big portions but this is crazy, I hope they have a hospital on the island to handle my cardiac arrest!!!
There are many options for eating and drinking on Mackinac Island, something for every taste and if fudge is to your liking this is fudge heaven with 17 shops selling any flavour you care for.
Time for an Island Tour, horse and carriage style, at a pace in keeping with this sleepy island before its time to fly off to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, a border town with its sister town of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan across St. Mary’s River, which connects Lake Superior with Lake Huron.
We say goodbye to our fabulous aircraft for the last time and head into town, a typical North American drive through town with a key attraction being the Bush Plane Museum, maybe not everyone’s first choice as a tourist attraction but it is certainly very interesting with some priceless exhibits.
Dinner at The View in the Delta Hotel is excellent with tasty Bison on the menu, a great night capped off watching the fourth of the Stanley Cup Final games in the hotel bar with the locals.
No planes today, instead we are embarking on a train journey, well two actually as we head north into the wilderness. It’s an early start as we board the beautiful Algoma Central Railroad train in their new club seat carriage for a journey initially to Agawa Canyon.
Hot breakfast is taken in the restaurant car which dates back to the 1920’s, a full choice of breakfast is available and cooked to perfection, I think I have now added half a stone to my normally svelt figure!!
A chance to watch the world go by and gaze at the stunning views of Ontario through the picture windows of our 1960’s carriage, and believe me the views are stunning.
The train journey takes two and a half hours to Agawa Canyon and once there I climb 344 steep steps for a magnificent view across the valley, and a few calories burnt to make way for lunch!! Onward to view Black Beaver waterfall in readiness for meeting our next train to carry us up to Chapleau Game Reserve to the Wilderness Lodge.
The final part of the journey is by boat from the train station to our remote island, and what a fabulous location, we are housed for the night in a superb rustic and authentic log cabin with log fire crackling away, I just wish we could stay a week or two.
Dinner is quickly served before our evening lake tour, the light is perfect allowing some incredible pictures to be taken, we are looking for bears, moose, beaver and birds of several variety.
We are fortunate enough to see several beavers and birds alas no bear or moose tonight. The light remains strong way after 10pm and although chilly it is a great great way to end our day, lets hope for Northern Lights later!!
Unfortunately there were no signs of Northern Lights last night though with virtually no light pollution the stars seemed as though they could be plucked from the sky as they appeared so close and so clear.
The cabin remained just about warm enough overnight with the log burner smouldering away but time for more logs to be piled in to create a blazing fire.
Thankfully we were not visited by any bears overnight or any of his wildlife mates but we are hopeful of seeing a few animals on our morning cruise around the bay.
Eggs Benedict and lashings of hot coffee for breakfast and off we sail, the morning is a little breezy which brought the temperature down to chilly single figures in reality, but it is all worthwhile braving the biting wind as we spot many species of birds including bald eagles and thankfully a couple of black bears.
We were able to approach the second one and sit on the boat within 20 feet of the bear sat staring at us on the shore, truly amazing, we could see what a powerful animal it was at such close range.
Time to eat yet again and on the menu at our cook out on the lake shore is freshly caught walleye and northern fish, still alive as we arrived on our boat, filleted before our eyes and cooked on the open fire, this is a fabulous outdoors experience as we sit with the fishermen who had just caught the twenty plus fish.
Time to move on again, our bush plane lands on the lake and we are soon up in the sky and on our way in a north-west direction, first to Red Rock, Ontario to check out their marina development and then on to Thunder Bay , Ontario.
The aircraft we fly on is a Cesna 208 Caravan which has the ability to takeoff and land on water but also has pop out wheels to enable it to land on hard ground too; we therefore land on the airstrip at Thunder Bay airport, the third largest airport in Ontario.
The plane for the afternoon is to take a tour of the Thunder Bay area and then for more food, tonight offering the opportunity to meet with many representatives of the local tourist industry and an excellent opportunity to share ideas for tourism in this thriving city.
Thunder Bay has an amazing history as a fur trading post back in the mid nineteenth century, and a must see attraction is Fort William Historical Park, a “Top Ten” Canada Visitor Attraction, where a cast of authentically costumed characters recreate the era as accurately as possible as though it was 1815.
There is much to offer in Thunder Bay, an eclectic array of restaurants and bars, a developing water front area, many indoor activities but the key feature is the options outdoors to suit all tastes for walking, hiking, camping, kayaking, boating, Canada’s longest zip line etc.etc. well worth staying a couple of nights on a tour around the Great Lakes on the banks of Lake Superior
We conclude our visit to Thunder Bay with a visit to the beautiful Kakabeka Waterfall and lunch and a tour of the White Springs Golf Course, sadly not enough time to play a round, maybe next time I visit?
This afternoon we are flying in our last of three different aircraft a Pilatus PC12, a single engined plane with 6 seats and flown by a couple of pilots, our Destination is Duluth, Minnesota, USA, flying time is just 45 minutes across the border, by car this leg of the trip would take three hours driving time and plus maybe an hour at customs!
The journey turns out to be the bumpiest yet, the pilots kindly ask if we wish to fly higher on a longer route to avoid the turbulence, the consensus of opinion is no so we stay our course, I will just have to grin and bear it I guess!!
I disembark the flight with a strange green hue to my face due to the bumpy ride! and we all proceed to be interrogated by a single US Immigration Officer, it turns out he is a nice guy even though there appears to have been some confusion regarding the European contingent’s ESTA requirements, however all is resolved quite quickly and we move on to the Port of Duluth, Minnesota.
Duluth is located on the western most tip of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, and is a twin-port with its counterpart the city of Superior in Wisconsin; it is famous for its Aerial Lift Bridge which allows ships in and out of the harbour by completely lifting the road into the sky, which is most impressive.
air bridge image
We begin our stay in the city with a viewing of the port from a fabulous vantage point above the city where various ‘Raptors’ circle the sky, views of over 45 miles can be seen across the bay and inland to each State.
There are many attractions to keep a visitor busy including the Great Lakes Aquarium, Lake Superior Railroad Museum and Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center to name but a few, if you are feeling a little more energetic you may wish to walk, run or cycle the 14 mile Lake Walk around the banks of Lake Superior.
Tonight our home is The Sheraton Hotel in downtown Duluth, just time for a quick freshen up and we are off again for more food, dinner is at a fabulous JJ Astor Restaurant high above Duluth which revolves 360 degrees in 70 minutes, allowing for excellent views over the bay and the city.
As dinner is finished early and the night is young there is time for a couple of drinks, just to be sociable of course, a very interesting night was had, mainly at the expense of the locals at The Carmody Irish Bar and The Blackwater Lounge Bar!!
Today we are to head to our last city on the trip, Detroit, Michigan – Motown, the home of the motor industry and an amazing music scene.
The flight, with a 70km tail wind, takes just 100 minutes and thankfully we flew at 16,000 feet in smooth air and avoided me reaching for the sick bag!!
Detroit is one of the top ports in the USA by value of customs clearances; it is located between Lake Huron and Lake Erie and has had a chequered history, beginning life as a trading post in 1701, burned to the ground in 1805, it grew to be a very important manufacturing centre based on copper and iron ore from the Upper Peninsula.
However it was Henry Ford who founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and the subsequent mass manufacture of the Model ‘T’ Ford in 1908 that forever changed the image of Detroit and started the love of the motor car across the United States which remains to this day.
There are many options to keep a visitor amused in this vast city, the main attraction being the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, this is not just a hangar full of old cars but an amazing experience with so much to see and interact with, it is worth making a visit to Detroit for this alone.
But Ford isn’t the only place to visit, The Motown Museum is a must for anyone interested in music, The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) houses a breathtaking array of fine art from some of the most famous artists including Van Gogh, Picasso and Gainsborough – personally I am not a great Art fan but this is a truly fabulous gallery to visit and a bargain at just $8.00 for the entrance fee.
We were only able to see the Ford and DIA museums on our short visit to the city but Detroit is certainly a location on the up after having to confront some very difficult cultural and economic issues in its recent past.
Lunch was served at The Greenfield Village, in an authentic 1800’s eating establishment where the staff dress in accurate costumes of the day and remain in character throughout lunch as 200 year old fayre is served, thankfully the food was surprisingly fresh considering its age!!!
The hotel tonight is a Casino Hotel, The Valhalla in downtown Detroit – the USA until recent times did not allow casinos in the vast majority of States, this restriction has now been lifted resulting in most States now housing their own downtown gambling establishments.
The Valhalla is a boutique style hotel, perfectly situated in the centre of the nightlife of bars and clubs and as usual a quick turnaround is called for as we head back out for dinner overlooking the harbour and the border with Canada and the city of Windsor, food was of a very high standard this evening however the service was comically appalling, the two male servers seemed to want to be the main attraction but would have failed auditions in the early stages of America’s Got Talent!! I better not name the restaurant in case of a law-suit.
It is tempting to visit the hotel’s casino but we were not impressed by the amount of smoking at the gaming tables, although most of the USA is smoke free, it is still allowed in most casinos across the country and as my stomach felt it was going to burst with all the food we had eaten I thought it prudent to not take risks with my lungs in the smoky atmosphere of the casino this evening.
Tonight was the last night we were all together as a group of six as Teresa had decided she could not stand another day with us and was to fly home the next day, she actually had a business engagement, tomorrow we will be the ‘Famous Five’.
I awake at 6.00 am, always paranoid that my 7.00 am alarm is not going to alert me, and decide that I cannot take any more food at this time, I must advise that food in North America, in my experience, is generally of a very good standard, however it is so easy to be carried along with the huge portions and realise that the excess baggage on the way home won’t be in a suitcase but around one’s midriff, so be careful out there!
I meet the rest of the party for our last port visit, the brand new, yet to be opened Cruise Port at Detroit, a state of the art location which will allow the fast processing of passengers in and out of the city for day excursions or overnight stays.
Back to the airport, we say our goodbyes to Teresa and we board the plane for our last private flight back to Toronto and unbeknown to us one of the major highlights of the trip.
We are on a flight path to pass by Niagara Falls, however the chances of actually flying over the falls are slim as airspace above the area is busy with many sightseeing helicopters buzzing around, however Air Traffic Control have given the go ahead for us to fly over the falls, take as long as we wish before letting them know we are leaving the airspace.
This is a truly once in a lifetime, a priceless few minutes as we circle the falls banking sharply like a stunt aircraft for the most stunning view of the falls ever, WOW what an end to the 3500 miles we have flown and a camera full of pictures from all angles of the world famous Niagara Falls.
It’s down to earth with a bump, no not the plane, the landing, as all have been, was as smooth as ever but we face a delay with the customs officers as one is training and she wants to impress her boss!!
Back into Toronto and the Delta Chelsea Hotel for our last night, the journey time from the City Center Airport is just 20 minutes, such a benefit.
Tonight could be the night when the Vancouver Canucks win their first Stanley Cup Trophy, the ‘world championship’ of ice hockey they are 3-2 up in the best of 7 series and a win tonight and Canada, especially Vancouver, will go crazy, dinner tonight is therefore in the hotel at Bistro 33.
What a perfect meal for the last day of the trip, we’re joined by Mike Riehl the Deputy Harbor Master in Toronto for a lovely evening where we can all reminisce over our Great Lakes Safari.
We have grown together as a group and I wish to thank Stephen (Burnett) from the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition who organised the trip and looked after us so well: we present him with a small gift as a gesture of our appreciation, Stephen is a true gentleman with a wealth of knowledge of what seems everything there is to know, one of life’s very special people.
Comedy gifts are handed to the rest of the gang; Michael our German airplane ‘Super’ enthusiast is presented with a toy plane to his delight and identifies the type of aircraft instantly, what a surprise! Frederique our glamorous French lady loves her Canadian Maple Leaf earrings to remind her of the trip and English gentleman Peter, now a great friend due to the laughs we have had together, who was so desperate to see a moose now not only owns a small moose but also it’s droppings!!
Due to the fact that Peter and I spent a night in a log cabin together, I can assure you there was no funny business however; my gift was a log cabin in pieces to build which will bring me fond memories of this great adventure.
The perfect end to the story would be a win for the Canucks against Boston Bruins, as we hit the hotel bar in hope that we were going to see history made before we left the country our hopes were shattered as the score was 4-0 to The Bruins, oh dear, Vancouver will have to try again after the match finishes 5-2, the last match of the series is in Vancouver on the day we get home. We have followed the series along our travels it is a shame a conclusion could not be brought this evening.
Our last goodbyes are said over breakfast, Peter and Frederique are heading out on the excursion to Niagara Falls that I went on when I arrived before their flights home tonight (they have paid $180.00 each for the trip locally whereas I only paid £90.00 equivalent to $135.00 – showing what a huge financial benefit booking such excursions with us can make), Stephen is to head home to Kingston, Ontario by train and Michael is to visit friends in Toronto before his late flight today back to Germany.
I am now ‘Billy No Mates’, I pack for the final time and make my way to view the ROM, Royal Ontario Museum, one of the largest museums in Canada, it houses many artefacts from all across the world and a huge variety of other items to be explored, however it all feels rather lonely now that I am not able to share the visit with my new friends.
Toronto is a fabulous city, as I have witnessed it is a very walkable city and feels very safe, if you are planning a trip to Eastern Canada make sure you spend two or three nights here to experience some of the many things it has to offer.
Taxi, off to the airport, $55.00 flat fee back to Toronto Pearson and able to pay by credit card if required which makes life simpler, check-in is very quick along with immigration and now awaiting for my flight to be called.
I am travelling home in ‘World Traveller Plus’ Class with British Airways which offers that extra few inches of leg room to make the journey more comfortable and so well worth considering, at least for your return overnight flight home, ask when you contact us to book your holiday what the supplement will be for an upgrade.
Time for some sleep now, battery running out on laptop and I guess as the lights are out I am annoying other passengers with my light on and the laptop screen gleaming, see you in the morning.
Arrived at Heathrow on time, bus to terminal 5, 1st in line at immigration and bags waiting at the carousel, I walk out of the building and there is my car waiting for me – from landing to starting my car takes 20 minutes, what a great service.
The overall trip has been a real success, the benefits for such a journey are to maximise time to view as many locations and properties as possible and to be able to advise clients and colleagues accordingly about the best places to stay, and potentially not stay, and what to see and do when in respective locations.
I would like to thank my travelling companions Peter, Frederique, Michael and Teresa for their excellent and amusing company, plus Stephen for his amazing organisational skills and again superb company and to thank all the organisations along the way who have contributed so much to making this trip such a huge success.
Until the next trip, thank you for reading and goodbye for now.
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