Alan & Hamish


Alan & Hamish


Former TravelPod Member: alan-hamish

Joined: April 27th, 2010
From: Hong Kong lives in London,United Kingdom
Hobbies: Travelling, food, cooking, languages, etc
Languages: In no particular order: English, French, German, Dutch, Cantonese, Japanese, Spanish, Danish
Amazing Event: Our Civil Partnership and then our marriage.

You only live once.

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto March 24th 2017

Geo: 43.6485, -79.3854Thursday 24th Back in Toronto and felt a bit warmer. After Montréal, Toronto seems so much more familiar. We're staying at the University Club of Toronto, which is very welcoming and comfortable. We didn't do a lot this afternoon; we walked around, ate cheesecake and rested before dinner. We were a bit tired. Who knew sitting on the train for 5 hours could be soooo tiring.We had Korean food for dinner, at the same place Alan went to last time. It's still here 5 years on, so it must be doing something right. Friday 25thThe weather forecast for today was rain, rain, rain. But luckily we didn't feel a drop. After a wonderful breakfast in the Club we walked up University Avenue to the Legislature of the Province of Ontario, a very imposing edifice ... read more
Back to Toronto
Ontario Legislature  Chamber
Two vases

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal March 22nd 2017

Geo: 45.5088, -73.5878We woke up to a Montréal at -11°C. The proverbial brass monkey and his balls came to mind. We had thick winter clothes on, but nothing quite prepared us for the raw feeling on our faces when we went out. Even the locals had their hoods up and hands deep inside their pockets. The freezing temperatures meant that all the melted snow and slush had refrozen making the pavements treacherous. We made our way along to the McCord Museum which was hosting three exhibitions. The first was about the 1967 Expo held here in Montréal to showcase modern design, especially fashion. We had fun looking at what must have been cutting edge 50 years ago but now looked so incredibly dated. We did rather like the Maple Leaf Tartan that was designed for the ... read more
Maple tartan
Bead work
First Natuon

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal March 21st 2017

Geo: 45.5088, -73.5878Since we couldn't get in Château Ramezay yesterday, we went straight there this morning after breakfast. It's a smallish manor house of significant historic interest to the city. It was built by Claude de Ramezay, Governor of Montréal, in 1705. After his death, it became the headquarters of the West India Company (Compagnie des Indes) which dealt mainly in the fur trade with Ameri-Indians. Later the house was used by the Governor of British Canada, occupied by Benjamin Franklin in 1776. It was subsequently turned into a school, left derelict and finally opened as a museum in1895. The inside of the house was elegant, especially the formal drawing rooms. The wood panelling was made in Nantes and shipped over for the 1967 Expo and later bought by the Museum. Montréal, and Québec for that ... read more
Château de Ramesay

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal March 20th 2017

Geo: 45.5088, -73.5878First day of serious sight-seeing. We headed straight to Vieux Montréal to the Château de Ramezay, a museum charting the history of the city. Alas, Alan forgot the bit in the guidebook that said "opens Tuesday to Sunday..." Ho Hum. Never mind, we could still explore the old town.Well, what do you know?, it was already time for coffee. We found a little café in the Bonsecours Market. This used to be a large theatre with a dome. Now it has been saved and converted into shops and it also houses a museum of textile and costumes; also shut on Mondays.The old town is very pretty with narrow streets and old buildings. Yes, we are in Canada, which is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, but Montréal is also celebrating its 375th anniversary so ... read more
Morning snacks
Vieux Montréal
Place Jacque-Cartier

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal March 19th 2017

Geo: 45.5088, -73.5878Start of the holiday proper for Hamish. It takes five hours to go from Toronto to Montréal by train. We thought VIA trains were pretty comfortable though the views along the way, apart from glimpses of Lake Ontario, weren't so exciting. We stopped at places with names such as Kingston and Cornwall. Alas, they looked nothing like their namesakes back in Blighty. The further away we got from Toronto, the thicker the snow covering was, which made it all look prettier.Once we'd arrived and schlepped our cases to the hotel, had a quick walk around before meeting up with some friends. The pavements were mostly cleared of snow, unlike in London, but we passed gardens and parks where the snow laid in pristine conditions. It's been days since the snow fall and obviously the ... read more
On the train

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto March 17th 2017

Geo: 43.7001, -79.4163It's been five years since Hamish's last North American conference was held in Toronto, and Alan is joining him for a few days of holiday.After a pleasant flight of under 8 hours, Alan arrived in a rather cold but bright Toronto. Cold as in 2°C. Since our last visit Toronto has built a rail link from the airport to Downtown and the transfer was easy, albeit took a bit of time.18th March: Woke up quite early because of the jet-lag. Put it this way, I heard the City Hall clock chimed 4! We had Canadian breakfast at Tim Hortons - grilled bagel with bacon and egg, hash brown and coffee. We like to eat local as you know. Hamish just had a bagel with cream cheese. It did the job of filling our bellies. ... read more
Afternoon tea at 38000 ft.
St Lawrence Market
Wintry weather

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver April 8th 2016

Geo: 49.2605, -123.114It's sad that our Pacific Northwest adventures are coming to an end. But not before my niece drove me round and visited some sites out of town. We had coffee and a Nanaimo Bar in West Vancouver, a very well heeled district with great views.Then we drove to Deep Cove, which was a gorgeous place, especially in the sunshine. The lunch at Arms Reach Bistro was very pleasant, but I did get an oily salad leave on my shirt. Then again, I'm sitting at the back of the plane, so nobody will care.The next port of call was Commercial Drive, a slightly more down to earth area of town with independent shops and cafés. It's more like a normal suburban high street. I'd like to come back next time and get to know the ... read more
Beach in West Vancouver
View back towards downtown and Stanley Park
Yummy salad

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver April 7th 2016

Geo: 49.2605, -123.114Vancouver in spring sunshine is glorious and where better than to appreciate it from water. From the southern end of downtown, you can take the rather cute Acquabus to Granville Island. It's a very short hop and then change there for aquabuses to other destinations on the False Creek. I bought myself a day pass - buying single tickets every time can mount up. It was a good idea to start early as I had a boat to myself and had a mini guided tour.The first port of call was the Village. This is where the athletes stayed during the 2010 Winter Games. Now the "halls of residence" have been transformed into very desirable low-rise condos. The flats facing the Water have six-million-dollar views and price tags to match. It is still very new ... read more
False Creek
More condos
False Creek

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver April 6th 2016

Geo: 49.2605, -123.114Had to be in work mode this afternoon when I paid a visit to the President's Office at the University of British Columbia.Bur first a bit of culture. I have chosen a significant day to visit the University because in the morning, they held a dedication ceremony of a House Post of the Musqueam people, whose land (unceded) the University is built on. This was not the raising of a totem pole, but a dedication of a House Post. They were most insistent that this was what it was. The post was carved by a student of the Musqueam heritage and comes from a long line of talented artists. The actual dedication act was very low key and personal. Of course, there were speeches, from representatives of the University as well as from elders ... read more
Background to the post
The People
The oldest building in UBC

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver April 5th 2016

Geo: 49.2605, -123.114It was chucking it down this morning, so my plans of visiting Granville Island had to be shelved. Nothing to do but stay in the hotel room until the rain had eased and then went out for lunch. I didn't have to go far before I found a Japanese restaurant. The place was busy, so a good sign. They did "lunch boxes" (bento) which looked nice. I chose the most expensive one with sashimi. When I said the most expensive, it is still half the price of what I would pay in London. Ok, it wasn't the most refined Japanese, but the fish was fresh and the tempura wasn't bad either. The sashimi could be cut a little thinner, however.After lunch, I walked towards Robson square, which is in the middle of downtown surrounded ... read more
sashimi bento
Davie Street
Granville Island

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