Dinosaurs and glass floors

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July 14th 2014
Published: July 31st 2014
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Yours trulyYours trulyYours truly

at the waterfront
A long time coming

Back in December, with no travel planned I was sat in the lounge watching some inane program on TV when I was struck down with a super idea. Let's go to Canada. I ran it by Gemma, who for the most part is that voice of reason and the limit switch on my impulsiveness. I didn't anticipate for one minute she'd agree, but she did and after several weeks of planning and deciding on locations, activities, budget etc we booked flights to Toronto, an internal flight to Victoria and a flight back from Vancouver.

It was 7 long months before we finally turned my absurd and flippant idea into a reality, but man what a trip it turned out to be!

Toronto goes Gerry-atric

We arrived in Toronto and made our way to Dundas square via a subway station which was harder to navigate than Kiev's Universitet station, checked in unloaded at the Hotel. The usual. Had a rest and got the lie of the land. That evening we headed out to go and see some of the city. We made our way down to the waterfront and the harbour that looks out to Toronto Islands and Lake Ontario. The streets were buzzing and cars were whizzing by with German flags waving. Everyone seemed to be wearing a German FC kit. Turns out Germany had won the world cup and Toronto appeared to be suddenly very German, and every Canadian was now a proud and patriotic citizen of Germany. We retired early that night due to a long day of wearisome travel.

Previously Lost world, found and put in a museum

I make no secret of the fact that as a 25 year old adult (adult used as a loose term) I am obsessed with Dinosaurs, Sharks and Zombies. I knew that the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) contained a vast collection of Dinosaurs on display which is the envy of museums throughout the world, including a suspended Quetzalcoatlus, the largest pterosaur known to science with an estimated wingspan of 33-36 feet!

We found the museum easily enough, as it is one of those artsy type buildings you really can't miss. (He is the architect behind the Berlin Jewish Museum) Anyway as you enter there stands the monstrous skeleton of a Futalognkosaurus, a sauropod discovered in the supercontinent Gondwana. Way back when the Earth had a massive continent named Pangaea, Pangaea split and was divided into two, a northern continent named Laurasia and a southern continent named Gondwana. Those continents inevitably moved, merged and broke apart now creating the continents of the Earth as we know it. Anyway, the southern hemisphere in recent years has become the focus of palaeontological discoveries that show that beasts south of the equator became massive. Argentinasaurus is one of the largest known animals to have walked the Earth. Giganotosaurus was the second largest land predator to ever walk on Earth, falling only second to Spinosaurus, the first known remains of Spinosaurus were destroyed during bombing campaigns in WW2.

Anyway I digress, I was like a kid at Christmas, however I tried to show some discipline and we did the museum in reverse order, starting on the highest level. There was an interesting photographic exhibition that was made up of massive panoramic shots, many of which were inaccessible areas of the museum. The next floor down was a clothing exhibition relating to styles and fashion through the ages. People wore some utterly absurd clothing in our history, then again people wear some utterly terrible clothing

the largest beast to ever take to the skies with an estimated wingspan of 33-36 feet!!
nowadays, why break the habit of a species existence?!

Down another floor and we made it to weaponry and cultures of Asia and South America. There was a large fish next to a medium sized Mercedes car, turns out these were ceremonial coffins that depicted how the deceased lived. In one a fisherman and in the other someone with an inferiority complex and too much money.

We then made it to the level with the Dinosaurs on. WOOP WOOP!

In this area I knocked several dinosaurs off my prehistoric bucketlist in one fell swoop including:

• Quetzalcoatlus
• Deinonychus (the inspiration behind Jurassic Park's Velociraptors)
• Albertasaurus
• Allosaurus
• Stegosaurus
• Pachycephalosaurus
• Parasaurolophus
• Corythosaurus
• Lambeosaurus
• Chasmosaurus
• Elasmosaurus
• Mosasaur
• Compsognathus
• Oviraptor
• Protoceratops
• Dilophosaurus

plus many more! We also saw the Glyptodon, or as in my family it was always known as the Lemonosaurus. Invicta (a toy manufacturer) made dinosaurs for the Natural History Museum back in the '70s and one of the species in the lineup was the prehistoric non-dinosaur Glyptodon. It essentially looked like a Lemon with a cherry for a head and an oil drill for a tail.

We continued to look around the exhibit, there was an impressive Elk skeleton and a skeleton of a Mastodon (no not that crappy band, the monstrous elephants that used to roam the Earth).

There was then a natural history exhibit with an impressive, albeit questionable, collection of animals that had been given the old taxidermy treatment, however if I wasn't to see a Bald Eagle on this trip at least I saw one suspended from a ceiling in a glass dome... (By the way, seeing a Bald Eagle was my primary concern for the whole trip, you'll have to read on to find out whether I saw one.)

After that it was on to the gift shop to load up on Dinosaur related paraphernalia for myself and my 3 year old nephew Milo (who is Dinosaur mental and it is fantastic. He regularly asks his mum, my sister, if she is a pterodactyl! haha)

Window Seat please

Following on from our dinosaur related escapades we had booked a table for lunch at the CN tower. For a standard fare to ride the elevator it is 32 bucks. For a 3 course meal in the restaurant that includes your

The neck and tail twist up like that during post-mortem contraction of the ligaments as they dry out...
lift up to the restaurant it is 55 bucks... it's a complete no brainer.

I had written on the booking form in the any requests section "window seat please 😊" which to my surprise was granted and we enjoyed stunning views out across Lake Ontario and the Toronto City airport. The restaurant slowly rotates and takes about an hour to do a full 360 degrees.

I opted for an Ice Tea (my holiday beverage of choice, choc full of sugar and flavour!!) the wild mushroom bruschetta to start and a carbonara for a main followed up with a warm cranberry and pecan tart to finish. When the mains came out I looked at Gemma's and then mine, she captured the moment perfectly as I looked on forlornly at my decision. I had opted for Carbonara (my favourite pasta dish) while she had gone for Lamb's leg (my favourite lamb dish) anyway I tucked in dutifully and it turned out that I needn't have worried as Gemma has the stomach capacity of an infant; ergo I ate half of her dinner too! (",)

We rotated some more and took the view in, our waiter, a shiesty looking individual
Had I made a culinary mistake?Had I made a culinary mistake?Had I made a culinary mistake?

no I hadn't my carbonara was beautiful and I ate half of Gemma's lamb...
but he was pleasant enough, was kind enough to take a photo of us and he had given us an extra bowl of bread as the excitement of dinosauria had left me with a great hunger!

After we had rotated some more and took more photos of the landscape below we headed down a level to the external walkway and the glass floor.

Whatever you do.... don't look down (but jumping is ok)


Aren't I just the worst?!

The glass for in the CN tower is an interesting, if not gut churning feature that sees you peering at the street 342 metres below. So naturally I had to mess around on it jumping around, laying down, taking selfies... you know the usual. Gemma stood well away from the edge but with some coaxing, and a firm grip, shuffled toward the edge stopping short of putting her foot on the glass. She has a thing about heights and being able to see down. The floor however is reportedly able to hold 6.5 adult Orcas so was probably safer than the carpeted flooring.

following on from the CN tower we headed down to the Steam
The view from the CN TowerThe view from the CN TowerThe view from the CN Tower

Toronto Islands, Toronto Airport and the vast emptiness that is Lake Ontario
Whistle brewery but their tours were booked up for the day, so we had a complimentary sample. We then milled around for the rest of the day taking in the city.


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