Home Sweet Home

I arrived in Switzerland Thursday morning, coming from Toronto. It was a nice surprise seeing my friends at the airport giving me a warm welcome. Thank you very much! icon_biggrin

Camping in Kenora ON

Since there was the long weekend in Canada, Nick and his friends went camping for 3 days near Kenora (about 3.5h east from Winnipeg). All in all, we were pretty lucky with the weather, the forecast was snow and rain (we got both a little); however, Sunday was not too bad.
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1450km in 14h

We drove the 1450km from Chicago (IL) back to Winnipeg (MB) in just 14h, including stops for gas and a lunch and dinner break. Pretty good! icon_cool
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Chicago II: Mercantile Exchange, Magnificent Mile

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is one of the largest trading floors for futures and options. Unfortunately it is not open anymore for the public! However, we went at least to the visitors centre.

You know, when you are travelling with a girl, shopping seems to be important! Well… we also walked down the Magnificent Mile and went to a LOT of shops (took us pretty much the whole day). icon_biggrin
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Chicago I: Sears Tower, Navy Peer

Brigitte and I spent the whole day downtown Chicago. The Sears Tower, currently the 3rd tallest building in the world, is just awesome (the currently tallest building is the Taipei 101 in Taipei, China and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). icon_idea We also visited the Navy Peer and have done a quite neat boat tour around Chicago and Lake Michigan.
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Minneapolis MN – Chicago IL

The best navigation system is useless, when you enter the wrong address! The system led us to the entered address which was Downtown Chicago. However, the ride was our first impression from big Chicago downtown. icon_rolleyes
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Road-trip to Chicago: Minneapolis MN - Mall of America

Brigitte’s boyfriend’s father was so worried about the condition of Brigitte’s car, that he offered us his brand-new Lexus Infiniti for our road trip to Chicago. He got the car few weeks ago and it had just about 1700km on it when he gave it to us. I tell you, this machine is a blast to drive and equipped with all luxury features you can think of. icon_cool

Since Minneapolis is on the way to Chicago (just about 8h south from Winnipeg), we stopped by and had a look at the Mall of America, one of America’s biggest shopping centre. The mall is huge and has its own fun park inside. We left Winnipeg in the early morning and spent the whole late afternoon and evening with shopping in the mall.
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Since they made me moving out of my dorm in the Arthur v. Mauro residence, I was kind of homeless after returning from my trip to the east. However, I found a place in Speechly residence where I stayed for two nights.

Most of the exchange students already left Winnipeg or were traveling. It was kind of weird being the only one in res. Fortunately I met some familiar faces and we went out for the very last time. After the bar closed, Antonio, André and Rasmus wanted to see my new “home” and we had delicious Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. icon_lol
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Toronto ON – Winnipeg MB

Since our flight back to Winnipeg was in the afternoon, we had enough time to visit Toronto Islands. Once again a lot of walking and taking some funny picture! icon_biggrin
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Niagara Falls

Tours to Niagara Falls are normally quite pricy (around 80$). However, we figured out a much cheaper way to go there. The Niagara Falls Casino offered a bus ride from Downtown Toronto straight to their Casino in Niagara which is located in just 5min walking distance from the falls. The ride was 30$ whereas we got a 10$ casino voucher (so all we had to do was to cash the voucher in the casino to get our money back). Well… I think we were the only European in the bus, all the others were some gambling addicted Chinese (the announcements in the bus were in Chinese as well, so no clue what they were talking about).

The Niagara Falls itself are pretty impressive and definitely worth to go. icon_exclaim
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Toronto III: Neighbourhoods

This day was a LOT of walking. We first wanted to go to the Toronto Stock Exchange in the financial district; however, we had to figure out that it is not open for tourists anymore. So we walked to little India and Greek town, some Toronto neighbourhoods which are a little outside the city (Indian cuisine all you can eat was great). icon_razz
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Toronto II: CN Tower

The attraction you have to visit in Toronto is the CN Tower which includes the world’s highest observation deck (147 storeys or 447 meter). The tower itself is with 553 meters the world’s tallest freestanding building.
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Toronto I: Downtown

We flew to Toronto in the early morning. All we’ve done this day was walking around downtown Toronto and André took some funny picture of me. icon_biggrin
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Relax Halifax

Tired and with a little hangover, André made me walking to Dartmouth in the afternoon icon_mrgreen (he didn’t join the party the previous night thought and was full of energy).
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South Shore: Beach

We were actually pretty tired today but since we still had the car we went to a nearby beach at the south shore.

The day ended with an awesome trip to a bar called “The Lower Deck” (according some people from Toronto, the best bar in Canada). icon_razz
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Cape Breton

Cape Breton is the north eastern part of Nova Scotia and unlike the other parts very hilly. We drove once around the Cape Breton national park

Since we could not find a suitable place to stay over night, we decided at 8pm to drive back to Halifax (just a 270km or 3h drive, for us as almost Manitoban’s still close neighbour hood)

It was a very nice but long day in the car; all in all around 800km or 14h drive. icon_smile
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Ferry to Cape Breton

The ferry started running today for the summer. So we took one of the first ferries to go back to Nova Scotia with the target of Sidney in Cape Breton.
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Prince Edward Island (PEI)

PEI is the smallest province in Canada and counts just 100’000 citizens. Charlottetown, the capital of the province PEI is called the birthplace of Canada because the great grandfathers had their first meeting about the union in Charlottetown.
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Wolfville, Hells Harbour, Confederation Bridge

The area around Wolfville is gorgeous and actually worth to stay longer than just half a day. The area is famous for its tides. As you can see from the pictures, fishermen have to be careful to get back to the harbour at the right time otherwise the water is gone!

We reached the Confederation Bridge in the evening. The bridge connects Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and with 12.9km it is the longest free standing bridge in the world. Look at it, isn’t it impressive? icon_exclaim
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Don’t ask me how to pronounce that! icon_rolleyes Kejimkujik is a national park in Nova Scotia where we went for hiking.
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Peggy’s Cove

We got our car at noon and drove first to Peggy’s Cove. Famous because it’s close to Halifax and supposed to be very pictures. However, we almost missed it because it is so small!

The only thing I knew about Halifax was the Swissair plane crash from September 2, 1998, when the Swissair flight 111 crashed into the ocean close to the coast of Halifax. The memorial is just a 5min drive away from Peggy’s Cove.

We made it to Lunenburg this day and found a good and pretty cheap B&B at an old lady’s house.
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Dartmouth is just a 15min ferry ride away from Halifax. Went there and walked around. Again, party with people from the hostel in the evening. icon_cool
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We spent the whole day in Halifax and collect information for our road trip around Nova Scotia. In the evening we went for some beers with people from our hostel.
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Winnipeg MB – Halifax NS

Yea finally… done with the exams and ready to see what’s going on in the Maritimes! Well, the day itself was not very interesting, spent the day pretty much at the airport with waiting for delayed flights. Therefore, no pictures…
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AIMS Farewell Dinner

My 2nd Term here in Winnipeg is almost over. To have a last big party, the AIMS group organized a farewell dinner at Earls, of course including the mandatory awards. Awards were given in the category: Mr/Ms Canada, Mr/Ms Sexy, Mr/Ms Trendy and Mr/Ms Party Animal. Dammed, didn’t make it for a price this today, rather got one last time. icon_confused We ended the night at Coyote’s.
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