I was not ready for the alarm at 6:00 this morning. After a quick shower I went to the near TravelBug hotel at the airport in Paris. Had to leave some TBs there.
The good thing with the hotel at the train station was definitely the short walking distance. Terminal 2 a for my flight on Air Canada today. Of course at the end of the terminal. Since my luggage is checked through I don’t have to check in at the counter and can go directly through security and customs. I am early and there are no people here.
Now I just had to find the Maple leaf lounge… again at the very very end of the terminal. And the door is closed, I had to ring to get inside. Only 2 people there. Since there are few flights to Canada every day and check in doesn’t open more than 2 hours before I can enjoy the silence and a small breakfast (not the best one).
Close to boarding time. Zone 1 at the gate. They check that my luggage is on board after 2 nights at different airports. I should be good. Boarding at 10:00. Seat 4 A at the window. A nice view and a lot of room, but no storage. Just ignore the “This is no storage” sign to put away my stuff.
A glass of sparkling wine and some nuts before takeoff. Checking out the IFE and takeing some videos for my next flight reports. We leave nearly on time and head towards Toronto.
An hour after take off they start the service for the business class. Starter: duck fois gras, Main: Beef filet, Cheese and a piece of cake. Some champagne, port and soft drinks.
I managed to see three movies on the flight. No big turbulence and a friendly crew. Made one flight attendant make the signature cocktail for the first time. He apologized in advance for his first try – I wouldn’t know the difference. 90 minutes before arrival another snack and then we land at Toronto airport.
I have a 6 hour layover, so enough time to get into the city, buy a SIM card for my phone and find a geocache. There is no one at the passport control (sure most have to wait for their luggage) and after a very detailed questioning of the customs officer I am allowed into the country.
Just finding av luggage storage and then the train downtown to Union station. 12 CAD for one direction is ok. It is cold in Toronto, the wind is blowing and after waling around I remember, that all shopping in Toronto is underground. I find my Bell shop, get an all to expensive 1 GB prepaid car and have Internet.
Just one Geocache to find. Have to walk to the CN tower to get it. It has started to rain. SO best to go back to the airport and sit in the warm lounge with food and drinks (and a toilet^^). After a very fast security check (where I learn that is is not allowed with more than 350 gram of non organic material in your hand luggage – I brought salt from Gossen as a gift) I can sit down in the lounge. I feel I am getting tired. A longer flight ahead and my body says it is late (I will arrive 5 am European time in Calgary…).
In the lounge, that was very nice and it was good to rest, because I was getting sleepy – I got the message, that the plane was an hour late – noooooooo… This will be a long day.
Finally boarding the full flight. Very old and simple business class. The IFE was crap, but I want to try to sleep a little anyways. Yeah, but first you get the menu and then you get served. Hopped over the started and ordered the ravioli. I just woke up when the main course came, ate and tried to sleep again (hopping over all drinks and deserts). But of course every 10 minutes there came an announcement in English and French that we are entering an area of turbulence and have to fasten the seat belts. It was like switching me on and off all the time… not very good rest.
Flying inn to Calgary, seeing the skyline. Getting out of the airport and Karen, who I met in Marrakesh in 2017, was waiting for me to drive me to my AirBnB. Geocaching connects people. She is 70 and full of energy. Great to get a ride and I didn’t have to figure out a way to get downtown.
The AirBnB was found easily. Keybox outside, finding the apartment on the first floor. Small and simple. No thrills, but for 25 Euro a night my own place close to the CBD is great. Bedroom (in a mint green color – but I sleep with my eyes closed^^), living room/kitchen, bath with a shower, fridge, stove, balcony and BBQ, fast internet… all you need for 4 nights when you are out all day.
Getting to bed at once – getting used to the time zone will take one or two days.
Welcome to Canada!