Now that the dust starts to settle, I start to see more clearly the places that have marked me the most. When it comes to the order of them I ranked the list the first time on the plane back to Stavanger but since then whenever I rank them again they switch places sometimes. But I still include the same ones in my top 10 and they have one thing in common: given the chance I would definitely go back in an instant.
Cape Town – definitely a wonderful surprise. From the mountains, to the white sand and blue water beaches, to the wine farms and delicious tastings, this was an amazing place to be. Add the chance to be at the most southern point in Africa (part of the old glory days from Portugal), the view from the Table Mountain, the V&A waterfont and the beautiful African penguins and this is a difficult combination to beat!
San Francisco – I always thought I would like SF and it did not disappoint. The European feel of the city, the outgoing people, the great weather and the views around the bay are the things I miss the most, together with the cute sea lions 🙂 Continue reading
Airbnb is a great business idea and we have used it extensively in several places in the USA and in Canada. In many cities it was actually the only way for us to find affordable accommodation at central locations, e.g. Washington, Nashville or San Francisco.
But the experiences are very variable and honestly you never know what you are going to get. Simple things like “does the room have a lock?”, “how many rooms are being rented in the same apartment?”, “how many bathrooms?”, “why I honestly rent this room”, “how much interaction I really expect to have with my guests” or “do I live here or just rent all the rooms separately on Airbnb?” would go a long way to clear up what’s going to happen.
We find it quite uncomfortable when people rent several rooms in the same house without informing, especially if there only one bathroom and no locks for each room. We never felt any real danger but still… Many rooms are also seriously overpriced for what they offer. And the worse is when the owner lives in the same place but is so uncomfortable with receiving strangers that he tries to avoid contact almost. Then we feel super uncomfortable too. It’s ok to be honest and say you need the money and do it for that reason, we also just need a room sometimes 🙂 Continue reading
After leaving Niagara Falls we took a train to Toronto where we stayed 4 days and after that another to Montreal where we spent the last 3 days. Today we are on the way to NYC, a train ride that takes over 10 hours. This means plenty of time to catch up on what we have been up to.
Although one week is very little to get to know one city, let alone two, it does give us a sense of what living there is like, even if only from a tourist perspective.
Toronto was a nice surprise, the skyline is beautiful and it is a modern city with many tall buildings and a large financial center. It is also the fourth largest city in North America . There is still a lot of new construction going on and the new buildings are generally very well integrated with the older ones, sometimes even using parts of the old construction and building on it. The nice weather we had also helped to see a more colorful side of Toronto.
Things we recommend to see in Toronto: Continue reading
After our well deserved night of sleep we began the day eating a buffet breakfast at a local restaurant where they had beautiful paintings of Canada’s wild animals, for the ones that don’t know I, Nuno, love pictures and paintings that show the old times and the wild life of the places we visit or live in.
Elsa and I have several bucket list items in common and one of them is to see, feel and admire the great Niagara Falls and we are lucky enough to cross it from the bucket lists. I wanted to feel it in a different way, I would love to swim near the falls but at Niagara Falls that is not possible, maybe one day someone remembers to build a pool area at the falls. 😉
When we arrived USA Niagara Falls train station it was already dark; we took a taxi to the Rainbow Bridge and walked to the falls from there (10 min slow walk). We started hearing the sound of the falls and see the lights from the Canada side, a city full of lights not only from the buildings and streets but also from all the entertainment they have created around tourism.