Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Canada & Mexico 2011

Toronto torrent

I rose early (at 0530, to be precise), went quickly through my morning routine and headed down to the lobby for an early light breakfast. I then quickly packed, made use of the express check-out facility, retraced my route from the previous evening as far as Heathrow Central and completed the transfer by walking to Terminal 3. It proved to be a very quick check-in and easy passage through the Fast Track channel at Security. Once airside, I found SAS's London Lounge and spent some time there, although I didn't indulge in any of the food or drink offerings. Eventually I made the long walk to Gate 30 and entered the crowded 'holding pen' area. It didn't take long, though: a few passengers with young children were pre-boarded and then it was the turn of those of us travelling in Executive First.

(Link to flight log in side panel)

After a long walk from the gate at Pearson International, I was able to walk straight up to an immigration agent who, in a poker-faced but not unpleasant manner, asked a series of questions. I soon had a stamp in my passport and continued my walk towards the baggage hall. The luggage from the flight appeared quickly on the belt and it was pleasing to see that the 'priority' tags actually seemed to work here. After a quick visit to an ATM, I was soon aboard a taxi and heading for downtown Toronto through the pouring rain. The driver told me to expect delays as the Toronto Marathon was in progress, and this was confirmed by regular traffic reports on the radio. Sure enough, the city streets turned out to be in a state of near-gridlock, but we eventually made it to the Hilton. The check-in agent gave me a choice of a King Junior Suite close to the elevators but available right away, or one at another corner of the building, available later. I decided to take the risk of some slight noise and went for the one offering immediate occupancy.

After taking some 90 minutes to get settled in and relax for a while, I decided to head out for some initial explorations in the cold and the pouring rain. It really didn't look promising at all, but sometimes you just have to get on with it! I quickly found the Old City Hall and all that recent practice of taking photos in the rain in Seville now paid off in Toronto - except that here it was cold and wet rather than warm and wet! I went into the Eaton Centre in order to escape the weather for a while and was amazed at how busy it was for a Sunday.

Braving the elements once more, I made my way to Queen's Park and the Ontario Legislative Building. Finally, I walked down University Avenue and back to the Hilton. I had been out for approximately 1.5 hours, which I felt was quite creditable given the horrible weather.

After a further spell in my room, I ventured out again for some sandwiches at a local Starbucks. Having made it to 7pm local time and having been awake for nearly 19 hours, I decided to surrender to the increasingly overpowering attraction of a good night's sleep.