Wednesday, November 04, 2009

24 October: Winnipeg to Churchill

Had a very relaxed morning in Winnipeg before our flight to Churchill.

Had a very weird experience while sleeping tho: I woke up and couldn't move my right arm at all. I know that it can happen but I've never experienced it before and it is quite frightening initially. I sat right up in bed and held my arm in the air with my other hand. Couldn't feel a thing. It was completely surreal. Luckily feeling worked it's way back down my arm to my hand soon enough :)

We had a decent breakfast and then headed out to discover Winnipeg. There is not much to do in Winnipeg. We walked to The Forks. I'm still not entirely sure what exactly "The Forks" is / are. It's got a little indoor food market area and a tourist center.

It's also got a weird Astronomical thing called the Oodena Celebration Circle that we checked out.

Since the sky was completely cloudy, I'm still not entirely sure how it's supposed to work (whether you can see the constellation in question by looking into the long tubes or if all it does is point out the relevant stars with those circular bits sticking out the top).

And then we crossed over the Red River (on the Esplanade Riel bridge) and wandered down the other side of the river past St Boniface's Cathedral (which we didn't get either since it's really just a facade). Once back at The Forks, we hopped onto a free Downtown Spirit bus and did a full circle, just to see a bit more of Winnipeg.

> Follow The Forks on Twitter:

We arrived back at The Fort Garry just in time to join our Great Canadian tour group.

The only thing really left to do in Winnipeg is visit the Manitoba Museum, which we might do when we get back from Churchill. But we've actually decided to rather try to change our Winnipeg-to-Toronto flight and bring it forward a day, skip the night in Winnipeg on the way home and to use the day in Toronto to visit Niagara Falls. A far better use of our time than visiting a museum, I'm sure you agree. Finger's crossed!

I am also amazed at how geared for recycling the other countries seem. Saw nothing but multi-bins (with different compartments for glass, plastic, paper etc.) at the airports and almost all the taxi's in Winnipeg seem to be Toyota Prius's.

After meeting our group, we caught our bus to the airport and then our flight (on Calm Air) to Churchill. It was completely uneventful, but Churchill wasn't quite as expected.

I mean, yes, I pictured a small town ... there's no way to get there besides air or rail! But I did kinda expect some snow ... being Polar Bear country and all. Flying in we could see patches of snow, very little growth (and what there was, was brown) and plenty of what looked black and burnt (frost-bite perhaps?).

The airport was pretty tiny (but they are still one up on Zanzibar since they did have an actual luggage conveyor belt ;) ) and other than that, we couldn't see a single other building from the air (might've been cause I was on the not-Churchill side of the plane tho?).

There was a school-style bus (yellow and everything) to collect us (with our friendly driver Fred and our naturist guide for the next few days, David Hatch) and drive us the short way into Churchill town. It's definitely chillier up here! Am wondering what tomorrow will bring and if the Tundra will be as white as expected since the town definitely is not.

After checking into The Churchill Motel (no surprises that most of the places in Churchill don't have websites), we headed across the road to Trader's Table where we had our Welcome Dinner. I had some very delish Salmon (which was glazed with Maple syrup and soy sauce).

Yay, Polar Bears tomorrow!


Unknown said...

if i remember correctly, The Forks was where the rivers cross (the Red River and the Somethingsomething). was clearly an important thing back in the day from a trading P.O.V.

Tamara said...

Canada sounds really random ;-) Good to hear how environmentally concerned the people are there.

AngelConradie said...

That star map think looks fascinating, I'd love to try it when the sky is clear!
The food sounds divine!

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