Ok, this isn’t going to be quite the holiday I foresaw. I can’t for the life of me get the WiFi to work in my hotel room. I’m hoping Caiti may be able to weave her magic tech-savviness and sort me out, but I suspect it’s to do with the fact I’m in a sort of basement room and there are too many walls between me and the WiFi source. Sad face. And of all the leads and connectors I could have forgotten, I’ve managed to forget the one that downloads photos from my camera to my computer. Double sad face. I’m a nit. I don’t know how I managed to miss that one off the list.

So… I will have to borrow photos and/or Caiti’s camera for the week, and buy a couple of CDs so I’m not sitting here in complete silence in my room all the time! There is a TV but again I need morale support from Caiti before I turn it on and try to work out how to use it! I’m deeply suspicious of it as it’s very big and the remote control looks like something that could operate a fleet of satellites or spaceships, there are so many buttons on it!

I’d have made a great Luddite.

The journey here was mostly uneventful, apart from wandering around the deserted Parc des Expos in Paris in the dark trying to get to the Hotel Formule 1 I’d booked a room at on Wednesday night. The early flight (9.45am) to Canada meant an overnight stay since there weren’t any early enough trains I could get on the Thursday. I met three other lost souls searching for hotels at the Parc. I encountered two of them again when I eventually gave up and plumped for another hotel, Premiere Classe. The young couple had been looking for PC when I first met them. However, it turned out that this wasn’t the PC hotel they’d booked, so they were setting off again to try and find it! There seems to be a lot of hotel confusion in that part of Paris. My hotel was basically inaccessible on foot, certainly at night when it means going along unlit roads and walkways, but there was no mention of that when I booked it.

The flight itself was fine. I managed to get a few glimpses out of windows (I was in the middle aisle) and by crikey, we were a long way up! We cruised at 34,000 feet where it was minus 63 degrees Centigrade! My case is still thawing out. I saw a good bit of Montreal and the surrounding area as we came in to land. There were mountains in the distance – big ones – and some wonderful looking buildings in the city. I think one was the hospital close to where I caught my bus to this hotel from – it’s sort of star-shaped in layout.

I haven’t yet adjusted to Canadian time. I woke up at 2.35am (8.35 French time, which is unheard-of late for me), dozed back off but then College rang as Rors is off sick and mine is the contact number they have! So since then I’ve pottering around. I was at a bit of a low jet-leg-and-stupidity-induced ebb but sitting in bed and blogging in advance (I’ll be uploading this at Caiti’s or here, assuming I ever get online, at some point today) has perked me up.

blacksq

We’re hitting Montreal today. We walked round the parks near Caiti’s flat yesterday afternoon. There are oodles of squirrels – large, fat grey ones, and black ones. Now, I’d never seen a black squirrel before. I took photos, which sadly I can’t share at the mo. I also took photos of a red and blue Canadian postbox, a huge pile of leaves in the road (they’re everywhere, and taking up a good percentage of car parking spaces) and the tents that are being erected over doorways and paths in many gardens in advance of the winter snow.

Every tree I’ve seen so far is a maple tree. They’re nearly bare now, but still pretty with their bright yellow leaves. They were all over the pavement as I was dragging my case along towards the hotel. I got off the bus a bit early. I did a good job of clearing the path with it, but had to stop every hundred yards or so since I’d accumulated a great heap behind me as I walked along which I had to kick away since it was making case-dragging rather hard work!

So my first half day in Canada was interesting. I think today may be a bit of a struggle energy-wise but another ridiculously early night (I went to bed about 7pm last night) will hopefully see me sorted.

More soon!