Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.
|Wednesday, September 07, 2016 03:35:37|
Arctic NW passage 2016: 1 - Seoul, South Korea to Ottawa, Canada
Hab Korea organized our trip in Korea, and I have no trouble recommending them. They did a great job, as did SJ our driver. Hab Korea can be contacted at email@example.com or hab.korea @gmail.com, phone 82-70-7847-9080. Ask for Daniel or Kate. SJ is a contractor who has his own vehicle and works with Hab Korea.
If you are looking for advice in English on either Korea or Japan, send Anthony Manley an email. He introduced us to HabKorea, and as you see in my journals was of enormous help and always available when things didn't go well. As well as English, he also speaks Korean and Japanese. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, September 1, 2016
There was a long slow line for security but immigration was quick leaving Korea. SJ drove us both to the airport at the same time so I was very early for my fight that left 4 hrs after Marilynn's. We waited in Asiana Lounge before walking her to flight and I then walked miles to another lounge closer to my gate.
The Air Canada Boeing 787-9 was fitted with smaller cubicles with less storage space than most airlines, but it had a comfortable bed & great service. Announcements took forever, being in English, French, Korean and Japanese.
The arrival in Toronto was on time. It was necessary to walk down portable stairs and take a bus to the terminal, where there was no escalator, only one big elevator. Fortunately I got in the second elevator, but with 267 passengers it would be a long wait for those in the back of the plane. The airport was not impressive, although staff were friendly and helpful. It was a very long walk up one floor and back down again to get from the plane to the train, and several moving walkways and escalators were not working.
The train to Union Station in downtown Toronto was $6 for seniors for the 25 minute ride. A taxi to the very good Thompson Hotel was another $10. I met with Raakhe Kapila, who has organized my last two Arctic trips with Quark Expeditions, for drinks and dinner at a restaurant connected to the hotel where they had only Japanese food and a waitress that spoke little English. I'm being broken back into western culture gently!
Friday, Sept 2 & Saturday, September 3, 2016
Worked most of the day in the room getting caught up and organized. At 2 AM my body was convinced it was 2 PM and wouldn't sleep, so I went down to the diner for a drink and snack - the place was a mad house. I expected it to be empty, but the 2 bars in the hotel close at 2 and everyone headed for the Diner, plus there was a doorman at the outside door and a long line of people waiting to get in. As I came in through the hotel I got a seat at the bar, but missed my drink by 10 minutes as alcohol sales end at 2 AM. I had a bowl of fruit then got on the computer for another hour.
The afternoon of the 3rd I reversed the taxi to train to airport and arrived early - it took less time than expected. The flight was delayed, as was our last Air Canada trip on this route, but they got me on an earlier flight than I was ticketed for, so that worked out. My seat mates were a beautifully seeing eye dog and its master, who is a competitor in handicapped Olympics. I was very surprised at his specialties - speed skating and golf!! Kevin also works with other handicapped people to help them learn to live with their disabilities.
I got settled into the very well situated Westin Hotel. About midnight my travelling partner for the coming trip arrived, frustrated and thoroughly fed up with Delta Airlines, my least favourite airline as well. Jens & I met when Marilynn & I were travelling down the Irrawaddy River in Burma many years ago, and he has joined Marilynn and I on other trips since.
Sunday, September 4 & Monday, September 5, 2016
Jens and I spent the time playing tourist in Ottawa, visiting several of the numerous interesting sites including the aerospace museum. We also found they brew good beer here, and have a lot of pubs comfortably spaced for a pub crawl on foot. The food has been great. Monday was a national holiday, so lots of people around.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Jens & I had breakfast with Colin Martel, a friend of Lori who has just been posted to Venezuela with the Canadian foreign service. I then had an appointment in the office of the official opposition in parliament to try to get the RCMP and ministry of justice moving, as they have been doing everything possible to prevent the criminal division of the Costa Rican police receiving information vital to solving the case of our son's kidnapping. The justice department in Costa Rica says this is normal procedure in Canada, they do not co-operate with foreign police forces even when the Victims are Canadians.
Our last dinner here was in a good seafood restaurant in a fun part of town. Tomorrow we leave our balmy weather to fly to Resolute Bay, where the weather forecast says we can expect temperatures of minus 4 Celsius, four centimetres of snow and high winds. Brrr!