After an early start in Ottawa I drove to the Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg. It´s a village where they show how life was in the 19th century. You can see the old houses, the handwork and crafts, they still have a saw mill, a flour mill and a woollen mill running and people are dressed like in the old days. All the clothes they wear are produced in this village, all handmade and the bread you get in the restaurants is baked in the bakery of the village with flour from the mill and so on. The people who work there are very friendly and talkative and love to tell you about the live how it used to be and the techniques they were using and stuff. It´s like a time travel and definitely worth a visit. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I spend a couple of hours there and enjoyed it a lot. It found it very astonishing what kinds of techniques they already had. Especially in the saw mill. The technique itself is actually already from the 18th century and the saw is super accurate and precise. It can easily compete with modern saws. With the entry ticket of the Upper Canada Village you can also enter the Fort Henry in Kingston without paying again. I was really looking forward to that, but unfortunately had to learn that they only open on May, 20th. So like three days too late for me.
From Morrisburg I drove to Kingston where I could stay with a couchsurfer again. Jonathan is actually running a small Air B´n´B, but sometimes he is also taking in couchsurfers for free. So I ended up in a room to myself with a big comfortable bed and a towl in a quite central area for 2 nights. After the last night with this horrible mattress and a snorer in the dorm I was super happy about that! Unfortunately, Jonathan didn´t have time to hang out. I just saw him for like 5 minutes shortly after I arrived and talked to him a bit. There were 2 other guys staying at this place, but I hardly ever saw them. Another couchsurfer – Jamie- invited me over to his place for dinner that evening. So I walked over to his place and we had a really nice meal and talked a lot before he gave me a ride back to my accomodation. Where I parked it was forbidden to park form 9 to 10 am and since I didn´t want to risk another fine, I made sure to leave the house at 9 am the next day. I drove to Gananoque where I had read that tours to the Thousand Islands National Park start from. I wanted to get some information if it is better to go by car or by boat and what to see and do. Gananoque is very small but quite cute. While walking around in search of an ATM I even saw an otter.
They sent me to Rockport where I went on an one hour cruise with a boat. You cruise around these many islands on the St Lawrence river and see things like Boldt Castle, Zavikon Island and Millionaire’s Row. It´s absolutely beautiful there, though hard to capture this beauty on camera. It´s just not the same as being there.
After the cruise I took the toll bridge to Hill Island and went up the 1000 Islands Tower. From 130 m you have a beautiful view over the islands. And you can see the boarder to the USA, it´s really close by, not even 1 km away. The guard on the tower was very friendly and we talked for a while about this and that and he gave me quite some information and also a few tips where I could find nice trails. The maps from the tourist information center in Gananoque were not exactly helpful with that.
So I drove to Landon Bay where I took the Donevan Trail and went to the lookout. The park itself was still closed, but the trails were open. Several trails are closed due to high water levels though, but that one was open apart from the last little part, where I had to do a detour on a street. It´s a nice little and easy walk which is quite good marked, so you don´t get lost in the woods. I saw several signs of beavers unfortunately no beaver.
Back to Kingston I stopped quickly in the supermarket to get some stuff for dinner and later went to a cute little bar/café called The Musiikki, where they have open mic every Tuesday. There were some really nice performers (guitar and singing mainly) and I enjoyed a beer while listening. Kingston is a beautiful city with a nice flair. It used to be the capital, but only for 3 years, before the Queen decided to make Ottawa the capital. Kingston was too close to the US-boarder and not so good to defend. You see quite some wildlife in the city in the evening, like rabbits, squirrels of all colours, foxes,… Next day I first went to a very needed massage with a place called Massage Addict. My back was yearning for it after all the time in the car. It was good and not too expensive. Since my skin was iching like crazy afterwards I went back to have a quick shower and then met with Jonathan for lunch. We went to a place called Aji Sai Sushi were you they have all you can eat Sushi with starters and desert for only $15.50 inkl. tax. It was really good and we ate soooo much. After Jonathan went back to work and I started my tour around Kingston. Went to the city hall, where they also have a decorated cowbell from Zurich, Switzerland. It was a gift, but I found it kinda funny. I looked at many of the old buidlings, the water front, the Queens university campus,…
After resting a little bit in my room I went to Jamie´s place again where we and a friend of his cut some fruit to dry them and later chatted for quite a while with one of his flatmates. Jamie supplied me with some vitamine C to cure my starting sore throat before it went back to my place. He is a person with a big heart and fun to hang out with.