A Travellerspoint blog


Cheap trans-atlantic flight - the follow-up

I survived the el cheapo Thomas Cook flight relatively intact. We left essentially on time. They did have the advertised leg room, and the seat-back screens - although the non-premium passengers had a very limited selection, and no one had control of starting or stopping the films as one does on the larger airlines.

The service on-board was slow. By the time they had slogged through the long non-premium cabin trying to sell us snacks and headphones, and then again trying to sell us alcohol and more snacks, it was a good three hours before they got the dinner handed out. My seat-mates and I were starving by the time it arrived. And then it was just barely two hours before they woke us up to try to serve us breakfast.

Also, my seat-mates reported they had paid the extra fee to book two aisle seats opposite each other, but hadn't gotten them on either their flight out or their flight back. On the flight out, it was because an aircraft had been swapped out, but I believe on the flight back they were just given away. So it seems you have to check in early, even if you have reserved your seats, which is annoying.

Overall, I can't say the experience was comfortable, but nor was it unreasonable. And for $240 including taxes (one-way) I can't complain. I'm willing to fly with them again on the way home.

Posted by kithica 17:13 Archived in Canada Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

packing and prepping and shopping, oh my!

sunny 32 °C

I have made a radical decision: I'm taking a suitcase, not a backpack.

I know! It's freaking me out a little, too. Here's the thing, though - I'm not going to be moving all that much. I settle down in Edinburgh for six weeks, and then I rent a car to do my touristing. The suitcase will give me a little more room, it'll be more practical while I'm living in Edinburgh, and it's got wheels so it's pretty mobile.

Let me say, though, trying to pack a sleeping bag into a suitcase? Really, really weird.

All other aspects of the pack are going well so far. I've almost finished running my errands, and as soon as the laundry is done I can work out whether it's all going to fit and whether I can keep my bag under the weight limit.

I have this feeling like I should be crazier or busier or more worried, but this is the third trip I've taken in the last nine months, so I pretty much have everything to hand.

Not to mention the fact that my trip mostly involves big western cities. Quite different from my last two trips into the wilds of Morocco and Thailand. It's nice not to have to worry about toilet paper and water purification tablets and diarrhoea medication.

Posted by kithica 20:33 Archived in Canada Tagged preparation Comments (0)

the last of the tall ships

a summer evening in Toronto

sunny 27 °C

Sometimes you don't have to go all that far to go sight-seeing. Today, on a beautiful summer evening, my parents and I headed down to Toronto's Harbourfront area to have a bit of a wander.


The CN (which stands for Canadian National) Tower was, for many years, the world's largest free-standing tower. (I believe there is now one in Malaysia that has outstripped it.) The rest of Canada likes to accuse Torontonians of believing our city is the centre of the universe. So we built a large tower to mark the spot. Makes sense.

The CN Tower is visible from large chunks of the city, but is usually seen from the North. This shot was taken from the South, however, as the Harbourfront runs between it and the lake.


Toronto is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, the smallest of the five great lakes. The lakes all eventually drain, via the St. Lawrence river, into the Atlantic Ocean. Clearly, that's how the pirates got in.


In honour of Canada Day weekend, we had a waterfront festival where the tall ships came in. This was part of our reason for heading down to Harbourfront, but, it being Sunday evening, all but one of them had gone. We did get the pleasure of seeing this last one sail off into the sunset, though.


All in all, it was a really beautiful walk. Next time we'll have to go earlier and see the market and maybe have dinner on one of the lake-front patios.

I got a couple of last shots in on the way home.


This is the downtown core in the twilight. A quick shot I caught from the window of the streetcar.


And this is a shot of the Royal Ontario Museum at night. It is absolutely nowhere near Harbourfront, but it was on my way home, and it's awfully pretty.

Posted by kithica 22:42 Archived in Canada Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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