On my last house-sitting job, the cat – or rather the cats – survived and the house didn’t burn down, so I got offered another house- and cat-sitting job, this time in Calgary. And thus, I will travel to Canada for the first time.
Everybody always says that everyone in Canada is super friendly and nice and polite, and I am curious to find out what it’s like to live in such a paradise. To a grumpy German, it may come as quite a shock. But who knows, maybe I will return as a reformed man.
What’s the best time to go to Canada? Winter, of course. Yes, I know it will be cold and there will be a bit of snow, but honestly, ever since I lived through a tough winter in Lithuania once, I have missed the experience. For someone who likes to read, study and write, it’s perfect. You sit inside with a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket, while outside the blizzard is gently blowing the snowflakes back and forth, and in Calgary, I will even have a cat sitting in my lap.
On 11 December, I will arrive in Vancouver, where I will only stay until 14 December.
I can’t stay longer because on the 14th, the train to Edmonton will leave. There would have been easier ways to get from Vancouver to Calgary, but I love trains. And I hope that the ride will be scenic, at least the part in daylight.
Spending 27 hours on a train will be a good test if I am ready for the Trans-Siberian Railway.
In Edmonton, I will only spend one night to catch up on sleep and to shower, and then the assignment in Calgary will last until the end of March 2019, just as temperatures will rise, the flowers will blossom, birds will be chirping, and girls will be wearing skirts again.
After the job will be finished, I will have one extra month before I have to be in Toronto on 27 April 2019 for the flight to London.
One month to cover more than 3,000 km leaves me with several options, which I am still pondering.
a) I can’t walk the whole distance, but there is a trail across all of Canada and I could do a combination of hiking and hitchhiking. Although, as I look at that map more closely, I notice that in Canada, “hiking” seems to include canoeing and kayaking. As I don’t even know the difference between the two, this is probably nothing for me.
b) I could take the train, with lots of stops in lumberjack towns on the way, of course. Some people have told me that it’s boring to go through the Great Plains for days, but they clearly don’t appreciate the joys of train travel, with a book and a cigar in the restaurant carriage.
c) I could try to get as far north as possible and then simply fly to Toronto. There won’t be any flowers and girls with skirts, but I like bears more, anyway. The bigger problem is that flights from Kugluktuk or Ulukhaktok are prohibitively expensive.
d) I have always been fascinated with the northernmost US states like Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. I could also take that route to Toronto.
You, as the reader of this blog, can cast your vote. But before you do so, please check out photos of Montana and Wyoming! ;-)
- More articles on house sitting. I will put up some FAQ soon because lots of people have been asking me how to get such jobs.
- Do you want a postcard from Canada? The more donations I get, the closer I can get to the North Pole. (No idea about how to get back, though.)
- More articles on train travel.
- Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels.