Category Archives: TravelBlog

Travel Blog 10

I had an evening free one day in November and thought I’d finish off a part of the trail that had been missing. I wanted to walk from the university back to the trail I had gotten to, getting closer to finishing my hike through Hamilton. I planned to go through the various Cootes Paradise trails, and while I was a bit nervous, I was also super excited. It was dark at 5-6 pm, you see – but I figured these were safe city trails and I had my cell phone fully charged and kept the light on. It was wonderful and different from every other hike I had been on until then.  As usual, it started on a boring street corner where the bus let me off, but that was the only boring bit.

The university looked ghostly and stately when I started out. It reminded me of old books and dusty book corners and castles and magic and mystery.

Even the sports stadium was cool. I got through the streets and onto a park path as fast as possible though.

There was something really beautiful about the way that the light from my phone reflected on the branches. It really revealed the starkness of late autumn but also had a certain fairy magic to it.

This hike needed to have been done by an artist to truly capture the magic of the various painting -like images. The way the leaves looked on the ground was also highly spectacular. They shone and softened the path. It was a really neat hiking experience.

I am not certain that I captured the beauty of looking ahead into the mist. The path looked just a bit purple and otherworldly. It was wonderful, walking through a fairy tale. I’ve tried various approaches to convey it to you. This trip has more photoshop than the others – but only to try to convey what I actually saw.

Finally I was at the end of the trail, having connected another piece and walked another 2 km for a total of 33 km so far. (The “Open Dawn till Dusk” comment made me smile!”)

Remember to click on the link for the pictures and maps!

Trip 10 Blog

Travel Blog 9

So, I found myself in Toronto (this is back many months ago, but I’m seriously catching up on this now) and it was the end of the month. So, for me to have a walk I had to do something that month – so I opened my great trail map and looked and there it was! The great trail went right from union station. How could I resist?

I must say, I had been expecting worse. Yes, this was a city hike but it was through some very nice well-laid out cobblestone paths with interesting trees and gardens planted nearby and quite decent architecture. The great trail did not disappoint this time. I passed a number of joggers. I always do on the great trail – it’s clearly a nice running area. Less bikers on this one, but more joggers.

There were many nice places to walk through or to sit and look at things. It was a pleasant walk.

This was a nifty little art project in the middle. I enjoyed the weird wavy things that had been randomly put in – and looking out over the lake also.

Ooh, a little parkette in the middle of the city. Should I go in? Yes, I definitely should! These parkettes were tiny but quite pretty and I enjoyed walking through them.

Although it was late in the season for flowers, the leaves on the ground helped add to the beauty of the trail.

Although – there were some flowers. I appreciated the care put in to the construction of this flowerbed, for instance. First, it had something that would bloom year round, and second, it was clearly build with an eye to the buildings behind it, creating a pleasing sort of going up as a ladder image of plants, rocks, plants, bushes and trees, buildings.

I had been walking for an hour and I had reached the Exhibition. Another piece of the great trail, walked!

(That’s another 3 km for a total of 31 km.)

Click on the link for pictures and all important maps! Trip 9 Blog

Travel Blog 7

This hike happened because I was invited out! Yay, Denise and Yoav! I really enjoyed hiking with them and hope it happens more often. It was good that I was able to make them part of my trail. It also let me cover a slightly different piece. I wonder what will happen next? This, I must admit, continues to be a super cool adventure. (But I’m going to catch up on these blogs – it’s ridiculous that I’m still blogging September!)

Here is our starting corner and Denise, Yoav, and Jakey. This is bit where you realize that Hamilton is 90% hiking trail – at least to the discerning eye. Right in the center of the city is this beautiful trail. It’s a narrow band of trees perhaps, with parks or roads or houses on either side – but here, on the trail, with minimal suspension of disbelief (much less than needed in a super hero movie) one is on a hiking trail through the woods. And you know what woods are full of? Trees!

The Rail Trail, as can be seen from the pictures below, is truly a lovely treasure. From behind the university plaza (where we started) and onwards, there is a lot to see. (If you’re primarily interested in seeing a hiking trail, of course!) Oh, look a side trail…it’s a good thing I had friends with me or I would have taken that one without a second glance!

In fact, friends made the whole thing better. Although Yoav and Jakey biked off into the distance, Denise and I ambled and talked for a significant time. Yay!

The trail made a beautiful back drop for us and we managed to really enjoy ourselves. Even when the trail needed to wind through city things, it was pretty nice. Here’s a neat children’s park and street crossing.

All good things must come to an end, however, and eventually, it was time to leave the trail. We got off around Sanctuary Park.  Another 2 km covered, for a total of 24 km.

See actual maps and pictures – way better!

trip 7 blog

Travel Blog 6

It was time to walk again. I came to that place near one end of the RBG and began to follow along with the Great Trail. It was a beautiful day an I was determined to enjoy myself. This trip continues straight from travel blog 5 and I planned on another 1-hour hike.

I started out in good spirits, ready for adventure, but wondering why the path included so many streets. Surely, it should have more hiking trails?

Don’t get me wrong – the path was pretty enough. Just not a trail. I did see all sorts of cool things, though, like this lovely hidden house.

My daughter commented that my travel blogs are a bit on the funny side, being close to home, involving 2-3 km at a time an having very local objects. Well, this is one of the reasons I’m on this journey. That’s how I want to see Canada. (Also, yay! My daughter reads my travel blogs!)

The flowers on the fence let me know that once again, I was passing a cemetery – this time on the outside.

Luckily, I do enjoy a good walk through the streets. I like weird urban things too sometimes, like walking tunnels, graffiti and all.

After this I came to a gorgeous little spot by the water. Yay, swans! It was like a mini-park.

So, I was having fun with the pretty trail, and did not want to go back to the big road at the end of this path here. It seemed that I could follow the railroad for a while an then connect to where I was going quickly enough. I was so wrong, though! After a half-hour or so of wandering the railroad an not having a way off, I clambered back on to the street and went home. I am not counting that part – we’re just going to pretend it never happened.

Another piece accomplished! Yay! This marks 22 km of the journey.

Click here to see the actual blog with pictures and maps. (Really, do click. What’s an extra click going to hurt?)

Trip 6 Blog

Travel Blog 5

One day, when it was still sunny and there was no rain and snow, I took the bus to Aldershot go station. That’s where I had walked to last time I wanted to fill in the Burlington/Hamilton piece. This time, I decided to hike for exactly 1 hour and then get back on a bus. This proved very effective. Here is my starting point, right where I left off before catching the bus to Burlington.

This worked like a charm and I saw some really pretty things.

Here is my starting point. It’s the same point I ended off travel blog 2 at.

Although I was walking along a road I thought it was quite pretty. I noticed lovely signs here and there showing me I was going the right way. Given how easily I get lost, they are always reassuring.

The road wound along until it turned, and the turn wasn’t bad either – but I was getting bored and there was a lot of near the road walking.

So when the biking trail I was matching turned into the nearby cemetery, so did I. I’m glad I did. Cemeteries can be really interesting, and this one was different than those I’d seen which had been mostly Jewish. I had never seen one with all these very bright little bouquets in rows.

I really enjoyed this part and enjoyed the company of other walkers and bikers and, oddly, ducks. It seems that this particular graveyard is a very comfortable place for ducks. I saw many of them, and with the other hikers, stopped often to let them cross the path.

When I had passed the ducks and cemetery, I found myself back on the road again, which was mildly disappointing except for these neat art shops. I didn’t go in, but I did window-shop, and one day, I’m coming back!

Finally, my trip was done. I was near the RBG, and excited to see where my next walk would take. 20 km, and counting!

Link with pictures:

Trip 5 Blog

Travel Blog 4

Back in August, I did a few smaller hikes. Little did I realize that the problem would be, not the walking but the recording. I refuse to give up though. Somehow, I will find the time for both despite a busy schedule. I have a country to cross! In this particular hike, I left work and hiked for half my lunch hour in one direction. Then I walked back. Small – but I did it.

You might notice this from the time I walked to Hamilton. This is where I started. This time, I went the other way, choosing the quiet Burlington streets towards Toronto. I had hoped to walk along the water, but that wasn’t a thing. So I turned to the streets.

I really appreciated the city-hike nature of this little adventure. While it wasn’t exactly woodsy, after the “ahem – route verte” of Montreal, pretty streets covered in greenery and nice houses were a real joy to walk by.

It was obvious this was the abode of the wealthy. Some of those lawns… let’s just say I’m glad I never had to mow them. I loved the hanging baskets. How very thoughtful of you, Burlington. Although this wasn’t a long hike, it was part of my journey and so I noticed where I was when I ended. Some day, I’ll get back to that self-same spot.

Now at 17 km. Yay, me!

Click on link for real blog with pictures…

Trip 4 Blog




Travel Blog 3

At the very beginning of August, I did my third walk on the great trail. Again, I walked with Josh, making 8 kilometres (yay! That’s 16 total…) and covering some of East Montreal. I hadn’t realized that some of the trail was beautiful, some of it was – rather ugly, taking me through ghastly industrial regions where I was hard pressed to find something to take photos of. You’ll say, “Anna, that’s not what your pictures show” but it is, really. It is exactly what they show, given how few of them there are. I took a picture any time there was something beautiful and inspirational and the fact that these are all the pictures I got tells you how little beautiful and inspirational there is in these 8 km. I’m going to keep going, of course. Just thought you should know. Walkers of the great trail, find a way around this bit!

Do click on this link. Most of the info is in here – pictures, distance, etc…

Trip 3 Blog



Walking Across Canada 2

I did a second walk – I realize I need to speed up, but it’s been busy. I was very sad when I didn’t go on a hike on July 8th. I’m like – OK, never going to make this goal. But then, on July 10th, I discovered an amazing thing. The Great Trail passes by my house and by my work. So, I figured I’d take a day and after work, I’d walk home. Google said it was 3 hours. I could do that! I packed with care. Water bottle. Sun hat. Baby powder for those places that (sadly) chafe if you’re a bit heavy set. A positive attitude. My cell phone.

I was ready! I think I did a good job. I didn’t go in quite the right direction (I ended up following the Burlington beach instead of turning) and I’m slow and made it to Aldershot only, but I did the walk. And Josh was pretty much with me again, because we had this huge talk about motivation, so yay! I walked 5 more km. That’s a total of 8 km across Canada. This will *totally* happen (some time over the next 600 years.)

I hope to walk through Montreal with Josh again tomorrow, August 6th, by the way. Meet us at 12 or so at Berri-Uqam if you would like to join.

What was the trip through Burlington and beyond like? Good question! None of this is wilderness hiking, but the paths are pretty and even the bits along roads are nice.

Once again, here is a lovely link for all the pictures and maps of where I am.

Travel Blog – Trip 2

Walking Across Canada

This is it. My second of 6 life goals. (I’ve decided my life will include 6 additional major projects, now that my big ones – to raise a family and become a full time teacher – are getting into place.) So, here it goes. I’m going to walk across Canada. Yes, I know it’s a bit big. It may take me a while. (at my current pace, it will take me 200 years, so I might need to speed up, but hey…) Still, I intend to do it. One step at a time, one bit at a time. At the beginning of June, I took my first steps. This blog is about that.

Does this still fit with Anna’s Jewish thoughts? I think it does. I’m Anna, I’m Jewish, and these are my thoughts about Canada – a truly gorgeous country that I happen to live in. I’m sure Jewish values include taking care of body and soul, and should I encounter anything quintessentially Jewish, I’ll mention that. Besides, I’m too lazy to do a second blog. I will aim for one of these posts a month at least, describing my journey so far.

I intend to bus to places, walk and bus home for as long as that gets parts of the trail walked. I then intend to visit people for weekends and walk the trail near them for as long as that keeps being useful. Then, I’ll start planning summer and winter vacations accordingly, assuming it fits into our family structure (but the kids are getting bigger and spending time at sleepaway camps, so I totally think it will be possible). I know it is a massive, near impossible undertaking, but hey – you should see my other life projects. This one will be fun.

About a month ago, I took my first steps on The Great Trail, which spans Canada. The Great Trail maps are from the Great Trail site, an amazing site if you ask me. If you ever don’t know what to get me for a gift, it’s one of the places you could donate to (that and Autism Dog Services for our Archer) that would make me smile. I only walked 3 km on the trail (we walked more that day, but only 3 on the trail) and it was lovely to do so. Next weekend, on July 6th, at about 8:00 am (it has to be early because of the heat), I’m doing my next piece, from behind my house to the Dundas valley conservation area. Want to walk with me? You’re invited.

See the link below for day 1 and pictures – the full blog is there, but it’s easier for me to format elsewhere.

Travel Blog – Trip 1