11\ 2000

This was my first big overseas trip. Canada is the second largest country in the world but holds only 30 million people. That means that most of the population lives around the border with the USA. I went there in search of something different than the already known Europe and that’s what I found. Space in our countries is limited but out there it’s a different story. People have huge houses even when they don’t need them, the buildings are big and in general everything seems magnified. I landed in Ontario, the country’s centre of financial and political activities as well as art. Toronto is the centre of it all and that’s where I decided to stay. I was there with my girlfriend at that time, Sara. The biggest draw here is the Niagara Falls. Ontario gets its name from them because in native Indian, Ontario means “rocks standing high near the water”.

The falls are probably the No1 tourist attraction of the whole country and the small town on the side of the falls gets people from all over the world all year long. A really impressive site, I must admit, especially the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. It’s said that Napoleon’s brother went there for his honeymoon and since then many people go there for exactly the same reason. A natural wonder that is really breathtaking, even in the winter that the water level is lower.

Toronto is just a two-hour drive, a modern city planned and built with the most use of the modern technology. I spent almost 2 1/2 months in Toronto since my small budget disappeared pretty fast and I had to work to make a living.

My fellow Greeks in Danforth Avenue, the Greek road, proved to be better than my own family. They took me in and helped me with everything I needed. It’s been many years since then but I still have to thank Steve and Nikos, who I’ll always remember. I can’t say that I really know Canada but my trip there made me realize that the world isn’t that big. With a little effort you can live almost anywhere you want. Although my relationship with Sara ended there, I still have to thank her for everything she has done for me.

Canada is a vast country covered in deep snow, especially in the winter, and the people that call it home have managed to overcome that difficulty in a remarkable way. Don’t expect to feel the rush of adventure here but you should come to feel the kindness of its people.

*pictures have been downloaded from the internet and are not taken by me

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