We finally reached Innsbruck and got a small tour of it. We got to see the Golden Roof, along with many other wonders of the city.
I went into a few churches, and wanted to go into some of the museums but didn't feel I would have enough time to fully enjoy the museums and the actual city in only two hours, so instead I went to the Hofgarten (yes, the same name as the park in Munich. I don't name them, I'm sorry!).
It was here that I got to watch a very interesting game of chess with two-feet high chess-pieces. I kind of felt like I was in a Harry Potter novel, only the pieces weren't killing each other.
Once we were done in Innsbruck, we headed to the Hotel Dollinger, which was a prime 500-years-old.
On the way to the hotel, Flip explained to us that with Muffin's "allowed" daily-driving limit and the time it would take us to get from Venice to Rome, if we wanted to get to Vatican City, we would have to leave at 6:45 AM. By doing that, we could get to Rome before 4 PM, manage to get in line for the Vatican, and possibly get a tour the day before we were supposed to. However, Flip said, there was no guarantee that we could get there that fast so the suffering of getting up at such an ungodly (pun intended) hour may have been in vain. Because the Vatican would be closed that day, this was our one and only shot to get there. We all agreed.
At the hotel in Innsbruck, we had a complimentary supper that included a creamy cheese and broccoli soup, a schnitzel with fried beans and a mashed potato, and a bowl of chocolate mousse for desert.
During supper, I learned that the girl who had missed the bus had gotten to Innsbruck safely. But she was alone. She didn't know her other friends had gone back to get her. We continued to eat, thinking about the friends that had left the tour, but before the mousse was eaten the door of the hotel opened and there they were! They had gotten back safely as well! As happy as I am for them, I sure hope the tour members start becoming more punctual and start catching the bus on time, especially in Venice. I don't want to miss out going to the Vatican!
After supper, I realized that out of the €850 I brought with me to Europe, I only had €470 left! I plan to be conservative for the rest of the trip and only buy things that I absolutely need to buy! (Note: I also put away one bill of each kind (€5, €10, €20, €50 and €100) for my collection back home. I never intended to spend those.)
We leave early tomorrow for Venice and tonight's big supper is getting to me. I'm going to go to bed, even though it's only 9 o'clock. Sorry today's entry is so boring. I really didn't get a chance to explore Innsbruck in the two hours we had. I promise tomorrow's entry -- about Venice -- will be much better!
Goodnight journal. Talk to you later.
PS: I just re-read what I wrote. It's hard to believe I've been in Europe for a week now. It seems like just yesterday I said goodbye to my parents and girlfriend. I wonder what they're doing now...
And I wonder where the next 10 days will take me!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
"Have you ever been to Medicine Hat?" Abby Czibere from the Visitor Centre asks. I feel bad when I tell her no, unless you count stopping to fill up and grab fast food. In short order, I realize that's a big mistake as there's a vibrant food and arts scene and beautiful riverside parks to explore in this city of 65,000 people.
The Hat (the city's nickname; its residents are Hatters) has experienced a renaissance in recent years thanks to innovative entrepreneurs. Trendy eateries, indie coffee shops, and craft breweries have opened, attracting like-minded businesses, while enticing young people to stick around after college. Even the museums add to the up and coming feeling with their unique exhibits and events. Smell the smells of war at Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, or attend a concert in a massive kiln at MedAlta Potteries (Tongue on the Post Music Festival).
As I stood in the courtyard of Fort Henry, I heard screams emanating from within. Fort Henry was constructed to protect the Kingston Royal Dockyard from the invading American forces during the War of 1812. The threat was so real that the capital of Canada – which was then Kingston – was moved to Quebec to protect it. The docks are all that stood between the United States and the St. Lawrence River and both countries were all too familiar with how easily it would turn the tides of battle.
As the screams from inside Fort Henry faded, I turned to the man beside me. He had come with his family. We got talking, trying to calm our nerves as bloodied clowns and undead mimes began wandering out from inside the fort.
Last summer my family and I tried fishing up in Northern Saskatchewan. We had a great weekend, but we caught nothing. I wasn't too disappointed though, as I have never actually caught a fish. After 25 years of fishing and failing, I have officially given up on the sport.
That is until I was invited to visit Medicine Hat, Alberta and go sturgeon fishing on the South Saskatchewan River. I was hesitant, but I said yes. I really didn't want to spend eight hours out on the water just to come home empty-handed, but I figured to give it one more shot.
My guide for the day, Brent Thorimbert, picked me up at my hotel around 8:30 a.m. and drove us to a valley located just outside of Medicine Hat. We got out on the water about 9 a.m. and arrived at our fishing spot twenty minutes later. Brent explained that sturgeon fish are "bottom feeders" so they swim along the bottom of the riverbed and eat up bugs and small fish. Our fishing lines were weighted for this very reason. The bait should sit on the riverbed and would get sucked up by an unsuspecting sturgeon.