Blame Canada! – or New Year in Ontario and Quebec
It so happened that I rarely traveled in the winter to another winter. From winter to summer – yes, often. And from winter to winter – literally several times: to Prague, to Munich and to Transylvania (there is even a review about it, yes). The New Year in Paris, with all due respect to him, I would never call winter – plus 15 days in the afternoon of January 1, it doesn’t have anything to do with it. And I really wanted this winter, in the cold, to a frozen (possibly) Niagara or some other waterfall … I wanted so much that in September 2017 I already bought tickets for NG 2017/2018 in Toronto – however, the malicious Brussels Airlines postponed the date the return flight from January 8 to the 6th, trying to throw two days out of the already short winter holidays in this way, after which the tickets were indignantly handed over, and cold Canada was replaced with a warm cruise on the Persian Gulf. But the idea – the idea remained, and therefore, tickets were bought again in 2018, only now not by Brussels, but by the trustworthy Air Canada + Austrian Aitlines with a connection in Vienna on the way there and in Geneva on the way back (by the way, for the first time in my life I did a transfer in Vienna – a huge plus for Schwechat Airport for the fact that in the waiting rooms there are not only seats, but also sofas, on which you can even sleep if you wish). And now it was December 29, and ahead of 11 days of holidays, and quite historical castles and cathedrals, and frozen harsh waterfalls, and the St. Lawrence River, and much more. Go?
Part One, Technical
To get to Canada, you need a visa. Actually, this is the most difficult to prepare – a Canadian visa is the most difficult to obtain for Russian citizens, occasionally giving way to this dubious primacy with an Australian visa. The percentage of refusals surpasses 40% – for comparison, according to Schengen about 2%, according to the US visa about 12% of refusals. But there is a plus: if Canadians give a visa, then they give it for a long time, until the end of the validity of the passport. So I got a Canadian visa in 2015 for almost 8 years. About how I did it and how I went to Canada for the first time on it, I posted a report here, this one:
The described algorithm for obtaining a visa was even more complicated last year – a mandatory visit to the delivery of biometrics was added. Everything else is elementary: tickets, hotels, car rental, preferably a medical insurance (they do not ask her – however, I highly recommend attending) – that’s, as it were, the whole preparation. Almost no questions were asked at the border, everything is standard: the purpose of the trip? How many days was going to Canada? Where do I plan to go? Welcome to Canada!
Part two, meaningful
Canadians do not consider their country to be tourist – this is just one of the prerequisites for such a difficult visa. This was especially evident at the Montreal airport – there are no clues to the tourist there. The task is simple – to get to the city center, to our hotel. But the decision is complicated … There is a bus that costs $ 10 (henceforth, when I write about “dollars”, I will mean Canadian dollars, they are slightly cheaper than American ones). There is a taxi. There is Uber, who announced a price of $ 28 to the hotel – for two it’s almost like a bus, so Petya, a travel companion on a trip to Canada and that, and this one, without hesitation, jabbed his finger at the “Make an Application”. And after 30 seconds, the car allegedly arrived at the scene – and we rushed to look for it. They jumped out of the airport – several lanes along which dozens of cars go (and somewhere stand). For some reason, in Quebec (and maybe not only there) the cars do not have a number in front (only in the back) – and this is terribly annoying when you have to find a car with a certain number and cannot recognize it, just looking at the chain of cars in front of you . Blame Canada! – that a minute after we jumped out of the airport building in search of our Uber, Pete already received a message that the order was canceled, because we did not arrive at the car, and that $ 5.75 is charged for the driver’s concern. It turned out (well, we had to guess, huh?) That the Uber cars did not arrive at the exits from the arrival area, but at the exit (specifically to door No. 6) of the departure area, which was generally not at that level … And yes, they’re waiting only a minute to not pay for a stay in the paid vicinity of the airport.
Well, then there will be a bus or taxi. We go to the bus number 747 (there are signs for his stop, fortunately), for a long time we walk along all the doors of the airport. At the entrance, people attach a card to the terminal and go through – fine, although we already have Canadian dollars, I immediately withdrawed $ 80 from an ATM so that it would be convenient for paying twenty (Blame Canada! – that their ATMs charge a fee of $ 3 for withdrawing from other people’s cards, including those cards on which the acquiring bank does not charge anything for using other people’s ATMs). But alas! These cards are not “Visa” or “Mastercard”, these are transport cards of Montreal, only they are accepted. Okay, figs with him, I hold out twenty – but alas, the carrier accepts only coins (???). Whose crazy idea is – with a fare of $ 10 to limit the driver to accepting only coins ???