After I have said goodbye to my parents I don't have to wait long for to enter the plane to London, GB. After only one hour of flight the plane starts to lands, but has to take some circles over London, where one can see tower bridge.
Landing in London Heathrow I'm lucky not to have to change the airport. In the departure lounge I first meet Nina, than Cornelia and Simon, but Thomas G. isn't there. According to British Airways his flight has a short delay, then they tell us it can't come at all due to some technical problems. Our plans are put paid to. Once more there is some tenseness coming up when we learn that our flight is delayed, too. Can Thomas still catch the plane? No, our delay isn't that big, but it's only minutes we miss each other. Finally our plane takes off. The flight takes us eight hours and the served meals are a foretaste of the fast food awaiting us in Canada.
After our arrival in Canada at the Toronto airport we have to go through immigration and baggage pick up. It takes us 3 hours to get out of the airport.
The immigration official is very kind and approves our visas until end of October 2001, but he's working like a sleeping tablet. Then another problem is coming up, one bag of Cornelia is missing. She immediately gets a voucher over $50, a small comfort. At the exit we encounter Marco, who already waits for us for over five hours. As we're all in his Minivan the car is full up. Neither Cornelia's bag nor Thomas would have fit in there, we're kind of lucky.
During the drive to Waterloo, we all fall asleep (Marco not, of course), we're up and about for too long now. But Waterloo isn't the city where one can just relax, as we realize very soon. We're invited to a barbecue where I meet Rajan and Henrike again. Beside I get to know Nils from whom I'll get all my household stuff, a bike and a PC. We have some burgers and our first Canadian beer (no, not Canadian, but Moosehead). Shortly before I fall asleep while standing, we drop off Cornelia and Simon at Rajans place and drive back to Marcos apartment.
Next day we get a campus tour guided by Christoph and Marco. After that we deposit some of the baggage we don't want to take along to our tour to eastern Canada. Then it's time for Marco to say goodbye, he's leaving for his trip to western Canada. Following we meet Rainhold Schuster (Raini), our supervisor, a original citizen of Siebenbürgen. Hearing that we are on our way to buy a car he spontaneously offers to come along. With his car we comb some car dealers and afterwards he invites us to a coffee and a muffin at Tim Hortons.
After some more car dealers we try to open a bank account, but we only get a appointment for the next day. We give up for today and separate to go back to our temporary homes. Nina and me, we go shopping with Wolle (Wolfgang) - a roommate of Marco - to get some groceries for the upcoming days.
In the morning Nina and me, we find a tempting offer: a Chrysler Plymouth Voyager Minivan SE, certified, only $2700. Aside some dents and scratches the car looks good, especially the interior. A mileage of 200,000 km, but a 6 cylinder engine. We discuss this offer with the rest of our group and decide to buy the car. The others already have phone some insurance brokers and found a good offer, too.
In the evening Nina and me find some time to discuss our oncoming tour, plan some aims, read some general information about Eastern Canada.
At first we try to reach Avo, the car dealer, it takes us some hours to get an appointment. Finally we meet him as he is showing the Minivan to some other people who are interested, too. We are lucky they can't pay cash and so we make the contract. Avo manages most of the formalities like registration, plates etc..
As I hand the check to the insurance broker I am informed that I have to have an inspection on the car. Now it is Friday evening and our hope diminishes that we will have the car before the weekend starts. But I get hold of a company that performs mobile inspections and a make an appointment right away at Avo's garage. As it gets 9 p.m. we have a car that is functioning and insured.
Wow! Not a minute late, because we have to pick up Lars with his baggage from the student life centre.
First on this day we drive to Canadian Tire to get all that camping equipment like tents, pots, stoves and other stuff.
Afterwards we buy some groceries an deposit more baggage we don't want to take along. By now Most of the day is gone by and we meet at Rajans place to discuss our trip altogether. In the evening we meet at the Brick Brewery (within Huether Hotel) to have an English ale with vanilla ice and a brownie. That's just crazy, but it isn't that bad!
|The tour begins.............|
Thanks to all the Braunschweigers and their roommates, who gave us a warm welcome and accommodated us in their rooms. We'll try to pass that on to our successors.....