Archive for the Shopping Category

Delhi: November 15

Posted in Delhi, India, Market, Metro, Shopping, Travel, Vacation with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2015 by Amanda

My last day in India was mostly spent shopping.  As I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of markets, I mostly went to malls.  The security at the malls was pretty high.  It was kind of like flying and you usually had to show your receipt upon leaving  a store.  Still, it was much more relaxing than dealing with the chaotic markets.

I went to the malls mostly be metro.  The metro had similar security to the malls.  It was super cheap, straightforward, modern, and clean.  It didn’t really seem like India!  I traveled on the women’s car.  Despite the trains having six to eight cars and only one women’s car, I think the women’s car was generally less crowded!  When we stopped at one station, a security guard put a blind man in; I assume he was just being lazy (the women’s car is the first on the train) by the looks the Indian women gave him.

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Waiting for the train

Later in the day, I did go the market near my hotel. The experience made me glad I’d done most of my last minute shopping at malls!

A week in Ontario

Posted in Home, Saskatchewan, Shopping, thorold, Toronto, Travel, Vacation, Weather with tags , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by Amanda

I flew from Saskatoon to Toronto on the evening of Friday the 13th.  The plane was probably about half full but even less full in the seats near me.  With the exception of a couple of super short half-hour flights, I don’t think I’ve been on a flight this empty in the last five years.  I’m thinking there must be some truth to many people avoiding Friday the 13th flights.  Anyway, it was nice to be on a non-crowded plane. Sadly, I was leaving very nice weather in Saskatchewan and heading to not so nice (rainy) weather in Ontario.

Empty seats on the plane.

Empty seats on the plane.

I spent Friday evening at an airport hotel and then took a bus and subway and then unexpectedly, another bus as part of the subway was closed to reach downtown. I saw advertisements for a new train that will go from the airport to Union Station soon but upon further investigation I found that the price will be nearly $30; so, I’ll be sticking with the $3 TTC option! Anyway, despite the rain I walked around a fair bit. I found an interesting machine at the Eaton Centre that was giving surprise gifts from MasterCard. Just before me it started having issues which was annoying but I eventually received my surprise. It looked like a lot of people were getting gift cards but I only received a notebook. I then took a $2.83 ($1 plus taxes/fees) bus to St. Catharines. I still can’t believe how MegaBus can be!

The MasterCard machine.

The MasterCard machine.

I managed to come down with a bit of a cold and I haven’t had a cold in a few years. So, the rest of the week I was a bit lazier than I would have been otherwise. Still, I did a fair bit of shopping. I went over to the U.S. and the border really wasn’t too busy during March Break (when kids are off school in Ontario); the lower dollar must really be having an effect but I still have a fairly large amount of U.S. dollars so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I also went to a (Canadian) Target that was closing within a week and despite the fact that there was more merchandise there than I anticipated, I still only found a couple of things worth buying. I went out to eat a bit as there are definitely better restaurant options there than here.

I flew back to Saskatoon yesterday morning (because it was cheaper than flying later in the day or today). This turned out to be a good decision for more than financial reasons as we ended up getting quite a bit of snow later in the day and I’m sure the highway wouldn’t have been fun to drive on.

Lake Mburo, Entebbe, Kampala (Friday, August 1)

Posted in Airport, Entebbe, Equator, Hyenas, Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park, Shopping, Travel, Uganda, Vacation with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2014 by Amanda

This was the last official day of our tour and we had the earliest start we’d had in a while.

We saw more of the same animals we’d seen the previous day. We also heard hyenas at the lodge early in the morning but we didn’t actually see them. I think they were the only animal that we wanted to see that we missed seeing!

We crossed the equator again. We saw similar equator signs to the ones we’d seen around Queen Elizabeth National Park but this crossing had a lot of souvenir shops. There were not many other customers though. We were told that this was because we were quite early in the day and most tourists come through later in the day. Who knows if this is true though? There usually seemed to be less tourists than I’d expected throughout Uganda, especially since we were travelling in high-season. I did buy a good chunk of the souvenirs I bought here though I really didn’t buy many souvenirs on this trip.

I tried to take a bunch of pictures of the towns we travelled through while we were moving. A few of these pictures turned out okay; most of them did not. This is not surprising, of course. The towns always had such interesting signs and buildings. I wish we could have stopped in more of them! I also wish I’d gotten a picture of the caskets for sale out along the highway!

On the pictures taken while driving through some unknown town!

On the pictures taken while driving through some unknown town!

We stopped in Entebbe to drop the other two people on the tour off at the airport. There was a pretty big traffic jam approaching the airport. It turned out that there was a police roadblock there and we had to get out of the van without our stuff and walk through a metal detector. I cannot figured out the point of doing that was. Even stranger, the sign telling people they had to surrender their firearms was located after that roadblock! Another stranger thing about the airport, was that you had to take a ticket to enter the airport; so, you couldn’t simply drop someone off without paying.

We then drove back to Kampala where we stayed at the same hotel we’d stayed at prior to the tour; we were even given the same room we’d had before! Our guide had managed to get us quite a good discount this time! The hotel had a lot of things we hadn’t appreciated so much on our first stay: 24 hour electricity, power outlets in the room, a television (though there wasn’t much to watch) and air conditioning.

Queen Elizabeth National Park (Friday, July 25)

Posted in Baboons, Birds, Buffalo, Hippos, Kazinga Channel, Leopard, Lions, Monkeys, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Salt lake, Shopping, Travel, Uganda, Vacation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2014 by Amanda

After breakfast, we embarked on another game drive. By the way, the restaurant at the lodge was rather strange. It was very dark (even by Ugandan standards) and absolutely huge; yet there were only three tables as the lodge had only six rooms.

We saw about 7 lions. They did move a little but mostly they were sleeping and they were still pretty far away. It took the use of binoculars to really see them.

We then saw a leopard. It was in a tree and then it went onto the ground a ran away. We were actually quite close to this leopard but as the sighting was so brief you’d have to take my word for the animal in the picture I have being a leopard!

Later we saw some birds, antelope and a bunch of warthogs before stopping at a salt lake which had a collection of souvenir shops nearby. I did purchase one small item that was a decent price but the shops generally seemed rather overpriced.

The salt lake.

The salt lake.

Before lunch, we saw so much from our room: the very aptly named Hippo room! Along with the hippos, we also saw some antelope drinking and some cool birds.

After that we spent some time at the an expensive resort on the Kazinga Channel before our boat cruise. Though the boat wasn’t a nice as the one we took in Murchison, we saw a lot more on this boat cruise including tons of hippos, buffaloes, some crocodiles, lizards and an absolutely insane quantity of birds! Strangely, some of the seats on this boat had literally twice the leg room of others. I also spent some time standing on top of the boat.

Birds!!!!!

Birds!!!!!

On the way back to our lodge it rained a bit but we still saw some animals including a large number of baboons in a prickly tree. Once we returned to our room, we saw some buffalo in the water and we finally saw a hippo leave the water!

A visit home

Posted in Death, Home, Shopping, Travel with tags , , , on June 3, 2014 by Amanda

Last Wednesday, I decided to book a trip home pretty last-minute. Amazingly, I was able to do this using Aeroplan points which really kept the cost reasonable. I was also able to rent a car at the airport for a surprisingly affordable price. By the way, I was also surprised at how quick and easy it is to rent and return a car at Pearson.

I had to take three flights on Friday which was rather tiring. Luckily, today I only had one flight and it was in business class which made it much more bearable. Still, I’m rather tired. I am really making an effort not to go to bed too early tonight, though.

The reason I made the decision to go home was to see my dying grandmother. Actually, I was pretty unsure if she’d still be alive when I arrived on Friday evening but she survived until very early yesterday morning. For a multitude of reasons, I’m not going to go into detail about her death but I am positive I made the correct decision to visit her.

This, of course, was far from a typical trip home. Still, I did have a chance to do some shopping which included visiting the new outlet mall which I thought was pretty nice.

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The outlet mall