June 20 - June 22

On Friday June 20, we flew to Toronto International airport, Canada via London Heathrow, UK. After the flight, we picked up our suitcases and Els and Ida were there to guide us through Toronto to our accommodation. Following our leaders, bus and metro in and out we finally reached our destination: Victoria University, University of Toronto. A diner was arranged on campus and after a drink in downtown Toronto we finally went to rest.
The following morning started with a typical Canadian breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes with syrup and toast. We were picked up by the driver of a bus of King Tours that took us through the Niagara region countryside. On the way to the great Niagara falls, we stopped at Pillitteri Estates winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake to taste some wines. We visited their cellar, but unfortunately no tour at the facility was available. However, we managed to taste their “normal” wines and the extraordinary ice wine. After stopping at the whirlpool, we arrived at the Niagara falls where we hopped on “the maid of the mist” in our raincoats to experience the force of nature from close by. Because we had some time to spare, we had the opportunity to watch the European Championship Football’s quarterfinal The Netherlands vs. Russia. Luckily a Dutch coach won, but slightly disappointed we headed back to our accommodation. Upon arrival, we went straight for diner in the Panorama restaurant (without an expected view) to experience our first encounter with the Canadian cuisine in restaurants (Caesar salad!).
On Sunday we went to the Toronto Science Centre. Some of us were so excited to finally be back in the world of science, that they almost forgot to enter the building. Outside there was a water ornament that produced sounds like an organ, which was very appealing to some of us. At the centre, during our first scientific appointment of our trip, we saw and learned a lot about the human body, sports, sounds, etc. For instance, there was an ageing computer that showed you how you would look like in 20 years, it was a very shocking experience for several people to see your own mother or father on the computer screen. Furthermore, at the sports part of the centre, you could compete against each other in wheelchair driving, jumping and baseball throwing. The overcrowded Toronto islands were our next visit, where we had a great view on Toronto’s skyline with it’s distinctive CN-tower, Rogers Centre stadium and skyscrapers. We were caught in between two massive thunderstorms, what resulted in an even better view of Toronto with several lightning strikes. Luckily the sky cleared while we headed back to the main land, on our way to diner. The magnificent view onto the skyline of Toronto from above was our scenery for diner. While spinning one rotation per hour we had a very nice meal inside the restaurant of the famous Canada’s National tower, 360. (Maarten Mols)