I love waking up in a new city and having the day to explore it on foot. This morning I got up late (I’ve gone through two time zones since I left home) and it was great to know I didn’t have to jump in my car right away. I’m staying in the heart of Winnipeg at my friends’ condo, so it was a short walk to see the legislative building, Portage and Main (coldest corner in Canada in the winter), and The Forks – where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet. At the Forks there’s a market where you can find a variety of fast food takeout: Caribbean, Greek, Sri Lankan, Chilean, and of course, the classic hamburger and hot dogs always popular in North America. I tried a Chilean Completo – a hot dog with avocado, mayo and onions, which sounds a lot better than it was. I should have gone with the special – chicken stew and sopapilla (deep fried pumpkin fritter).
I’ve never experienced Winnipeg in the winter, but the summers here seem to be pretty outstanding. Today it was a bit cloudy but 30 C and humid. I love the heat. LOVE it. Even at 10 p.m. it’s warm enough to sit outside in a T-shirt and shorts.
Besides the weather, I definitely love the cultural vibe going on in Winnipeg. This weekend there’s a cool art crawl north of town. As well, the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery) has an exhibition on till the end of the Labour Day weekend with 100 master artists. I didn’t have time today to go in (slept too late) but it sounds interesting. I would also have loved to have seen a show by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, known to be one of the best companies in Canada, but I just missed a free public show they had on downtown yesterday. Walking to The Forks, I also passed the new Museum of Human Rights building that’s under construction and is set to open next year. It’s a unique and very impressive building, like a lot of the architecture around here. The mix of old and new is really interesting.
Of course, it’s not all just artsy stuff in this city. There are farmers markets, football games, the Royal Canadian Mint, and I hear the fishing in Manitoba is pretty good (which I guess makes sense considering all the lakes they’ve got around here).
But there’s much more of Canada to see, so I’m off to Dryden, Ontario tomorrow, where I’ll be staying at a cottage with my next Couchsurfing host. I likely won’t have wifi access, so will have to update after the long weekend.
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