Saturday, September 10, 2005

1800 miles roadtrip:

(captured from google maps and edited with Picture Window Pro)

Last week, I went to Ottawa for my visa stamping (I am on working visa in US). Earlier I was thinking of going to Toronto, but because of appointment dates and what I heard that Toronto consulate sometimes take more than a day for stamping, I decided to drive to Ottawa, Canada.

6th Sept afternoon: I decided to drive to Ottawa. I started from Columbus, OH on 6th of September afternoon. Ottawa is 650miles from Columbus, OH.

7th Sept: I reached there (US embassy in Montreal), and got a shock, because of Fingerprinting, its rule now to return the passport next day only.

7th Sept afternoon: I had more than a day now. I had 2 options, either stay in Ottawa and do some photography, or drive to Montreal to meet friends (Gagan and Maneesh). I decided to drive to Montreal, another 150 miles. I reached there by 2:00PM (St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, suburb of Montreal). Logged in to company's network. Checked and replied to mails. Made few calls and updated my status to the office people.

7th Sept evening: We all went to old Montreal area. Its beautiful. Worth going there. So different from US cities. We had dinner at fine Italian place with live guitar in the background. Had big ice cream along the Saint Lawrence River.
The maps are available here for Old Montreal:

8th Sept: I started Montreal at 12, reached Ottawa to pick the passport, and after going thru the mess of traffic for about an hour, I started back to Columbus, OH around 4:00pm. Reached US border around 5:30pm. As this was first entry to US after new visa, I had to go through finger printing and photo session. . I crossed thousand Island area. That is so beautiful, I can’t tell. Surely going there next year. I got a glimpse of area when crossing the bi-national the Thousand Islands Bridge. Even the bridge is marvelous in architecture and structure.

8-9th Sept night: I reached Buffalo at 10:00pm. In between I called India in between. What a change in life style and technology. Calling cards and wireless coverage have made the so much changes, I was feeling this... Was tired, so decided to stop at Buffalo for some time. Change of mind, and I decided to watch Niagara Falls at night. I drive to falls, and changed the mind again, and drove to Canada side. It was beautiful, but boring and not that attractive for a "temp" single guy. Decided to come back later again with Seema and Aryan, started from there. now the long night started. I kept calling friends. And esp. Chadhas, Alok and Geeta, were calling in between and keeping me up and driving. The phone died with discharged battery by the time I reached Cleveland, OH. I stopped by the side, connected my inverter (8V to 120V) and put the phone for charging.

I reached back to Columbus at around 4:30am on 9th Sept. Dialed Chadhas one ring and disconnected (a signal that I reached).

Now the time for checking the odometer reading, for this trip it was few miles above "1750 miles".

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