I finished exams almost two weeks ago and have been spending the time as a tourist in Toronto and Montreal. Here are some photos of what I’ve been up to in the past two weeks in reverse chronological order:
Ottawa seems like the Canberra of Canada - they couldn’t decide which city to make the capital so they built another one just for that purpose. The main attractions are museums, but rather than spending my day in the city, I wound up here:
A fellow Australian whom I met in Montreal had a plan to go bunjee jumping on Friday, and having no plans of my own, I decided to join him. Let me try to put into words exactly what my experience was.
For the three days from deciding to go bunjee jumping and actually doing the jump, it didn’t fully sink in that I would be throwing myself off a crane. Not until I was standing with my toes over the edge of the platform looking at the water 50 metres below did I fully appreciate just what I was about to do. But there was no time to stand there thinking about it, because the instructor had started his countdown. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.”
I’ve been on theme park rides that involve being dropped or otherwise rapidly accelerating, and although the acceleration of these rides may be greater than that of gravity, they don’t really compare. Since it was up to me to jump off the platform, some effort was needed to overcome the voice in my head telling me not to jump off high things. This completely rational fear of falling from a great height has evolved in humans as a survival mechanism  and so is more deep-set than most fears. For example, if someone had a fear of big hairy spiders that are ultimately harmless to humans, and they spent enough time being gradually introduced to just how harmless they are, it’s likely that they will eventually be rid of this fear. The fear of falling is much harder to overcome. Looking back, I feel like I was mentally disconnecting the action of jumping off the ledge with the idea of falling into the pit below, just for an instant.
But an instant is all it takes. After jumping, according to the instructor, the freefall lasts three seconds. One looses track of time while freefalling, so I’m taking his word for it. For those three seconds, the part of my brain that was saying “Don’t jump.” was now saying “I told you not to jump…stupid.” Meanwhile I experienced terror like nothing I’ve never felt before. There is something soothing about screaming as loudly as possible (which is ironic because my throat was sore for the rest of the day). Maybe it took my mind off the fact that I was falling. Once the cord started to slow my descent, I had time to collect myself before being dunked head first into the water. The cord is very elastic, and so I was then yanked back up to a height that I’m told matches the height of the second highest bunjee jump in Canada. The trip up was much easier than the trip down. I had a chance to catch my breath before the second freefall. I then spent some time bouncing upside down and swaying around before the boat picked me up and took me to the shore.
Now there is an option for a second jump at half the price of the first, so that is what I did. My experience of this jump matched almost exactly that of the first (though I remembered to yell out something stupid (“swandive”)) before jumping.
This is a nature museum in Montreal using the dome designed by inventor and mathematician Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller.
At 533m, CN Tower was the tallest free standing structure in the world at the time of its construction in 1976.
People live on Algonquin Island (a small island connected by bridge to Centre Island). The small neighbourhood is incredibly overgrown, and just beautiful.