Sunday, June 17, 2012

Burlington. No killer sharks, but they do have lazy squirrels.


There isn’t a killer shark in Burlington....but they have lazy squierrels and fat referees!!

I really enjoyed my short stay in M-Montreal Hostel apart from the fact that my room-mate turned up at 1.30 in the morning and couldn’t work out how to open the door. I had to get out of bed to let him in and then he spent the next half hour sorting out his shit, albeit with a head torch on. I slept really well though and after a free breakfast in the morning I arrived in plenty of time for my bus to Burlington Vermont. However, there seemed to be some kind of Czech sports team in line for the bus and there was no way that they and all the other passengers would fit on. Luckily, Greyhound was on top of things and set aside a separate bus for those travelling all the way to Boston. Greyhound isn’t half as bad as people say it is. I’m sat in a comfortable seat, with aircon and plenty of space and for a cheap price too. They should try bus travel in the UK sometime –or India!

M hostel lounge

and the reception

Burlington town centre

Bears everywhere...some normal

..and one strange one!!


Anyway, we have just left the US/Canada border. The bus had to wait for me as I was the only non-North American passenger. As soon as I told the border guard my ex-military story he starting asking questions about Afghanistan as usual and became quite friendly. I don’t think the rest of the bus passengers were quite as happy having to wait for me though!

An hour later and we arrived at Burlington airport where I got off the greyhound and after a 10 minute walk jumped onto the number 1 bus into Burlington town. I dropped my bags off at the hostel and walked a short way into town where there is an Irish pub called Ri Ra, where I spent the next couple of hours watching the England game and eating fish and chips. It was a good start to my stay here. I had a wander around the town centre afterwards and loved the vibe of the place. Back at the hostel I checked into my dorm. Each 8 man dorm surrounds a central area and is only separated by curtains and wooden frames. It’s a mellow, relaxing place with no shoes worn inside and friendly people all around. There were no killer sharks.

It was now 6pm and so I wandered down the hill to the lake front. After such a nice day I felt sure there would be a good sunset and as the town faces west across the lake, I knew this to be the place to go to see it. I wandered for a couple of hours along the lakeside. There were kids playing in the water, families having barbecues and fishermen catching their dinner. Teenagers sat on the rocks drinking and listening to quiet music, while in the background sailboats passed each other on their in and out of the harbour. I passed the old Union station which has a strange winged monkey statue on the roof and on the shore of the lake are massive marble style rocks that have been carved into figures, but then left amongst the natural rocks as the water washes up to them. There were still no killer sharks.

Flying monkey

Cool rock sculpture

Nice sunset coming

My rock pile


As I kept walking I found stone towers piled up on a beach, so I jumped down and built my own, with the sun slowly descending behind it. I passed a 21st birthday party in a small park and a few cars with celebrations of graduations all over the windows. I didn’t see anyone who didn’t look happy. This place reminds me of the west coast of Australia. A small relatively unknown town, that the locals love and people who visit don’t want to leave. As I type this, there is a girl from the hostel who is telling us that she is moving here from Brooklyn, New York. She is paying half as much rent here for twice the sized apartment. She will be happy here as there are no killer sharks. 

A nice photo

I found this little army dude, with a cobweb attached...

..he was a long way up!!

A tree

A gypsy


Back down at the lakeside, I eventually stopped walking and sat as the sun finally fell into the lake, leaving a stunning red sky and happy people listening to some music on the waterfront just a few yards to my right. My camera and my phone batteries have both died from taking so many photographs, but I have no photographs of killer sharks as there aren’t any.

Cloudy night jump time

Two gypsies


So that was day 1 in Burlington. I am looking forward to day 2 tomorrow and will let you know then if I finally see the killer shark.

So, why have I been on about killer sharks? Have you ever seen the movie ‘Jaws’? Of course you have. Well the town in which it is based is called ‘Amity’. It’s a beautiful town, with a lovely beach and happy community that enjoys the water, the weather and everything about the place – until it’s slightly spoiled by a certain killer shark. Burlington is a very similar place. It’s a wonderful, homely, happy clean and mellow town. I have the same tingly feeling I used to get when I went on holiday as a kid and woke up in a new, exciting place. I like the feeling and I like this town. It’s not got any killer sharks, unlike Amity. Mainly because you don’t get sharks in lakes! That’s cool and so is Burlington.

After waking up to the sounds of a piano playing on Saturday I decided to walk down to the Burton snowboard factory, which I only found out was in Burlington yesterday when I saw a Burton van drive past. It’s a couple of miles out of town, and on the way I saw then even the squirrels here like a mellow relaxing day....I’m glad I went to Burton  as they have a timeline of snowboards from 1977 when the sport started up to about 2003. It’s weird seeing all the old boards and how they have developed, but also cool. They have also covered one of the kerbstones outside with a rail for the winter and even have a chairlift over the car park (It's not real) I bought myself a new t-shirt and then wandered back towards town. 

A squirrel having a kip...probably

Snowboard evolution

Ride that kerb

Where my first snowboard was born


On the way I saw some football being played and decided to sit in the shade and watch for a while. It was a good game and had the fattest referee I have ever seen(This is America I suppose!) Even from the photos I’m not sure if he was a she or not!!

The big fat yellow doughnut shaped person is a referee - What the fuck!!?


Then back into town, a quick look around and some food before a rest for an hour or so in the hostel.

This wouldnt happen in Burlington


In the evening it was another sunset. I walked the other way this evening and spent the sunset stood on a pier talking to an old local couple and taking photographs. It wasnt as spectacular as last night and as soon as it got dark there were millions of Mosquitoes everywhere, but it was still cool and I took a few photos and lobbed them together to show you what it looked like...



Loads of weird roof things!!

and anoither...

Nice couple! Nice pic!

A pier - not skegness...

A tractor and a tennis racquet....obvioulsy

So thats it from Amity,,,,,sorry I mean Burlington. I head south again later, towards Boston, but with a short stop in New Hampshire. Its only 4 more nights till I hed back 'home; to Winnipeg!! Time flies!

PS. The squirrel is dead.

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