This morning at breakfast we have a very friendly chap, Arthur, looking after us. This is my first visit to North America so I haven’t experienced the “Have a Nice Day” routine but I have to say the service is excellent; waiters, receptionists all extremely polite. Arthur tells us he has relatives in Scotland and is very chirpy, providing us with “regular” coffee and bringing the “cheque” (you see how I’m picking up the terms?).
We decide to do the CN Tower before it gets too busy. On the way to the tower we come across an unusual monument. Named “100 Workers” it is a low-level wall with 100 plaques commemorating workers who have died whilst at work in Canada, one for each year from 1901 to 2000. Now I’m sure this is meant to be a very moving memorial and I suspect it would have been if only the names of those who died had been written. However, each plaque states the way that person met their maker and it’s so hard not to compare them all to find the most gruesome fate. “Pinned between tractor, scoop and ram”, “Flying piece of metal severed jugular artery”, “Fell down coal chute on boat” and surprisingly, “Juice container exploded”. Terribly irreverent I know but my 12 year old found it most entertaining.
The CN Tower is fantastic. An extremely fast elevator whizzes you up to the world’s highest man-made public observation gallery at 1465 ft. We’re lucky it’s such a sunny day as the views are amazing from the Skypod. Back on the ground Dougie, completely out of character, spends money at kiosks buying freshly-squeezed lemonade, chips and ice-cream.
By 3pm it’s getting surprisingly warm so we decide to spend the rest of the afternoon chilling at the outdoor pool of the hotel which is located just off the second floor. We’re just settled on the sunbeds with our books when we hear a clanging bell. Dougie thinks it may be from the trams which travel around the city and that sounds a reasonable explanation. A few minutes later we hear a succession of nee-naws, probably fire engines, and the noise is deafening so the incident must be quite close. After five minutes of the wailing sirens and the annoying bell, a tiny voice comes over the tannoy to the pool area:
“This is the Duty Manager speaking. We have a fire in the basement garage of the hotel. The authorities are currently working at the scene. We will keep you informed of the situation”.
So it’s our hotel that’s on fire!!! OH MY GOD! There must be about 40 or 50 of us all sitting sunning ourselves, previously oblivious to the chaos a few floors beneath us. The smiling woman at the pool bar is clueless as to what to do and seems to just shrug her shoulders and carry on cleaning glasses. The rest of us are thinking: we have two choices:
a. we go back into the hotel, nearer to the fire, in order to go downstairs to get out…… or….
b. we stay put because we are outside already and there is a large body of water in the vicinity.
As we all look at each other it seems clear that (b) is the winner and we all brave it out until the duty manager give us the all-clear. Panic over, I turn to hubby,
“Pass the suncream love, I’m getting a bit burnt…..”