Sunday, December 5, 2010

Canadian Tour 2 - part 1

Greetings from Thompson, Manitoba. Check it out on this MAP
We were greeted by a a balmy -26C (-15F) at the Thompson airport. The air brought me back to our Trans-siberian tours. You can read my first long diary from that amazing trip HERE.
The air is cold and dry and as soon as you step out you feel your nose hair starting to freeze. I have to say it is much more pleasant than the relatively warmer but more humid Winnipeg, where last night we started the second of three legs of our Praire Debut Tour. The tour will cover about thirty towns across Saskatchewan and Manitoba in three segments: the first was last October, this current one in December and the longest final leg will take place in February.
Winnipeg was fun. Lucille and I played as part of the Virtuosi Concerts Series, the major recital series in town. We were chosen as poster children for the season brochure and it was nice to see our faces at the Winnipeg airport. We played to a wonderful sold out house, on an old Steinway D, signed by none other than Claudio Arrau!
So we boarded a small ATR-42 propeller jet flown by Calm Air to Thompson, picked up our monstrous Dodge Ram 5.7L 4X4 pick-up truck and drove to our hotel. We were warned by the tour manager not to go out, as apparently the town can be dangerous, and only to eat at the restaurant recommended by the hotel. We left for the restaurant just to find out that they are closed on Sunday, we tried another establishment, but after looking at the "way-too-cozy" atmosphere and noticing a smell of cheap alcohol (at 5pm), we decided to drive through an A&W and eat burgers in our room.
Tomorrow, we leave for the charming town, appropriately called Snow Lake, a mining town in which just last year the largest Canadian deposit of gold was discovered! We have a school program and an evening concert there tomorrow, and it will be by far the most remote destination of this tour.
Oh, I almost forgot. I need to plug in the Dodge's battery to an outlet in the parking lot, so that the battery won't freeze over night and the car will start in the morning. I have never done this before. I hope I do it right, or we might end up staying in Thompson and eating at A&W again...
Welcome to Thompson airport

Typing the destination on the GPS 
Driving in the Prairies

Sweet ride

 Calm Air Pamphlet 

 Winnipeg Program