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Calgary is in Alberta, just short of a 9 hour flight from London.
If you are visiting Calgary and want to see the Rocky mountains then hiring a car is a must. The rates are quite reasonable though and as the airport is about a half hour drive from downtown Calgary it also simplifies things. I would also recommend renting a Sat. Nav, or GPS as they call it as the road system can be a bit confusing when you first start driving in Canada, what with them driving on the Right and the car will more t be a left hand drive car.
There is quite a lot to see and do in C algary itself with the tower which is well worth a visit and the view from the top of it is wonderful with the Rockies stretching out.
If you are a shopaholic then you are spoilt for choice as there are quite a few Malls of which The Chinock centre is the largest. This is on McCloud trail and really is a case of you cannot miss it plus free parking. If you do visit this mall you need to set aside a whole day to see it all.
No visit to Alberta is complete without visiting the Rocky mountains because I can only describe them as awesome. One thing I would recommend is keep the fuel tank as full as possible because the petrol (gas) stations are few and far between. Some are about 100 miles apart. It is also very hard to tell what to wear as Alberta is a bit odd as the temperature can change dramaticlly in just a few minutes. We went to Lake Louise (another must see) and when we got there it was quite pleasant but then in about 10 minutes it dropped about 10 degrees and started snowing.
All the lakes and rivers in the rockies are the most incredible turquoise colour which is caused by rock flour which in turn is caused by the glaciers.
Baff is a must to see and a trip up the mountains on a Gonola is a definate one to put on your must do list as the view from the top is indescribable. We also went to the Columbian ice field where you get a special bus up to the Glacier and get out and have a walk around but do wear something very warm as it is freezing!
Most tourist attractions in Alberta are only open from April to September as after September the snow arrives and a lot of the roads become impassable. They do try and keep the major highways open during the winter but the lesser roads arent high on their list of priorities.
One last thing to add is that you do have to pay to get into Banff National park, it is about c$18 for 4 people but well worth the money. All in all there is so much to see and do in Calgary
Thank you for reading
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The first thing you notice when arriving at Calgary Airport (YYC) is the guides or helpers all dressed as cowboy/cowgirls with hats on and you cant help smiling and thinking "yes I am in Canada".
Calgary is the fourth biggest air terminal in Canada and although a lot of renovations and expansion was done in 2003 it has not stood still and they are still improving and doing work to it. It is one terminal which makes it so easy to find your way around and with many signs to follow I doubt anyone loses their way.
Downtown Calgary where a lot of hotels are is about 12 miles away. We booked a car for the week and the signs took us straight to the car hire area which is just across the road from the terminal.
If you have hired a car leaving the airport is quite easy as it is well sign posted which is what you want especially if you are not used to driving on the right and driving a left hand drive car.
The duty free shop is a lot different from Heathrow or Gatwick as it is not just in one allocated area. You will find it when you head towards gates 23 and 24 and it is quite small and the cigarettes are not on display although the drinks and perfume is. You have to ask for cigarettes and they do not carry a big supply. All duty free is taken straight through to where you board the plane and you pick it up there.
All in all a very easy Airport to find your way around.
Thank you for reading
It is a tradition for us to always buy Ritz Crackers for Christmas, although I do admit we buy them at other times of the year as well as the other year we had that "why is it only Christmas time we buy these when we all love them" thought.
On the shelf the box is easily recognised by it being Red with pictures of the biscuits all over it. The box itself is 16.5cm high x 13.5cm wide and 5.8cm deep and has Ritz written in the middle of it so you cant really miss it.
They are made by Nabisco. Each 25g serving contains 123 calories, 1.79g sugar, 6.5g fat, 3.1g saturates and 0.8g salt all of which is quite high.
The biscuits are about 4.5cm round. You dont even have to like cheese to like these crackers.
They do melt in the mouth and are a bit crumbly but very moreish.
The cost does vary depending on where you get them of course We got them for 85p and well worth it
These biscuits are very versatile and can be ate on their own or with many other things. Personally I love them with a big dollop of butter on, not a very healthy option but oh so wickedly tastey!
You can put cheese on as a topping, or how about putting the cheese on with pickles. You can also put mayo on with a slice of cucumber in fact let your mind go wild.as there are not many things these biscuits do not tast good with.
If you are having a few friends round put some out and watch the pile go down and no matter what time of day you can eat a Ritz cracker.
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If you are thinking of going to Toronto one sight that is a must to visit is the CN Tower.
It is near Downtown Toronto. You do not need a map to find it as just look skyward and you will see it. It is between the Skydome and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. You may have to walk around the Convention Centre though as we have just come back from a visit and they were building a new aquarium there.
Like a lot of towers you can pay to go up to to top of this one.
Because there are many sections to the tower there are different prices all according to what you want to do and see.
The cost of the whole package is around £20 which for what you do and see this is a real bargain.
Observation plus about £18, Observation around £17 and around £7 for the rest each.
The tower was the Worlds tallest building until they built one in Dubai. It is 1,815 feet high. There are 6 lifts. Mostly these are manned so you dont go in them on your own. The speed of these lifts is 20 feet a second. The whole tower took 3 years 4 months to build.
From here you look out and you are well above the skyscappers and can see not only a wonderful panoramic view but when it is a clear day you will see the mist from Niagra Falls.
Walk all the way round this area and the view is amazing. We watched a long train which took 10 minutes to go under a bridge so you can tell how long it was. You can also watch the planes taking off from the city airport and also see all the islands.
You can film and take photographs till your hearts content from this area.
You have to be brave to stand on this and yes I did! Here you stand on the glass which is built to take the weight of 4 hippos. You then look down right down 1,122 feet to the ground! A really amazing thing to do.
This is even higher than the glass floor. You go up in the lift well it is another 33 stories up. The Sky pod is 1,463 feet above ground. If you wanted to walk up, and a man did pogo stick up the steps,there are a couple of steps under 2,000
This is very reasonably priced cheaper than the ticket and you do get a superb meal. There is a lot of fish on the menu and fruit such as watermelon. We had steak and it was cooked to perfection. The only moan was that the day we went we stayed in the same place all the time with the same view although it was a wonderful view but never revolved.
They show the Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D which when you enter you are given 3D glasses but asked to return them at the end.
We sat there and I must admit I thought that it would be 3D with added affects like you thought you felt the water and so I sat there waiting for it but it never came. The movie lasted 30 minutes. The first 10 were interesting but there is only so much I can take of watching people surf so after 30 minutes was pleased like many to leave!
Motion Theatre Ride
This is a ride with special effects like feeling the wind etc or basically like I thought the movie would be a bit like but we never got to see this as before you go in they ask you questions like do you suffer from headaches, backache or high blood pressure which my husband does so we could not go in. It is good though that they check on this.
The shop is great with litterally everything with Toronto, Canada or CN Tower on that you can think of but not tacky goods. Everything was well made and reasonably priced. We bought some great hoodies and T shirts and a clock on a model of the CN Tower which we are thrilled with.
Some other facts
Glass floors thickness is 2 1/2" layers from the top down with 3/16" replaced annually. The glass panels are 42" x 50" and it is tested annually.
It is in the Guiness book of records for dropping an egg from top to bottom unbroken!
If you ever have the chance to go to Toronto this tower is a must you will not only enjoy it but have an experience of a lifetime.
Thank you for reading
We had heard a lot about Skype but like a lot of people did nothing about it until a couple of months ago and now I so wish that we had done it when we first heard about it.
If you have never heard of Skype or used it you could be a little bit suspicious as well it is Free and is there such a thing as having anything Free.
Yes this is Free and Great.
Skype is an internet phone programme and you dont need anything added to it unless of course you want to.
To get Skype you type in Skype on any search engine and it will come up with the Skype site. From here you just download the programme. Depending on the speed of your computer it is really a case of seconds or a couple of minutes.
You then just set up your account with your email and your namewhich doesnt have to be the one on your birth certificate!
Once you have done that you are ready to call but of course you need someone to call so it is good to get a friend that you telephone or family. Then instead of using the land line for a chat you just look to see if they are on line which is easy to tell as when you go on skype you will see their name with a tick by it if they are free to call. Press call, wait for them to reply and then chat away free as long as you want.
That is one way to use Skype. Another which I find great is to do a video call. This is great because you can see each other as well. To use this you will both need a webcam which you can get a good one between £14 and £20 and believe me it will pay for itself. You set up the webcam and instead of phone calling you use it exactly the same but press videocall instead and then you can talk to each other and see each other as well.
We went to Canada a couple of weeks ago and took our laptop with us that has a built in webcam in it and we were able to telephone home using the webcam so we could see them and chat free. It was great as we didnt have to work out the time difference too much and be on the phone the exact time as we could check to see if they were on and wait if needed. We found it useful showing them around the room and things we had bought. One item I didnt take into account that it was still a couple of months to the cold weather and bought the wrong size for my Grandson, my daughter could see it over the webcam Skype and I changed it before getting home with the wrong size.
You do need quite a fast processor if using a webcam or the picture and voice can be very jerky. Our laptop has a duel core intel i5 processor and it worked perfectly. but all in all it is great.
I must add that if you caqll a landline or a mobile you can do it but you would need to take out a subscription but computer to computer is free.
Give it a go if you have not tried it and you wont regret it.
My family now all call each other through Skype so we not only talk but can see each other. The Grandchildren love this and although I dont live far from them and see them every day it would be ideal for Grandparents and Grandchildren who live a distance from each other
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On arriving in Toronto for a holiday we landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Dont worry if you are told you will arrive at Lester B Pearson or YYZ as this is all names for the same airport. The important thing is that it is 18 miles from here to Toronto
We arrived on Air Canada so arrived at Terminal 1. To get from the plane to the terminal is quite fast as you have the slow moving escalator or the fast one which most of us went on and we were soon getting ready to show our passports.
Here dont be surprised if you are asked a lot of questions, a lot more than we ever have been asked before. These questions were of the why come here, how long, what are you going to do here etc. and the very last question of all was have you ever been in trouble with the police. Luckily we hadnt so I dont know what the outcome would have been if we had been even for a minor misdemeaner. They are very fussy who they do let in to Canada as the people before us didnt get in for some reason.
Claiming our luggage was simple. You look on the wall to find your flight number and beside it will be a number where you go to claim your luggage.
A good idea to find your bag amongst all the others going around is to tie something that you can easily recognise to the handles of your luggage. We had some plastic from a carrier bag which made our cases easy to pick out!
After we picked up our luggage though we went straight through no bother to get our taxi.
On the way home we had to be at the Airport 3 hours before the flight. We could book our luggage in as soon as we arrived. Here you must watch the weight of your cases. They will not let you go an ounce over weight and a couple of people were in the middle of the floor sorting out their bags and putting on extra clothes to make them fit in the allowance.
When you go through to the duty free area I think you will be very disappointed as it is so small and if you smoke you will find only 2 brands of cigarettes that you know of and a very small selection of cigarettes for sale as the Canadians just do not want you smoking in their country.
Just a little warning if you are passing through this airport for Toronto and that is that in all of Toronto there are only 2 shops that sell cigarettes and then not English ones and I mean small shops not 2 chain store shops.
In all the Airport is very clean and efficient.
On deciding to go to Canada for a holiday, the next step was to decide on which Airline to go over with.
After much comparing Air Canada was the airline which suited our needs best and seemed to give us the best deals all round, and also had the days and times of flight travel that suited us.
It was very easy to book on line even choosing which seats we wanted to sit in.
When booked, they will email you an e ticket which when you arrive at the Airport you just show at the Air Canada desk.
They will also encourage you to fill in the Advanced Passenger Information. This is a must as if you do not fill in this form then you will not be able to get into Canada.
Air Canada flew us out on a Boing 777.
After hearing all about the shortage of leg room on some planes we found that Air Canada had plenty of leg room.
They are very well organised and call you onto the plane in a good order - people with walking difficulties go first, then people with children then the rest are called by the number of seat rows.
We were on the plane for over 7 hours so in that time we had 2 meals. The first was either chicken or pasta with a drink, bread and c ake. We had the chicken and it was nice. The sec ond meal was "a snack" so no tray only something I can call the Canadian equivelent to Twiglets!
On the return journey flying back on an Airbus A330 the meal was chicken and pasta but by the time they got to the middle with the meals they had ran
out of chicken so there was no choice and if like me you dont like pasta it was hard luck. I thought though never mind I will have a sleep and look forward to the breakfast which was "continental breakfast". When the continental breakfast arrived though I just could not believe it as I was expecting something like toast (which yes I know would have been impossible to do) a crousant or cereal. What arrived? A muffin!
We arrived 15 minutes early though!
All in all it is a very good Airline to travel to Canada on and I will definately go with them next time, it is just a pity about their meals.
Looking for a company to do a small metal work job, I finally found one that does small jobs as well larger one's and does not charge an arm and a leg.
Richard Gibbons Engineering is a family run company that specialise in precision sheet metal work.
I was able to go round to the company workshop as it is only a short distance from me. I was able to discuss the best way to do the job and throw around a few ideas which i found great. If I could not have travelled to the workshop I was told that I could plan by telephone or by emailing them at www.richardgibbonsengineering.co.uk.
They not only helped me with the design but also helped me with finding the most cost affective way to do the job.
After some discussion they advised me that Powder coating would be they best way of finishing the job although there were many options available. they were more that happy to arrange this to be done which saved me yet more time as i did not have to find a seperate company myself to finish the job.
All in all i found this company to be very helpful especially as i needed this job at such short notice, not only were they friendly but they sent this to me by post and it was delivered on time as promised.
I would definately recomend Richard Gibbons engineering, although they are a small company they could not have been more helpful, very professional but also putting the best interest of the customers first
Needless to say I am absolutely delighted with the finished item and it turned out better than I could ever imagine
As roses have been about for 73 odd years I am sure there is hardly anyone out there that does not know and recognise these boxes of chocolates.
At the price of around £3.20 varying of course by where you buy them they make good gifts for everyone for all the birthdays, anniversaries etc and then are cheap enough to give as simple thank you presents or just to cheer anyone up.
The chocoate inside the box is wrapped individually.
There are 10 different flavour chocolates for you to taste so there is bound to be something there in the box that you like.
The 10 flavours - not in any particular order of preference as my favourite changes with every box that I receive!
Blue wrapper is Caramel lovely and chewy
orangy wrapper = Orange Creme this is tangy and you can definately taste the orange coming through
round purple wrapper is the hazel whirl eat the chocoate to get to the nut
long purple hazel in caramel this is one of my favourites as you have the caramel and the nut
yellow wrapper golden barrel lovely and soft
green wrapper is the caramel velvet
blue wrapper which I think is a favourite of all children 2 squares of cadburys dairy milk
orangy yellow wrapper brazilian darkness love the nut and pleased that the chocolate is not too dark
pink wrapper strawberry dream love this one a good taste of strawberry
yellow wrapper this one I am not so keen on it is country fudge and nice if you like fudge.
The net weight of this box is 388g net and 400g including the wrapping.
With all the boxes I have ate and the family have ate I have never heard anyone complain about the contents.
Roses do not just come in this type of box though as now you can get smaller boxes as well and of course the tin of roses chocolates that contain all the above and very popular at Christmas. We had a tin at Christmas, they were not around for long though! The tin costs around £5.00 and of course not just for Christmas and the tin can be kept afterwards for all sorts of things.
I would definately recommend Roses to everyone.
Hope this has made you want to go out and buy some!
I do know that it is said that there is no cure for coughs but Benylin Dry Coughs original really does work. So how do I know this does? well within an hour of taking it my cough eased off. Now this might be just an coincidence but I dont think so.
You can buy Benylin over the counter of any Chemist. It costs £4.65 but although this is not cheap, if it does the job and this does then it is definately worth the money.
Who can take it
It is for Adults and Children aged 12 years and over. If you are pregnant or breast feeding dont forget to check with your doctor before taking any.
Dont use more than 4 doses in 24 hour. A dose is one spoon 5ml. The spoon is provided. Dont take more than stated as it could cause drowsiness and if you drove you would be a danger on the road and also avoid taking an alcoholic drink when using it.
For your moneys worth you get 150 ml and I have found before even used half of it the cough has gone. It does have one of those children safety tops you know the type press down the lid and turn.
It smells lovely a sort of blackberry smell and the liquid is a rose colour. It i thickish and syruppy taste but nice all the same. The box says and I have to copy this bit diphenhydramine, dextromethorphan and levomenthol which causes a soothing effect that relieves persistant coughs.
Benylin is a good brand and reliable and trustworthy.
So next time you get a cough I would definately recommend that you give this a try.
Wanting to go for a cheapish but not Mcdonalds meal with all the family we thought that we would try out the new Harvester that had just opened in Swindon.
The first thing you notice is that there is plenty of parking for free.
On entering the Harvester they ask how many of you are in the party and there being 8 plus 2 young children in ours that didnt make any difference to them anymore than us saying just the two of us.
They will then lead you to a table. If they are very busy they will take your name and call you when the table is ready. You can go and sit in another part and have a drink while waiting. They will tell you roughly how long the wait will be.
It is waitress table service. They give you plenty of time to order and dont rush you.
While you are waiting for your meal to come you can go up to the salad bar. This is free, you can eat as much as you like and go up for refill as much as you want. The salad bar has everything from carrots, peas, cucumber, coleslaw, sweetcorn, tomatoes well I could go on but they had most salad goodies that you can think of. Also with the salad bar was freshly cooked bread rolls. These were absolutely delicious and you have to be careful that you dont eat too many of them so that you are too full for the main course.
The menu is done good. You can have a starter, and then choose your main meal. These are from £5.95 to about £11.95 and can be either healthy eating, vegetarian or steaks.
They then have a list of sauces, sides and steaks. What you do is choose one from each category for your meal.
They do give you a generous serving. Then you can have everyones favourite dessert which a lot does come with icecream, or chocolate but looks great.
The service is quick but not too fast that the meal comes while you are eating your salad.
It is very child friendly with the childrens menu on the back of a drawing for them to colour in with the crayons that they will supply.
The highchairs are very clean and very safe.
I would truly recommend a visit to this Harvester.
Most people world wide I think have heard of ebay even if they haven't used it.
On ebay you can find to buy almost anything that you can think of and that goes for selling too no matter how big or small, how little it costs or how expensive it is.
To start using ebay you must first sign on to the site, although you can browse it without being a member if that is all you want to do.
Signing on to the site is as simple as it comes with just giving a few details of yourself. Here I would suggest that you also sign up to paypal so that you can pay for, and receive payment for the items you buy and sell without any hassle as with paypal you are protected.
Once you have signed up to ebay as a buyer you just look for any item that you wish to purchase. You can look by categories or refine your search by subject and style. Once you have found what you were looking for you will see such details as a description of the item, how long a time the auction has to go before it ends, the price the item costs at the moment you are looking at it and the buyer and where they live. You will also see the postage price that is added on top of the purchase price.
To bid for the item could not be easier. You will first see time left so that you know you still can bid. You then put an amount in the bid area. To help you it will show a price to bid and of course you can bid more than that price if you so wish. Then press place bid. You will then get an email saying congratulations you are the highest bidder or that you have been out bid. If you are outbid and you still have time there is nothing wrong with you putting in another bid. When ended if you have won you will be told by email.
If you win you can then send the amount of money by paypal if the buyer accepts paypal or otherwise they will tell you what kind of payment to send.
For the buy it now, you know the price to pay and if willing you just click buy it now and should get the item. Sometimes with the buy it now they will say you can make an offer instead. You then wait to see if the buyer will accept. If he does you have it at the price you stated otherwise I am afraid you will have to up your bid if you want that item.
If you have things to sell that ebay is great. The first thing to do is to take a photograph of your item. Take it on as low resolution as possible.
N ext list your item. Best idea is to browse categories for similar items and place it there. You can put it in just one category or a couple. Choose the lenghth of time you want it on for. Once this has been done you give your item a title, put in the condition and all the details that you can. You also upload the picture and give as good a description as you can.
You will also be asked the postage cost. You can find this out by your local post office or weigh the item and ebay will work out the cost for you and get you the label to print off.
You then sit back and wait for someone to bid. Keep an eye on your message folder incase some buyer wants to ask you a question about the item.
At the end of the bidding you will know who has purchased your item and how they are going to pay.
You then wait for paypal, or the cheque etc to clear and that is the moment you wrap the item very securely and post it to the buyer.
There are charges for putting things on ebay so check them before you start and look out for their cheaper rates days.
When you have sold it and they have received the item you can then leave Feedback to each other. This will say that you have received the payment quickly, or not, if they are pleased with it etc. For every feedback you received a point. This is all good for people wanting to buy your goods as they will look to see that you are a good buyer/seller so aim for 100% good.
I love buying and selling on ebay and must admit that I have got some great, cheap items on here. It is not only individuals but some shops will sell through ebay so the items can be brand new.
I have bought and sold 116 items and have not had any problems whatsoever. If you do though get on to ebay and they will try and sort it out for you.
Yes there has been a lot of bad things written about ebay but if you use a bit of inititive you should be okay. My only advice there is to check the buyer/seller out as you might think that you are on ebay.co.uk and therefore everything is from the UK but some are from China etc which could cause a bit of a problem but having said that I am sure a lot of people hav e bought things from China with no problem.
Yes I would definitely recommend ebay as a buyer and a seller.
I hope that if you have never used ebay that this will help you to understand it a bit.
Looking for something to hold a portable dvd player to the back of a front seat headrest we decided to have a look in Currys even though we dont usually like currys we still went there.
As usual a couple of the staff came up and asked if they could help as soon as we stepped inside the door.
We could not find, nor did they have what we were looking for but we saw a digital camera, half price that we decided to buy as this was cheap.
A sales assistant came and found the camera out for us and mentioned that we would also need a memory card with it. A 4bit was only £4 more than the 2bit she pointed out so we also bought that.
We then followed the assistant to the tills.
I must admit that I thought here goes shes going to start on the sales patter of paying such and such for an extended guarantee.
She did. Ah but when we said no she went to her computer and said that if she typed in a code and got the memory £10 off would we then pay the £1.98 to have a three year guarantee where the camera would be exchanged straightaway if dropped or damaged etc. We could not get the £10 off on its own.
So for the first time ever we bought an extended guarantee. When we got home looking at the paper it does state exactly as she said. Only time will tell if they will honour it in the future if we have bad luck with it.
So on this visit we were very pleased with Currys and I would after that visit recommend them.
After a visit to the doctors and being told that he was on the verge of being diabetic (0.1 on the scale) my husband was told to cut down on sugar and that might do the trick.
My husband said he would cut out sugar at the weekend and take sweeteners then.
The next day I went and bought some Sweetex sweeteners and put two in every cup of his coffee. Come the weekend when he was going to start having sweeteners I had to confess that he had been having them in his coffee for 3 days!
So what did he think of it? just that I might have changed the coffee or put in a different amount than I usually do but he was okay with the taste.
Sweetex are calorie free so good if you want to diet.
They are sodium saccharin based table-top sweeteners.
The dispenser is very neat and can fit in your pocket or handbag.
To use them you just press down the green top to dispense of the tablets. Each one represents one teaspoon of sugar.
I found though that it is best to put them into the cup before the water for coffee or tea and then stir. I found that if you made the tea or coffee and then put them in they did seem to fizz a bit and looked a bit unsightly on the top of your drink.
Of course your drink tastes a bit different but you do soon get used to taking them as they are not quite as sweet as sugar but passable.
My husband did go back to the doctors months later and wasn't on the scale that time. I must admit that I didn't think I would get him to take sweeteners but now he has them and has not gone back to sugar which is a good adv ertisement for Sweetex.
You can buy them in different amounts from 100 to 1200 but look around as the price does vary a lot.
Like a lot of people now and again I get a back ache, well actually pain, that can last for days and I found that taking tablets only helped for an hour or two and besides that I dont like taking tablets.
So one day while we were in a chemist we spotted deep heat patches.
I had tried deep heat cream before and found that it did work but I felt subconscience if I went out with it on or if anyone in the house came near me as I am sure you can smell it a mile away.
Deep heat patches are £5.99 for 4 which does sound a bit expensive but then when you have got a back hurting you you dont much care about the price do you only if it will work. So we bought it.
You have to have clean dry skin and not use on broken skin or even bruises or on your face - which I honestly cannot believe anyone would want to even put it there.
You tear open the packet which is plastic and uncover the film from the patch. The patch looks like those patches you get if you try to give up smoking but a bit bigger, about 4 x 4 inches. Then basically put it on your back where the pain is most, like you would a plaster.
It does advertise as warming up after 5 minutes but I found it took closer to 10 minutes but when it did oooo you can feel the pain easing off.
You can keep the patch on up to 8 hours but I would think that by then most pains would have gone
I like the fact that these pads are odourless.
When you have finished with the pad you just throw it away and hope that you dont have need for the other 3 in the box but you have always got them if needed.
I would definately recommend them as they do really work.