Friday, July 2, 2010

Niagara Falls and onwards...

Day 2 at the Falls included another ride up the Skylon Tower for some daytime shots - worked much better! Also took in the view from Table Rock, right alongside the horseshoe falls. My mind just boggles at the amount of water. And not just at Niagara. Just one of Michigan's lakes would be enough to fix Australia's drought I reckon.
The town of Niagara Falls is completely set up to exploit the tourist dollar. 300 (approx) hotels, countless gift and souvenir shops, restaurants and two big casinos. We saw a few private homes, but not many really. The big hotels - the Sheratons (there are two), the Radisson, the Hilton, the Marriot, etc, completely dominate the skyline and block the views of most of the older, smaller hotels and venues. Someone, I forget who, told us that most of that development has happened in the last 12 years or so. Parking is a killer! To go to the Skylon Tower and then to Table Rock cost $28 just in parking fees. Of course, if you're fitter than us you could probably walk and save a packet. The carpark at Table Rock directs you straight into a gift/souvenir shop area, which you have to go through to get out to the falls. I bought a couple of t-shirts but managed to resist most of the offerings.
The Falls themselves, though, make it all worthwhile. They are a magnificent sight.
Anyway, we left Niagara at about midday, planning to be back at Shirl's at about 6pm.
We got to the 7 kilometres to the border sign and traffic just stopped. It hadn't even been heavy. About 3 and a half, maybe 4, hours later we crossed back into the US. Unbelievable. It took about 20 minutes to cross into Canada the day before under pretty much the same traffic conditions (before the jam, that is).
So we got back to Shirl's at close to 10pm. Poor Gisela then had to drive another 90 minutes to her home. Mammoth effort. I was pleased to see, on facebook, this morning that she got home safely.

Then I packed up all my gear and caught a couple of hours sleep. Up again at 3.30am to get to Grand Rapids to catch a 6am flight to Boston, via Detroit. You'd think that would be easily done. But no, I was 3 minutes too late to check in my luggage and had to catch a later flight instead. And pay another $50.
Detroit airport, by the way, does NOT have free wifi.
Anyway, arrived in Boston a bit later than scheduled, but better late than never so it's all good.
Janet picked me up and here I am at her lovely little place somewhere in the Boston area.
It'll be nice to see the ocean again.

It's interesting, you know, where people want to take me, to show off their happy places - the Flint Hills, the Great Lakes, and now the ocean. Wide open spaces, natural features. Peace and quiet. There's something profound about that I think.


No comments: