Thursday, July 1, 2010

Niagara Falls

What a place to spend the last day of Month One of my Grand Tour!
Gisela picked me up from Shirl's at 9am and we promptly headed north. Shirl had to go back to work and couldn't make the trip. That was a bummer.
The drive to Niagara Falls took about 6 hours. Crossing the border took about 20 or 30 minutes and was painless - no finger-printing and photographing like when entering the US. The bits of Canada I saw from the road reminded me a lot more of Australia than the US does - something about the way the place is set out. More of a general feeling than anything to do with the details.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn overnight - a Hilton subsidiary. Haha, now I can say I stayed at a Hilton hotel :) Nice room, plenty of space and the wifi works :)
After settling in we decided to take a tour of the Falls area - the Canadian Illumination Tour for about $80. The tour included a bus drive around some of the other sights here - the floral clock, whirlpool, etc. It also includes a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat, which takes you right up close and personal with the falls. That was incredible. It was difficult to get decent pictures of the horseshoe falls though as it's partially hidden behind the mist and spray it throws up. I think I got some nice rainbow shots though. The mist and spray can be seen from all different parts of town - it throws it up pretty damned high!
The last stop on the tour is the Skylon tower. We had to ride up to the viewing deck in the external lift/elevator. Didn't like that much hehe. The view from the top is spectacular though. The falls are lit up with coloured lights at night and look really pretty. My attempts to photograph the lights failed miserably though. We're going back up there today so I'm hoping to get some better shots. Won't be any lights though.
Niagara Falls is quite a large town and caters almost exclusively to tourists. Something like 300 hotels and who knows how many souvenir shops!
Okay, time to get moving. Today is the start of Month Two of my trip. The first month has been spectacular. Truly amazing. That's due solely to two things: 1. The amazing places I've seen. 2. The absolutely fantastic people I've met.
I've been spoilt rotten and, haha, I love it :)

Happy Canada Day.


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