Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Canada, Ontario, Day 4 - Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen (NY)

3rd October This morning I woke up again at 5am for an early start, like previous days.  This time I had to be at Gray's visitor centre located at 777 8th Avenue by 7am.  Of course it was also raining that morning, not too heavy, but still raining.  Thankfully it petered out the rest of the day.  But I arrived with around close to half an hour to spare.  Thereafter the Spanish speaking people got into another bus and the English speakers got into another bus.  The English guide was a Japanese guy named Hide who had been living in NY for over 10 years now.

The burrito from the previous night from Chipotle was put to good use in the bus as my breakfast.  We finally set off around 7:45pm after everyone was confirmed on board.  There was also a Spanish guide on the same bus.  Some people on board the bus couldn't get to stay on the Canadian side due to some visa requirements, so they had to stay overnight on the American side.  There was a woman from Singapore sat close to me, and for some reason she couldn't go to the Canadian side, she wasn't sure of what her visa allowed her to do, and so she had to stay on the American side.  There was also some Norwegian women in their 50s and a young Swedish couple.  Yep the Scandinavian aura still follows me wherever I go.

Anyway if you're thinking why Niagara Falls, you can thank "Superman II" for that.  Since I was young beyond I can remember I've always wondered about the Niagara Falls.

9am First stop of the day on the bus was at a McDonald's in Pennsylvania.  I'm not a big fan of McDonald's, but I was still hungry so I had some hash browns.  I talked to the woman from Singapore, she's in NY for a month now, first time living outside Singapore and she said she might be there for a year.  She's working in finance.

12pm We stopped for lunch at Horseheads, a buffet place named Lin Buffet.  It was $15 or so.  No tip required.  It was typical Chinese American, which means super oily Chinese food and lots of American food like pizza.  It's pretty hard to find a buffet place without American food.

My 2nd serving of buffet food.

After that we drove to Watkins Glen.

1pm Arrived in Watkins Glen, it was drizzling lightly, but not so bad.  We did a fast walk from the top all the way to the bottom.  There was a gorge and some pretty nice waterfalls.

Watkins Glen.

Waterfalls, Watkins Glen.

Gorge, Watkins Glen.

Bridge, Watkins Glen.

We resumed our trip to the falls after that, going past finger lakes, then we dropped off some passengers at the American hotel and went past the rainbow bridge, and we were finally in Canada!

We stopped for a bit and I went to take some photos, it was rainy unfortunately but I still took some decent photos.  The American falls are on the US side and the Canadian side has the horseshoe falls.

American falls.

Horseshoe falls from Superman II

Around 5:45pm or so it was time to check into the hotel, it was about a 15 minute drive from the falls, so not that far.  I was given a room with 2 queen beds, enough for 4 persons.  It was overkill, but I wasn't complaining.  At 6:30pm the bus picked us up again and drove us into town where we could have dinner or walk around, that was pretty much the end of the tour for that day.

7:00pm I spent time walking around looking for some place to eat, eventually I settled for Weinkeller, which sounds German but isn't, it just serves really good food.  I paid about 60 Canadian dollars for a 3 course meal including tip, it's not cheap but damn it was good!  There were also indian food places, which were a lot cheaper but I'm not visiting Canada to eat Indian food.


Goat's cheese.

Salmon with brown rice.

After dinner I looked for some souvenirs, post cards to be specific, and bought some water and souvenir pins.  After that I walked back to the falls and took night photos, it was quite cool to see the light show on the falls.  Windy as anything so dress warmly if you ever go.

Downtown Victoria Avenue.

Horseshoe falls with the city on the right.

This is the project which colours up the falls.

Horseshoe falls at night.

American falls on the left and Horseshoe falls on the right.

Around 10:30pm or so I walked back to the hotel.  Lights out was probably close to 1am while I copied out my photos from my camera.  I realised I had left my sleeping clothes in the hostel, so I sent them an email hoping my clothes would still be there when I return tomorrow.  But it would another early morning the following day as we had to leave around 6:40am to go back to the US and go on the maid of the mist tour.  5:45am was the wake up call.  Saying that, it was a very long but fun filled day.

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