All Aboard The Orient Express Once Again

Trip Start Jul 31, 2013
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Trip End Sep 06, 2013


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What I did

Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, August 29, 2013

  Getting up at 5am this morning was not easy, I really wanted to stay in bed, but we have a bus to catch and another exciting trip to take.
 It's a bit like De` Ja` vu.  The tour we took from LA to San Francisco was predominately Chinese people, well I think we are on the same bus again, only this time Fred & I are the only Europeans.  We were sat on the bus for at least 30 minutes before departure, and without a word of a lie one lady got her suitcase out of the luggage hold and re-packed it not once, but 3 times.  She would no sooner get back on the bus then 5 minutes later she was off again, dragging her suitcase on to the pavement where she would put something in, or take something out, re-jig it and put it back.  Fascinating.
 I swear they put fairy dust through the air con on these buses, as we have now joined the Chinese and become sleepers.  I don't normally sleep on transport, but today I just couldn't keep  awake.  Hope one of the Chinese haven't taken a picture of me and put it on their blog like I did to a couple of them on our San Francisco tour.
 Our first stop today was at Watkins Glen where we took a gorge walk.  After that we travelled through some very pretty countryside.   It's a big wine growing region in the finger lake district.  One good thing about travelling on a bus is that you're high up, so we got some lovely views of the vineyards framed by Lake Seneca in the background.  The little colonial town of Geneva was almost picture perfect, complete with folks in rocking chairs on the front verandas.
 We arrived on the American side of Niagara Falls about 7.30pm we had a little walk around then went to see a presentation of Smokin Joe's Spirit of the Mist.  It is a traditional song and dance show performed by native American Indians from several different tribes.  I don't want to be unkind, but the presentations did all appear to be very similar, even so it was quite entertaining.
 We got our first glimpse of the falls about 10.30pm as we crossed over the border into Canada.   The Canadian side has a rather lively night life, looks a bit like a mini Vegas with all the illuminations and casinos.  We could have taken a 10 minute walk to see the falls at night, but it's been a very long day, so Fred & I are going to take a shower and hit the sack.
 30/8/13  We checked out of our hotel this morning at 7.30am.  Our coach driver dropped us off at the Maid of the Mist departure terminal 40 mins earlier, so that we could have a bit of a walk around before taking the 8.30am cruise.  Niagara Falls is without doubt an awesome sight, the noise of the water thundering over the cliffs is ceaseless, and what appears to be fog is the fine mist that permanently shrouds the falls.  Our cruise on the Maid of the Mist was quite exciting, you can really feel the energy and force, of one of Mother Natures little works of art.  The clouds had cleared, the sun was out, so even being soaked by the spray was quite pleasant.  The falls are a result of an earthquake thousands of years ago, and I was told that 70,000 gallons of water per second tumbles over these cliffs.  That's a whole lot of water.
 Lunch today was at the Skylon revolving restaurant.  Fred and I nearly wet our selves when we realised that we were on a lift that travelled up to the top on the outside of the building.  We daren't look, we kept our eyes firmly focussed on the floor.
 We sat with a nice young Chinese couple for lunch, the only thing to mar the ambiance of the occasion was Mr Shouter.  This guy has been getting on every bodies tits.  He has a henpecked wife and two lovely children.  He cannot speak without shouting.  It just got too much for Fred at lunch time when he had to listen to Mr Shouter shouting at his daughter Sarah for not posing properly for the photos he was taking.  Finally Fred turned around and told him to keep it down and to stop shouting.  The waiter tapped Fred on the shoulder and said.  "Thanks buddy, you've just help me control my stress level today."  From then on in every time the waiter passed he shared a joke with Fred.  However, Mr Shouter could not be contained for too long, before lunch had finished he was off again.  No wonder his wife looks so harassedLunch was really nice, we had fresh salmon and vegetables, and a birds eye view of the falls.  Quite spectacular. 
 We then travelled another couple of hours to Toronto, the largest city in Canada.  We declined the tour of the 553 meter high CNN Tower.  Fred and I had barely recovered from the trip up to the revolving restaurant at lunch time.
 First impressions of Toronto - full of high rise buildings made of glass and steel, very little variance in shape or colour.  We finished off the afternoon with a cruise on Lake Ontario, which was very pleasant, sitting  on the top deck basking in the sun and taking in the lovely scenery.Dinner was a quick trip to China Town for a seafood buffet.   It's been another hectic day but a good one.       
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Comments

Caz on

Niagara looks awesome

Matron on

Niagara Falls would have had me emotional - im filling up.

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