Hop skip and a jump to Canada

Trip Start Jul 24, 2007
Trip End Nov 11, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, July 29, 2007

Being as the Canadian border is so close to here I thought it would be rude not to just pop over and have a look at the falls from the Canadian side which is, according to everyone, the side with the better view!

Jennifer, one of the other girls staying at the hostel, from California said she wanted to go too so before setting off on the 6 mile walk she suggested that we have some breakfast in this cheap place she had found. I'm not sure what its called but if you're in Niagara you need to head from the hostel away from the falls towards the hospital and the supermarket which is on the map that Chan will give you and keep walking. I actually wouldn't have known that it was a cafe unless Jennifer had been with me because it just looked like a closed down shop and I don't think that you could actually see in the windows but it was great. It was a real traditional American place where you sit at the counter and they cook the food where you can see them and of course you get the bottomless cup of coffee. I ordered an omlette which came with toast and "home fries" which are just cooked potato chopped up and griddled. It took forever because everything is done fresh but nobody moaned, the place was packed and I was enjoying watching the guy cook and soaking up the atmosphere! When breakfast finally did arrive (about 45 minutes and 6 cups of coffee after we arrived!) it was huge and soo delicious all for the price of $3 no need to eat for the rest of the day I doubt! It was one of those experiences that you'll remember forever though just because.

The weather has been absolutely fantastic since I arrived in the states and today is no exception. I never brought any sunscreen with me because I thought the weather would be rubbish but I have already managed to slightly burn my shoulders which is not good news when you have to carry a backpack! anyway we walked down to the falls and across the border and I got my Canadian stamp in my passport which says that I can stay in Canada until January 2008.

The Canadian side of the falls is much more, how do you put it, commercialised or tacky. There are neon lights everywhere and souvenirs shops every 10 footsteps but the views are much better because you are looking directly at the falls rather than down on them and of course you can get much closer to the horseshoe falls. So we walked and walked and walked right pass both the falls, the hydro power centre, the sunken barge almost up to the dam until our feet hurt so much and we needed a drink so bad that we managed to grab the free falls tram back to the main areas where we grabbed some ice cream (I had orange sherbet and it was the best ice cream I've had for ages!!) under the shade of a nearby tree and just catching the spray from the falls which as it was so hot was real refreshing!

We returned, with sore feet to the hostel to shower and for me the intention to return to the falls this evening to see them lit up. Chan was busy ordering Chinese takeaway for everyone and as it was so cheap ($3 for beef in Oyster Sauce and rice) I indulged.

One of the other guys from the hostel was keen to go down to the falls and so, as the area between the hostel and the falls is not the best it was good to have someone to walk down there with. Henry has been traveling around the states for the last 5 weeks during the summer break from Uni and is about to return home to try and replenish the money that he has spent!

I didn't actually realise until we had crossed the border into Canada that there was a firework display at 10pm, as it was 9.45pm and there really was no where to hide and I didn't want to tell the 20 year old guy I was with that I was scared of fireworks I accidentally cured myself of my fear. It was a pretty good display actually although I was disappointed with the falls at night - they look nowhere near as impressive as the pictures that I'd seen of them lit up but it was worth a look. I'm definitely glad that I came to Niagara but other than the falls (which are impressive to say the least) there really is very little to do.

There is, if its up your street, a massive casino right in the middle of the downtown area (you couldn't possible miss it). Apparently the land that it is built on is American Indian land because gambling is actually illegal in the state of New York but as they have taken so much of the land away from the Indians they have allowed them this one exception. I never went inside but apparently the decor is quite impressive and there are shops and restaurants too. Tomorrow I'm gonna be moving on - my choices are Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal but I'll leave that decision until the morning.
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