Monday, 30th May
We sadly waved goodbye to our home for nearly a week and set off with Bob and Nancy on the six hour journey to Niagara Falls. First stop was at the best coffee shop in the Adirondacks. To think we only discovered it today. We both ordered cortados and a croissant. Definitely a nine. It was about two hours to Albany travelling south and then another two to Syracuse where Bob and Nancy’s friends John and Linda had invited us for lunch. Again they were very friendly people and we were sorry to move on but the falls beckoned. The plan was for Bob and Nancy to drop us off at the Rainbow Bridge where we would walk across and catch a taxi to our hotel.
However they were on the bridge and had paid the toll and before they knew it they were in Canada. We all showed our passports and after answering a few questions we continued on to a car park where we farewelled our hosts and went in search of a taxi. New York it was not so we gave up and walked.
It was only about a kilometre but the hill was steep and the day was hot so we were glad to reach the Doubletree Fallsview Hilton, shower and go out to check out the falls. The view from the front of the casino would have been good if there weren’t so many trees. But we saw enough to whet our appetite for more tomorrow. We have booked a double decker bus tour. So that should be fairly stress free.
Dinner was at Barefoot Joes. It was not memorable.
Tuesday, 31st May
Another beautiful day. The weather has been so good. I stood at the window at 6 am and watched the mist rising from the two sets of falls. We had breakfast at a diner. It started off reasonably priced. Then there is tax and then a minimum of 15 percent tip and next thing you know it is expensive.
I was trying to book a bus to Toronto for tomorrow on my iPad but every time I put in my credit card it was rejected. Finally I rang Megabus from the room phone and paid for it over the phone. It cost more but by then I was getting desperate. We will be catching the 11.15 am bus to Toronto arriving at 1.20 pm.
Today was a lazy day in that we were picked up in a 1960s double decker bus and driven to various places of interest in Niagara.
The first was Journey Behind the Falls, then the Whirlpool Aero Car above the Niagara River and finally the long awaited Hornblower Cruise. Maid of the Mist leaves from the USA side and Hornblower from the Canadian. It was truly spectacular seeing and feeling all that water pounding around us. It certainly did not disappoint. We also got to see a bit of the area on the tour including the bus station we’ll be leaving from tomorrow. Dinner was at an Italian restaurant near our hotel and was better than last night.
Wednesday 1st June
We didn’t have to hurry this morning so slept in. The Starbucks downstairs was run by an Italian woman named Maria. I asked her for a double shot espresso with some steamed milk. She said it was a macchiato in Italy but added a bit of extra milk. It was certainly good. Best coffee I have ever had in Starbucks.
A taxi took us to the bus station where we caught a Coach Canada bus to Toronto. The trip was very scenic and followed Lake Ontario for much of the way. It looked huge like an ocean but you could see the tall buildings of Toronto in the distance across the water. There is new dense housing development along the water’s edge. As we drove into Toronto we marvelled at the number of modern high rise buildings and the freeway which carved its way through them. We could see our hotel from the bus depot which was a lucky coincidence as we only had to wheel our bags a short distance. At Doubletree Toronto Hilton we were given our warm choc chip cookies and sent up to the 19th floor.
With only an afternoon to see Toronto we opted to go up the CN Tower. It used to be the tallest tower in the world but now is number three. We had good views of the waterfront and the islands just off the shore. There is an airport at one end of the islands so we watched planes take off as well as all sorts of boats on the water. Just below the tower is Rogers stadium where a big baseball match is being held tonight between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. (nb Blue Jays beat Yankees 7 nil.)
We were both tired after a long walk to Union Station to check out where we leave tomorrow. It is being renovated so is a bit of a mess. Anyway we ordered pizza in our room and making the most of the guest laundry room did a load of washing. I think that Holland America has a laundry which will be a big improvement on past cruises. As long as it isn’t in the bowels of the ship. That is a sure recipe for seasickness as in my honeymoon cruise on the Oriana in 1972