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Monday, April 11, 2011

Another US icon, we can tick off!...

Last Thursday morning we headed out of New York City. DH picked up the hire car which was just a few streets away from our hotel. We took off from our hotel into what was for us, chaotic traffic! DH had planned our exit from the city via the Brooklyn Tunnel. That went without a hitch.
The traffic outside our hotel

Inside the Brooklyn Tunnel

Then, not long after that we came to a toll road...$8. I had the money ready but in all the traffic we found ourselves in the wrong for cars with ‘tags/e/passes which we obviously didn’t have. We found that we couldn’t change lanes at that late stage, especially with all those impatient drivers behind we drove straight through! Ooh wah! We found out later after a couple of phone calls that we couldn’t pay online (like you can in Brisbane) and that the fine would be $50. There was no way we could make it right. The hire company will get the fine and they will pass it on to us.

This bridge will have cost us $58 to use...$8 toll and $50 fine!

New Jersey Streets

The lookout in New Jersey; behind the 'Inuit' woman is NYC

One of the many stone overpass bridges in the state of NJ
Our journey took us into New Jersey and we passes through some delightful suburban areas and country open spaces. We stopped at one lookout which faced towards NYC. It was quite misty and very cold. After driving through part of New Jersey, we came back into New York State. The further we drove the more we were enchanted by the countryside and also the lovely laidback feel of these areas. We had well and truly left behind those monstrous freeways! Our journey took us near the Catskills Mtns.

The carpark of our lunch stop; the snow had been ploughed to the back

Where we had lunch; really lovely people running the store and really nice food!
Our original destination that day was Buffalo but we ended up driving on to the town of Niagara Falls (New York state) so that the next day wouldn’t be as onerous for DH. The motel we stayed in is the base for tours to the falls but they were not operating as it’s not the season. The next day we drove over the border into Canada. The immigration fellow on the border who dealt with us couldn’t have been more surly and rude if he tried. But he didn’t put us off! Just over the border in Canada is a giant ‘resort’ which is full of amusements. Surprisingly it was open, so I had a ride on the Ferris Wheel; on my own as DH hates heights. The wheel gave a good view of part of the falls. Then we wandered around the shops so that DH could look for T shirts and caps. I bought a few gifts for friends.

The US/Canadian Border; I got into trouble for using my camera there!

The big wheel on which I rode...on my own! No one else was on that wheel.

Part of the resort area of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The large tower towards the left is the casino
Finally we drove to the road which has lookouts/observation points overlooking the falls. (this is still from the Canadian side. The falls didn’t disappoint! They are incredible, the size/width, the different colours in the water, the roaring sound, the mist, the sheer scope of what you see! There was still a lot of ice and snow and of course it was freezing cold to be there. I wore thermals, 2 skivvies, 2 jackets, warm trackpants, scarf and furry hat! We observed the falls from 2 points on the Canadian side and DH walked further on to the part of the path where the falls are only a few feet away and the spray washes over people there. Because I had a sore throat I decided that deliberately getting wet wasn’t too clever!

The big ice sheet on the US side of the falls

From the Canadian side

The 'Maid of the Mist' tour boats which are not working until May
A little black/brown squirrel climbing the tree. (US side on Goat Island)

Then we went to the US side to a number of vantage points there. There were tours that went down to lower levels but we had decided to just do our own thing and we were quite happy with that decision. Going to Niagara meant we had to journey a fair way out of our way but we both agreed it was worth it; an experience not to be missed!

1 comment:

Claud said...

Hi Maria! Here is my email

It's always good to hear from you :-)