Starting Point: North Shore RV Park, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Finishing Point: Canadream Toronto Centre, Toronto, Ontario, and then on to Niagara!
Distance Travelled: 182km
We were off bright and (insanely) early today in order to get to the Canadream centre on time. Getting the inside of the campervan thoroughly clean had been easy, getting the outside thoroughly clean…not so much. Apparently jet washes don’t exist in petrol stations in Toronto. The best we could do was find a hose out the back of one of the stations, and between that, a hand brush, some rags, and a broom, we managed to do a pretty decent job. We made it to the centre without incident and got ourselves sorted before we were dropped off at the train station to get into Union Station.
Union station is MENTAL. It’s like 90% corridors and doesn’t even look like a train station. Hopelessly we wandered…and wandered… and wandered… and finally made it to the main hall, which actually looked like an actual part of a train station. It’s beautiful, very large and ornate, and there’s a cute piano at one end of the hall, part of the piano project. At this stage, having not really eaten, we were in a desperate state for food, so once we’d bought our tickets for Niagara we headed straight for a sports bar beside the station – I got a burger and Alice got tacos, both super tasty!
A train and a bus journey later, we found ourselves in Niagara. The bus station is in downtown Niagara, which is older and less touristy, but which has free Wi-Fi and music playing over speakers set up around the area, it’s really quirky and cute! The walk to the BnB was torture though; we definitely haven’t adjusted these backpacks properly. We made it to the BnB just as the rain stated and oh my God our room is so beautiful! The building itself is having a massive extension done, so the outside is a total construction zone, but it’s look amazing when it’s done. There were vouchers in the room for different tasting experiences, one of which was for ice wine – I wish we had longer here so I could go and see what that is, I’ve never heard of ice wine before!
Our priorities straight, we opted for showers first and checking maps and bus routes second. By the time we were ready to go it was absolutely raining cats and dogs, such rubbish! However, we put on our Pac-a-macs and headed out anyway. The falls and main strip for Niagara are only a 15 minute walk away, and in that short time we were SOAKED.
The main tourist strip is MENTAL – it’s full of restaurants, tourist shops, arcades and best of all, haunted houses. AJ 100% put her foot down that we were not going near them. I agree that we don’t have time to go, but still…boo….
With the rain not letting up, I was adamant I wanted to get inside and get food. The first place we went to said it would be a 20 minute wait. I had taken my hood down at this point, so I was happy with that, but AJ wasn’t… I may or may not have gotten a little crabby over that, but thankfully the next place we tried got us seated straight away. First thing I spotted on the menu was poutine, and fearing that I may not get another chance to have it, I went for it, while AJ had a chicken dish. The restaurant was nice: about three different sports on the TVs around the bar, really cool antler lampshades, and lots of fishing and hunting knick-knacks on the walls and whatnot. When I went to the bathroom I passed a table with three couples sitting at it; all the women were on one side reading the menu, and all the men were on the other, all shining the lights on their phones on their menus, ha!
After dinner we stopped off for a quick drink at a craft beer bar – I tried a citrusy beer while AJ tried a Niagara larger, both pretty nice. There was a guy playing acoustic guitar and singing, he was really amazing, and he’s started a project called ‘The Globe Series,’ which is one YouTube, so I’m definitely going to check it out!
Too soon, it was time to get down to the dock for the Niagara Fall Illumination Cruise that Hornblower do at night. As is typical of AJ and myself, we’d looked at the map, gone, “Oh yeah, I know where that is,” and then failed to double check that what we thought was the place was actually the place. This lead to us frantically wandering around for a few minutes trying to find the entrance to the Hornblower Cruise. All was well though and in no time we were on the boat, red ponchos on and cameras at the ready. The falls looked beautiful all lit up in different colours, and it was fun going near them and getting sprayed with the mist. The one disappointment was that the big horseshow falls wasn’t really lit up (contra to what the advertising posters promised) so we couldn’t see it very well/at all. Still, it was an amazing experience!
For some bizarre reason, travelling always makes me tired, even though we barely do anything but sit on a train/bus/platform and wait, so all we wanted afterwards was to sleep.
Tomorrow we have the whole day to explore the falls and attractions before we head back in to Toronto; I’m so excited to see the falls up close!