Day three is when we get to the pretty stuff!
The morning of Day 3, we discovered what was to become our favorite eatery, the Buckhorn Cafe which is attached to any TA Truckstop. Seriously, good, fast, and cheap.
From Erie PA, it's a short hop up I-90 to and through Buffalo into the Niagara Falls area. Pretty nice day today, but the closer we got to Buffalo, the chillier it became, until we hit the low forties Fahrenheit just before getting to the border.
Crossing the Niagara River at Fort Erie, the southernmost bridge:
Canada didn't even ask for photo ID before letting us into their country
On the Canadian side, in Ontario, we took the Niagara River Parkway north along the west shore of the Niagara for several miles, through the beautiful small town of Chippawa, and into Niagara Falls proper.
Chippawa area and the less-touristy side of Niagara Falls:
I wish I'd taken photos of the homes along this stretch of road, because there was a lot of beautiful property there. I also imagine it is quite expensive property.
There is a monument to the Chippawa Battlefield, where the Canadians staved off an army of invading Americans
(No one seems pissed off about it nowadays, though.)
As we enter Niagara proper, we see the rapids:
and then the falls themselves.
A lot of ice and snow yet:
After the waterfall itself, of course the elevation of the river is much lower, but the walkways and city are at the higher elevation of the river pre-falls. There are enormous walls along the lower side of the falls for miles which are lined with stone and brick, old structures and free-standing buildings, and a few things we found mysterious. I would have liked more time to explore these, although how you can get down along the walls safely and legally is another question, I suppose.
There is a building on the Canadian side that houses huge lights that are shined on the falls at night, in colors that constantly shift. (We took these from the Space Needle.)
The first night, we had dinner at the Guru, an indian restaurant that I would highly recommend to anyone else who visits the area. Excellent food and service.
We were in Niagara for a couple of days, we arrived Monday early in the day and left midday Wednesday. We visited this neat Buddhist temple north of the touristy area of Niagara Falls:
Some beautiful statues and carvings to see here, in stone and bronze.
While there, we encountered a taxi driver, Norm, who introduced himself as a self-appointed Protector of the temple. He gave us some friendly advice, namely, a Category 7 hurricane will strike the southeastern US sometime in June or July, and will sit right over Atlanta, wreaking havoc and destruction. Norm said we should definitely seek out high ground during this, one of the phenomena marking the beginning of the End Times. We mentioned that Atlanta was roughly 1000' above sea level, would this be high enough to escape death? Perhaps, he agreed, perhaps it would be high enough.
So, to wipe from our minds the specter of certain death, we went to a goofy shop, Souvenir City, and had our photo taken with an enormous plaster moose and then in a diorama sort of thing.
We watched a resident glassblower do his work, too.
We went to the American side of the Niagara River, and found it to be very inferior to the Canadian side. You just don't get the same view of the falls (although there is a little foot bridge which protrudes over the river to give non-passported Americans a decent view), and it's pretty trashy and dismal on that side. We were also approached by 'Mike', a fifty-plus-year-old man reeking of smoke of the ganja variety and dressed in garb meant to look official though clearly not official at all, who did his best to extort a $5 'parking fee' from us. Unsuccessful, he then followed us around until we took our photos and left.
We did enjoy a ride around tiny Goat Island, a really pretty little park which was also graced by black squirrels, something I had never seen before, and red squirrels as well. We took to calling them 'squirrels of color', which I guess means we're easily amused. I wasn't successful in photographing any of them, though.
On our last night, we rode the ferris wheel, great fun and great view.
Then we went to Jack's Bar and watched a really great cover band whose name escapes me, but Kenny will remember and probably will correct this post.
We had so much fun, we hated to leave.
It was also pretty chilly, in the low forties Wednesday morning, although Tuesday it was mostly in the fifties.