This is the ninth of a series of posts dealing with my second and most recent trip to Toronto. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Due to how recent the trip was, there is only one update to note below.
Got in a bit later than expected after a late under the wire meet with my long time friends Dave and Jan. Then the next morning got up early and took the 300C bus along Bloor to Yonge, then the YUS to Dundas, where I visited Dundas Square before going to the bus depot.
I waited for the Montreal bus to lave and then grabbed the front of the line. However it was a single-decker and a bus driver was riding the bus so i still didn't get a front seat anyway.
The bus was supposed to arrive at the Buffalo bus depot at 9:40 but only arrived at the border then so arrived almost exactly an hour late. On the plus side, I was the first off the bus at Customs and I had my documents together in a bag, so I was also the first person to be cleared. I'd take boredom over that kind of stress any day. I can't say that I was too impressed with Buffalo. It seemed kind of rundown, even the newer looking buildings.
I grabbed a late breakfast at Tim Horton's; a Tim Horton's in the US is so wrong I just had to eat there. I then walked to the courthouse after a brief stop at a convention centre when I grabbed a free magazine with a map. The info guy there recommended a tour of the courthouse so time was tight so I opted just for the free observation deck. The courthouse's free observation deck is on the 28th floor, so if you do visit Buffalo it's pretty much a must-do. Easily the highlight of that part of the day.
I wandered around and checked a few convenience stores, grabbing a pop and a DVD at Walgreen's; along the way I saw a couple funny signs: "Buffalo Small Animal Care", "Trinity Ave/One Way". I rode the light rail in the free area a little. When the doors open, steps unfold. At one stop I asked someone if the bus I needed stopped there she wasn't sure; it turned out it did but that's fine because i ended up getting it at an earlier stop.
I took the 40A to Niagara Falls NY; someone was sitting behind me so my bag was warming me to the point of nearly nodding off. I grabbed a drink at 7-11 and then headed to the falls; an observation deck nearby was closed; it's also free when open. Got some nice shots of the falls and the area behind the US one. A platform hanging over the river that was free in March 2011 cost $1 this time, probably because it shares its space with the US Maid of the Mist.
I crossed the Rainbow Bridge (grey coloured) to Niagara Falls, ON, clearing customs; they didn't ask if I bought anything. Even those it meant losing out on an attraction on my Adventure Pass that I wasn't that interested in (a movie called Niagara's Fury; it ended at 4 today and only started at 10:30 am tomorrow), I next walked to the hostel to drop off my stuff. Cash only.
i walked further north to the White Water Walk, one of the attractions included with the pass. It was decent, powerful rapids.
I took a shuttle also included in the pass to the Canadian Maid of the Mist (part of the pass), choosing the top floor/open air. Someone got married on the boat before it took off. There was no baggage storage so when it was time to switch to a cheaper camera as the boat got closer to the falls, I had to really protect my good camera and make sure it didn't get wet. I think though even the cheap camera survived.
I walked along Clinton Hill, where all the tacky attractions are (eg Guinness Book of World Records Museum, Movieland wax museum, Haunted Castle, etc; I ate a very late lunch (5ish) at the Burger King with the sign of the Frankenstein Monster holding a Whopper. I walked to Lundy's Lane where I checked out a pawn shop and a comic shop, then headed back to the falls, getting turned around once or twice, which dehydrated me, an issue because there's no water fountains in the area. I used my pass on Journey behind the Falls. There are two windows behind the Canadian falls, but it's actually an observation area beside the falls that's most impressive. Curiously it was raining at the Canadian falls area only (also during the later visit below)
i went off in search of water from more to know avail, checking out shops along the way. i had a late dinner at the Tim Horton's on Clifton Hill (including what I thought was a Slurpee drink but turned out to be an iced coffee). I took some early sundown photos of Clifton Hill, some sundown/night photos of the falls (walking around some barriers; I think some filming was happening; the American falls had multi-coloured lights. Then I returned to the hostel.
[NOW: The filming was for someone crossing the Falls, which happened some time the next day after I left town].