Thursday, June 4, 2015

Eastern Canada Trip 2014 Day 12 Saturday June 21 Niagara Falls ON, Grimsby, Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto

This is the 12th of a series of posts dealing with my fourth trip to Eastern Canada. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a year later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”. After I booked the trip I unexpectedly had to move and was staying at a friend’s place at the time of the trip, so I was already pretty tired before the trip back.

No longer at the mercy of limited access to internet or laptop power so I can spend a bit more time this time.

Today: I got up, passed through Clifton Hill, visited the Falls while few people were around like the previous morning, passed through Clifton Hill again en route to the hostel. The reason while I like Clifton Hill so much by the way is that it takes tackiness and makes it an artform.

[NOW: The hostel is ACBB Hostel. Part of the next paragraph got deleted somehow and had to near recreated. The falls include the American Falls on the US side, the much smaller Bridal Veil Falls also on the US side, and the Horseshoe aka Canadian Falls on both sides, but more on the Canada side.]

I passed through Clifton Hill once more, headed north, and took the Niagara River Recreation Trail to an area where you can actually reach the water, which was pretty calm; lots of guys fishing. You could see the Whirlpool Aerocar on a wire from there. I suspect that one reason this isn't noted in most guidebooks is that it's a spot where it would be relatively easy to sneak across the border; I only found out about it from the hostel people.

[NOW: While it was calm this day, the spot was called Niagara Whirlpool.]

Returning to the street I took Victoria Ave to downtown area. Ragged Glory had DVDs outside cheap, but they were packed pretty tight and a dealer came outside to watch me until I left empty handed.  I also visited Pulp Comics before taking Olympic Torch Run Legacy Trail back to Clifton Hill. At Wendy's a bird flew in and sometimes perched in camera view.  I walked along the Falls one last time, got a sample from Hershey Chocolate Factory via coupon, and walked along Clifton Hill back to the hostel where I checked out.

Walking along Victoria again, I got a drink at 7-11 and made my way to the bus terminal. I took a CoachCanada bus (Megabus connected) to Grimsby.  In St Catharines the driver waited for a couple people to get tickets, so we were slightly late getting into Grimsby. I only had time to check out one store, Milk n Things and didn't get a chance to really take in the nicer parts of Grimsby. Poor planning on my part; needed more time there to explore properly. A guy offered me a ride to my next stop, but I wanted to get in some semblance of an actual visit, thought I could make better time than I could, and had a bit of a bad vibe about the guy. I probably should have taken it because I only barely made it to the GO bus stop.

[Now: the bus terminal at Niagara Falls is called simply Niagara Falls Bus Terminal].

There I took a 12 bus (GO Transit) to Stoney Creek, part of Hamilton; a bus (Hamilton Railway, which has no trains, just busses) came right away and I took it to downtown Hamilton. I bought a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 set from Cheapies, visited in a mall, and noticed that Copps Coliseum, where the fictional Hamilton Steelheads played on the show Power Play. I can't recall the name; Ontario something Centre.

[NOW: The bus I took to downtown Hamilton was 2; is in Hamilton City Centre. Copps is now FirstOntario Centre.]

I took a 1 bus (Burlington Transit) using a transfer I got from the Hamilton bus to Burlington GO Station.  There I took an eastbound Lakeshore West train (GO Transit) to Union Station in Toronto. I just wanted to ride the double decker train once this trip. Due to construction, it was a slight hike to the restaurants at Union GO Station. I grabbed dinner at McDonald's and took it outside. A bird was going its cute bird routine. When that didn't work it did something amazing: I felt a breeze and noticed that the bird, a sparrow I think was hovering in front of me for food. It did this twice; I think the second time in particular I got some great shots.  I went to Union Station (subway) and bought a token. I took the 1 Line train (Yonge-University-Spadina line to Bloor Station and the 2 Line (Bloor-Danforth) from Bloor to Donlands. I checked in and walked to the Scotiabank for some banking.  I crossed the street to the Beer Store. Instead of the beer being on display, you had to press buttons to see what was available, making price comparison next to impossible. So I walked next door to the LCBO instead before returning to the hostel, quite tired.

[NOW: As with the earlier part of this trip, the Toronto hostel I stayed at was The Only Backpackers Inn.]

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