A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14

August 27 - Toronto to Niagara (and back, and back)

It's Saturday in Toronto and the cafe we used for the past two mornings is closed. We found a Tim Horton's on the way back to the Hotel. Good enough. After checking out we hit the road around 9.45 and made it most of the way to Niagara Falls before we realised we left our passports and US currency in the safe back in Toronto. D'oh!

We continued on and dropped Lance & Karol at the Falls so they could do their sightseeing. We then returned to Toronto to collect the things we left behind. In all the travelling we have done we have never done that before. We left Niagara to return to Toronto around 11.30 am and returned to Niagara around 5pm. We wasted virtually a whole day. The weather was very warm around 30 Celsius. On the way back we took a detour via Hamliton to try and avoid the heavy traffic on the QEW. That meant we had to cross the Wellard Canal - a waterway that includes a series of locks that allows ships to go around and upstream of the falls into Lake Erie and beyond. As luck would have it we had to wait for a ship to pass through (they raise the bridge to provide the ship clearance).

After collecting Lance & Karol we drove to our stop for the night at Niagara on the Lake. It is about 30 minutes drive downstream of the Falls where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario. It's a favourite spot of ours from when we lived in Mississauga. We did some shopping in the Christmas store there and later ate our evening meal at the Angel Inn, one of the oldest pubs in North America.

We had a lovely Spanish red wine in our room. We had a glass before dinner and finished it after tea. I'm posting a picture on the blog so I can look for it when we get home. Not a lot of photos today as most of the day was spent in the car.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 18:29 Comments (0)

Day 13

August 26 - Toronto

Sorry, was slack, no pictures today. Should have photographed our old town house.

The bad weather cleared overnight and after a minimum of 20 degrees it warmed up quickly to around 30 degrees. We returned to the same cafe for breakfast. After breakfast we drove to our old home away from home - Mississauga. Our first stop was Square One shopping mall. We had some lunch there in the food court.

After lunch we drove out to and past the townhouse we used to live in here 20 years ago. Then we returned to Toronto with the intention of doing a harbour cruise (that was included in hop on hop off ticket price). We arrived at a nearby bus stop only to learn that the next harbour cruise was 75 minutes away and that by the time that it returned the buses would no longer be running. We reluctantly skipped it and instead headed underground to the huge network of tunnels and shops in basements of CBD buildings. We covered around 4 city blocks under ground as we worked our way back to our hotel from the bus stop.

We drank some wine and played some cards in the room then headed out to a local Irish Pub for tea. We had 8 TV screens within eyesight and all were tuned to the next Blue Jays game. We left the pub about half way through the game with the Blue Jays well ahead. Hopefully they can win this one.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 17:55 Comments (0)

Day 12

25 August - Toronto

After learning lat night of the exorbitant breakfast charges at our hotel we set out on foot to find a more reasonable alternative. We did so around the corner on University St. It is your typical cafe on the ground floor of a city office building. The range is good and the prices are competitive. We'll go back there tomorrow.

After breakfast we walked to the CN Tower. We took the opportunity to use an enclosed walkway called the Skywalk and avoid the outside heat and humidity. It started out ok then ended up just that same as outside. Oh well. Karol & I went up the tower. Lance & Darlene walked to the adjacent Rogers Centre to purchase tickets for tonight's Blue Jays game. The first observation level on the CN tower is around 350 metres straight up with a commanding view of the city, the lake and surrounding areas. After we had our fill of the views and enough photos we ascended another 100 metres to the Skypod, nearly half a kilometre in the air. We couldn't see Niagara Falls or the other side of Lake Ontario due to it being a little hazy (probably all the humidity in the air) but what we did see was impressive.

Back at ground level we boarded the hop on hop off bus and took it to the St Lawrence Market where we stopped to shop and have lunch. After lunch we re-boarded the hop on hop off bus and completed the circuit. It is a 2 day ticket so we'll likely see some more tomorrow. We cut it short so we could return to the hotel and freshen up ahead of the baseball game tonight. Not long after we arrived back at the hotel the skies opened and it poured. It was still raining when we left for the baseball. We again used the Skywalk and I had my umbrella but it was commandeered by the ladies and Lance and I got soaked. I sat and watched the game with wet socks inside wet shoes in a wet Blue Jays T shirt. By the end of the game my clothes were almost dry. The Blue Jays started well and had an early led then they had one bad innings giving up 4 runs and they never recovered. Thankfully it was dry for the walk back to the hotel.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 06:48 Comments (0)

Day 11

August 24 - Quebec City to Toronto

Not a lot of highlights today. A long day on the road. We left Quebec City at 7.30 am. We stopped for breakfast about 40 minutes down the Trans Canada Highway. We filled up with fuel whilst we were there then continued along. We stopped for lunch at another roadside stop near Montreal. We were not supposed to go near Montreal but we missed a turnoff to Ontario. Oops.

After lunch we quickly got ourselves on the right road and continued along. We stopped mid afternoon to change driver and freshen up and topped up fuel. We missed the turn off the 401 to the 404 south and ended up taking Yonge St all the way from the 401 to Front St. A slow journey. We eventually reached the hotel shortly after 6.30 pm. 11 hours on the road. During check in I changed the room but after seeing it Darlene changed it back. The original room was better.

Over the road from the hotel, outside Union Station, there were a number of food stalls set up. We ate there. I had a spicy pizza, Darlene had an Asian dish. We returned to the room so I could watch the end of the Blue Jays baseball game. A real anti climax as they were soundly beaten. We're going to watch them tomorrow night. Hopefully they will do better then.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 19:02 Comments (0)

Day 10

23 August - Quebec City

We woke to cool temperatures, about 13 degrees, but with a forecast in the mid 20's we're not complaining about the weather. After breakfast we extracted the car from the valet parking service and drove about 15 minutes north east of the city to Montmerency Falls. They are visible from the road and drop 30 metres more than Niagara Falls. The volume of water tipping over the falls is impressive but Niagara is much wider.

We paid $12 to enter the car park and a further $13.50 each to ride the cable car up to the level where the falls start. From there a short walk leads you to a suspension bridge that spans the falls providing breathtaking views. If you choose not to pay for the cable car there is a stairway you can climb for free. My guess is there are around 500 steps to get to the top level. It was surprising how many people were doing it. One of my pictures shows the top of the staircase beside the falls. There are also distant views of Quebec City, around 12 kilometres away.

After taking all the pics we wanted we rode the cable car back down and continued our journey over the nearby bridge and onto Ile d'Orleans. We drove the circumference of this island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, a distance of 67 kilometres. Along the way we stopped at a few produce stores and also for lunch at a restaurant that has been in operation since 1720 called Le Moulin St. Laurent. We had an enjoyable meal in this special place.

After lunch we returned to Quebec City and dropped the car off before heading out firstly for a little more shopping, and later for dinner at an Irish Pub. Tomorrow we have an early start planned ahead of a long drive to Toronto.

Posted by IanDarleneUK 18:05 Comments (0)

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