Thursday, June 26, 2008

Toronto & Niagara Falls - Day 1 - 8 June 2008

We arrived in Toronto, Canada yesterday by road with mama & mami's very good friends, Goolu, Cawas and Khorshed aunty, making a short picture-cum-recreation stop en route at Windsor river front, a quaint little dead town on the US-Canada border. So, winding our way through the underground tunnel under the river that separates USA and Canada, we reached the other side in barely 20 mins. Detroit (USA) and Windsor (Canada) are separated by just a river and lie opposite on the river banks. We spent some time on the park on the riverfront at Windsor.

Parks are a way of life in America. Any open space they see near the river or sea front, they do not allow it to go to waste. Most of the riverfronts in cities and towns are converted into recreation parks; lots of greenery, tall trees, benches, sidewalks - there must be sidewalks to walk on - and of course restrooms. This is another American tradition. There is never a shortage of restrooms. Wherever you go, you will always find restrooms. Be it tourist spots or roads or streets or even highways. When in USA, your bladder can never burst open!

Today we were at Niagara Falls. We watched the Falls from Canada side, which is more beautiful than the Falls as seen from the American side. Weather forecast was dark, dull and rainy, but fortunately the only rain we encountered was on our way back, later that day. Niagara was very pleasant. First off, we checked out the tunnels underneath the Falls. This engineering marvel takes us behind the walls and underneath them. There are three outlets to this tunnel that takes us out in the open and right behind the Falls. We can only see water falling in great gusto and speed, cannot see the sky and cannot even see or make out what's on the other side. Very exciting!

Next off was a ride in the boat - called Maid of the Mist - on the Niagara river. This is a thriller ride; the boat's speed though very slow, takes us right near to the great Falls. Water that falls from up above falls at such great speed and force and a lot of mist rises and all the people get very very wet. They give us special and disposable raincoats to wear. Despite that, getting wet is inevitable. But its most exciting and a must when you go to Niagara.

And finally I ran into some good luck at the casino! I won US$18 at a local casino here. After this, I headed for the Skylon Tower; the tallest structure at Niagara Falls where you get a panoramic view of the Falls.

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