Day 14 – Niagara Falls & Hamburg

We stayed in a place called the Ritz Inn last night, which is of course nothing like the Ritz Hotel in London! In fact, I was very dubious about staying here due to some very bad reviews, but it was cheap and close to the falls, and it all turned out fine in the end. I woke up still not feeling 100% but we got up and started walking towards the falls. It was still fairly early and quite misty when we got there but the falls are amazing and we took tonnes of pictures throughout the day, so be prepared for lots of pictures of waterfalls! The Canadian side is supposed to be much better for viewing the falls and it is very impressive indeed; what I found best was the incredible colour of the water – a kind of very pretty blue-green colour.
We had lunch booked at the Skylon Tower for 1pm so had time to fit in a ‘Voyage to the Falls’ boat tour which was great, though left us a tad wet! Everywhere we went there were big groups of people from the Far East and it is fair to say we probably didn’t see too many Canadians or even Americans, even though it was a public holiday in Canada. Lunch at Skylon was good, though probably more for the views than the food as I was still being careful about eating much. And we got some more pictures of the falls!
We then crossed the border back to the USA (painlessly) and were going to stop in Buffalo on the way to our overnight stop of Hamburg, but I had a bad headache and was not really feeling up to it (48hrs of not eating will do that to you!). We bypassed Buffalo and soldiered on to the outskirts of Hamburg where Brian did the laundry while I had a nap. There was some minor drama, that could have been much more serious, when Brian locked the car keys in the boot of the car. When we originally got the keys to the car from the rental agency, both keys were on the same metal tie and we couldn’t manage to separate them, which is just daft as replacing the keys costs a fortune, as well as lost time when you’re stuck somewhere. When we were round Steve & Michelle’s in Toronto we asked him to separate the keys for us with some wire snippers, so fortunately we had a spare set of keys – and just in time as well! There is of course a button in the car to open the boot; but the car doesn’t have to be unlocked for you to open the boot, meaning it is quite possible to lock the keys in the car.
The evening we went to investigate the small town of Hamburg where most things seemed to be closed – a very sleepy town indeed! Nevertheless, as always we found a couple of open bars (The Pour House & Mammoser’s Tavern) and I even had some chicken wings – very brave, I know! They were VERY good, even though I don’t generally like chicken wings, but these were baked and deep fried with very crispy skin, so none of that disgusting fatty skin nonsense. We headed back to the hotel, where we went to the ‘local’ bar (Hideaways Bar & Restaurant) for another drink with the truckers who stop over at the hotel for the night. It was quite an experience and not really that female friendly, but everyone was friendly enough and we didn’t get killed or anything.
Things I learned today: Don’t let Brian go and get the car on his own in a thunderstorm after a couple of drinks, as he WILL get lost and wander around aimlessly, leaving you to wonder how the hell you’re going to get back to the hotel with no money on you! Tip for the day: Carry enough of your own cash to not only cover the bar bill, but also potentially a taxi back to the hotel – and do try to remember the name of the hotel you’re staying for the night – not always that easy when you stay in a different one every night! (It all worked out fine, Brian only got lost for about 5 minutes)

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