The thing about the internet is that you pick what you want based on the site that looks the least crazy. I booked a tour to Niagra, because lets face it, after a week or so of getting yourself where you need to go its nice to have someone do that for you. So I booked a tour, and hoped that it wouldn't be too crazy. Oh man, was it crazy. I got picked up in a fairly nice lincoln, to find the back seat already stuffed with an english couple, and then we picked up an australian. Our tour guide (whose name I never got, despite him telling me several times what it was) was a comedian. The kind that makes good humoured sarcastic jokes (for example: "I'm taking you out the falls, aye. But only if you don't jump off.")
I won't lie, I slept the whole hour drive there. This jetlag/time change is doing my head in. My host in Toronto said it was something to do with my body trying to adjust to the sun, but because the sun is at such an insane angle I wasn't getting enough UV for my body to work out when I should be awake, and when I should be sleeping. Awesome, right. Apparently I missed some more sarcastic jokes, and some facts about Lake Ontario, which we were driving around.
The view was amazing, there is an awful lot of water that goes over those falls. It was also freezing. It's definitely a summer attraction, but it appears that in the summer it gets a ridiculous amount of crowds. When we went behind the falls we were walking by long areas set up for some mammoth queues. Still, they gave us some ridiculous yellow pancho's, so we posed and made fun of each other for a while.
After that, our tour guide left us for a few hours to explore the township. I paired up with Patrick (the Australian) and we walked up what was the most gauche, horrid tourist street I've ever been up. It was geared towards hyperactive children who have parents with alot of money. Honestly. It was loud, too. It seemed every second store had outdoor speakers with some atrocious noise. A few times (like at the sphinx) it caught me out and I jumped a few mad metres into the air!
It wasn't all bad, though. We found a dinosaur minigolf park, which was amusing. We also found an italian place that served an amazing, brilliant pizza. And not so amazing, less than brilliant cocktails. I had a cosmo (which I'm pretty sure was actually juice) and Pat had a Bloody Ceasar. Honestly, it's not something I'd ever drink willingly again.
After we were picked up by our driver, we saw alot of a little township, which in my head is called 'town by the lake'. Super pretty, some giant mansions with amazing views out that way. We stopped at a few places, and at one I tried a cup of hot liquid chocolate. It smelt sooo good, but eating it? It was crazy rich! We had maybe a shot each before binning it.
We were also taken out to a winery, which was nice. We tried Ice Wine! It's something I like the concept of: they keep the grapes on the vine, netted so the birds can't eat them. They wait till there are 4 consecutive nights with a temperature of -10 degrees or below, and pick the grapes at night. Once they are all off the vine, they put them in a press, out which comes a giant solid block of ice grapes. And they make the wine from that! It's very sweet, almost like a syrup. A dessert wine, the lady said. I personally couldn't drink more than the taster we were given, but they've won a few awards so I brought a few tiny bottles for family to try.
After that, it was the long drive back to Toronto. I feel asleep for that, too. A really really brilliant day, I think!
Things I learnt: * No crowds is awesome, but I think next time I'll take crowds + go with feeling my toes * Meeting random Australians is awesome! Especially as we had the same kind of humour. * Crazy tour guides are crazy. * Ice wine: Love the concept. Not sure about buying a whole bottle. * The falls? They are big. There is water. It's also best to go in summer where I might care more about the water, and less about my toes.