Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Trip 2 of 3: Oh Canada
(click to make the mosaic bigger)
Blogless da Twine and The Knitted Brow are well traveled but Canada is my first trip outside the US and I got my first passport for a spur of the moment trip to see Niagara Falls. The original plan was to fly to Buffalo, but my sister found a great deal for the Canadian Side.
At the airport we were approached by a very well dressed man who asked if we needed a taxi. We followed him upstairs and into a creepy parking garage. He had a very nice car with leather seats, but no taxi light. He told us the next day was Thanksgiving and everything would be closed. We told him we were going to Niagara Falls that day so he said, that was the best day to go and we would have the best weather. We asked him about our hotel and he said we were staying in the best location. This was quite encouraging! And he was cute on top of that and very tall. I suspect he was a taxi scalper, and my sister and I discussed how we have no street sense what so ever.
Toronto was quite a surprise. I was thinking about the Western side with a more British feel, or something French, and found the part of Toronto I stayed in very multicultural with lots of mid Eastern and Asian influences. We walked up and down Yonge Street, the "longest street in the world". We ate Lebanese food for the first time, and loved the garlic sauce and shawarma.
The next day was Niagara Falls. We did the tourist thing. We put on our blue raincoats and rode the Maid of the Mist. We declined the helicopter or Cessna flyover (just chicken that's all). It was pretty amazing.
The next day we visited the Royal Museum and enjoyed the historical part and the glass paperweight collection. We debated on whether or not the merging of the old and the new museum "worked". Then we took a hike to Kensington Market. The cosmicpluto was minding the shop, Lettuce Knits working on her Rhinebeck Sweater. I couldn't resist the sea silk lace weight (even though I am laceknitting impaired) and got some black Malagrigo to make an urban baby hat. Somehow I equate urban with the color black. (no doubt I'll just keep it to roll around in and cheer me up when I'm uncheered). She pointed us in the direction of Courage My Love a funky shop with a great button collection. Kensington Market is a quaint open market with lots of color and cute shops and old houses. I'll have to check out Romni Wools if I make it back there again.
Facts I learned while in Canada
1. Toronto's CN Building is no longer the tallest building in the world, but it is taller then Chicago's Sears Building.
2. Niagara Falls is not the tallest falls in the world but has the fastest flow and largest volume of any falls in the world. The water from 4 of the great lakes flow through the Falls. Both the US and Canada divert water to make electricity but during peak tourist season they have agreed to do it only at night so the Falls will be full.
3. Halal is food that is OK from a Muslim point of view and is not the name of a chain.
4. Ice Wine is made from frozen grapes that are picked at -8 degrees. Each grape yields only one drop of wine. (Either that or I'm very gullible)
5. The Civil War Underground Railroad ended in Toronto.