25.05.2013 23 °C
This morning's included excursion was the obligatory Maid of the Mist boat ride see view Niagara Falls. My daughter doesn't like boats at the best of times, so there was little chance of her joining us in a small boat heading towards thundering falls. The rest of us donned our plastic blue head-to-toe plastic bag raincoats and motored on. They really are a site to behold and while I was probably mesmorised by the share scale and volume of water, I had already been well impressed by Niagara Falls by this stage.
Back on shore, and remarkably dry, we had a bit of time to fill in, so I hung out in the park with squirrels again. This time they were black squirrels. Our tour guide was at pains to stress that we shouldn't approach them, and told stories of their aggression, but they still looked rather cute to me. Niagara Falls done, we piled back on the bus and started the short drive to Niagara on the Lake. It's a pleasant drive along the river with lots of greenery and lovely houses lining the road. Niagara on the Lake is a pretty town. With the weather definitely on the improve, we bought some food for a picnic in the park and watched the world go by.
There turned out to be plenty to see on this drive, including Toronto is the distance across Lake Ontario, signs that pointed to places made famous by the incomparable Eminem "8 Mile" and "Shady Lane", and then the sobering sight of entire neighbourhoods of Detroit's houses burned and abandoned. It's hard to believe that cities can rise and fall even our short lifetimes, but a drive past Detroit leaves it in no doubt.
That night, we stayed in Dearborn at the Pink Palace, a Best Western, I think. We had dinner in the pub with our fellow Kiwis. Although there was nowhere to visit in the area, it was actually really nice just to have a night in a hotel with a good bar where we could all relax. Which wasn't the case for one of our more intrepid tourmates. He called up a friend of a friend who took them into Detroit and ended up having some sort of drama with crashing cars and police, all gansta style. I was pleased just to have a good meal and a quite beer. I couldn't have too many beers though because the hotel was designed like a maze and all the hallways look the same. There was a moment there when I thought I might never make it out.