A Travellerspoint blog

DAY 6, Monday, 6 May NIAGARA FALLS to DEARBORN

Half a day around the magnificent Niagara Falls then a journey across Ontario to Dearborn, Illinois

Our first glimpse of the Niagara Falls and our last was just as fascinating. They are truly magnificent. We saw them this morning from Clifton Heights. The Falls are right in the middle of town with a beautiful sculptured park setting along the Canadian side. The falls are made up of the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls and are separated by Goat Island. The Falls are 175 feet and both of them have 750 00 litres of water over them a second.

Niagara Falls from Clifton Heights

Niagara Falls from Clifton Heights

Niagara Horseshoe Falls

Niagara Horseshoe Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls from  Clifton Heights

Niagara Falls from Clifton Heights

Clifton Heights Park

Clifton Heights Park


Julie and Philip Kornmann at the top of the falls at Clifton Heights

Julie and Philip Kornmann at the top of the falls at Clifton Heights

This morning we boarded the Maid of the Mist for amazing close up views from the base of the falls.
Pathway through tunnel to Maid of the Mist boat ride to bottom of the falls

Pathway through tunnel to Maid of the Mist boat ride to bottom of the falls

Wet weather gear -Maid of the Mist boat tour

Wet weather gear -Maid of the Mist boat tour

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls

American and Horseshoe Falls in Canada side

American and Horseshoe Falls in Canada side


Colleen in her raincoat on Maid of the Mist

Colleen in her raincoat on Maid of the Mist

We travelled the Niagara Pathway and admired the sweeping landscapes of this scenic countryside. We headed southwest and crossed the farmlands and vineyards of Ontario. This National Park area along the Niagara was set up in 1886 so. The natural area has been protected. The parks in this part of Canada are very well maintained and beautifully planted with flower beds.
Niagara Parkway near Floral Clock built 1950

Niagara Parkway near Floral Clock built 1950

Floral Clock

Floral Clock

We stopped for lunch at a Farmers Market set among vineyards.
Vineyards along the Niagara Parkway

Vineyards along the Niagara Parkway


Farmers Market lunch stop

Farmers Market lunch stop

In the afternoon we travelled along the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. We could see glimpses of Toronto as it was 60 miles away on the northern shore of the lake.
Welland Canal Lake Ontario

Welland Canal Lake Ontario

Ship in loch on Welland Canal Lake Ontario

Ship in loch on Welland Canal Lake Ontario

Our hotel for tonight is a massive building at Dearborn outside Detroit. In the morning we go to the Henry Ford Museum.

Posted by Kangatraveller 16:32 Comments (0)

5 May Sunday The long drive north to Niagara Falls in Canada

A beautiful day of travel through Pennsylvania, The Amish country and onto Niagara Falls

This morning we had an early start for a long day of driving.

Yesterday, we wrote the blog in a Starbucks near the National Mall and sent it off early. We went to the National Art Gallery while we waited for our ride back to Old Alexandria.

The National Art Gallery is a very impressive building.
The Rotunda of the West Wing of the National Art Gallery

The Rotunda of the West Wing of the National Art Gallery

Saltimbanques by Pablo Picasso

Saltimbanques by Pablo Picasso

So last night I took a few photos of the old town. Here they are...
Town Hall Old Alexandria

Town Hall Old Alexandria

King Street Old Alexandri

King Street Old Alexandri

King Street Old Alexandria

King Street Old Alexandria

We were in Virginia this morning then Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York State then Canada. We drove mainly through Pennsylvania for quite a bit of the day. Pennsylvania is a very wide state west to east but narrow south to north.

We drove through rolling countryside that was green and picturesque with small townships, farmland and lightly wooded treescapes. We stopped mid morning for a short break at a McDonalds that seemed to be overwhelmed by 54 people arriving at once. Our next stop was at Williamsport for lunch at a marketplace. Too many choices!!!!!

Coffee choices at Wegmans

Coffee choices at Wegmans

Food choices at Wegmans

Food choices at Wegmans

Lunch at Wegmans

Lunch at Wegmans

This afternoon we travelled up through New York State to Buffalo then onto Niagara New York before crossing the border into Canada.
Driving along Upper New York State

Driving along Upper New York State

Upper New York State before we get to Buffalo

Upper New York State before we get to Buffalo

Photo from the Rainbow Bridge going into Canada -first sighting of Niagara Falls

Photo from the Rainbow Bridge going into Canada -first sighting of Niagara Falls


Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

The Niagara River joins Lake Erie and Lake Ontario naff lows South to North for a distance of 35 miles.
Niagara River downstream of the Niagara Falls

Niagara River downstream of the Niagara Falls

Posted by Kangatraveller 15:46 Comments (1)

4 May Saturday-Overnight again in Washington DC

Another great day of revisiting the sights of DC

Last night we had Tapas in a restaurant in King Street, Old Alexandria, the Virginia side of the Potomac River in Washington DC.

This morning we set off on a coach tour of many of the sights we had visited independently. It really brings home different perspectives and no matter how many times you see them there is always something new to learn.

First of all we visited Arlington and the Kennedy Memorials.
Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

We visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Marine Corps Memorial. There is a famous photograph taken at the capture of Iwo Jima that has been used by a sculptor to capture the moment of raising the flag. Iwo Jima was the scene of the heaviest fighting for the Marine Corp. It was an island in WW2 measuring only 2 miles by 5 miles. The Marines lost 7 000 along with 20 000 Japanese soldiers.
Iwo Jima Memorial -US Marine Corp

Iwo Jima Memorial -US Marine Corp


We headed for the southern end of the National Mall for the Lincoln Memorial. Firstly we visited the Korean War Memorial. I have found this the most creative memorial.
Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

We then went on to the Lincoln Memorial. This time I actually went to the top where Lincoln's Statue sits. I cheated when I realised there was a elevator. Colleen, Julie and Philip walked up and down the many sets of stairs.
The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial


The Vietnam Memorial is hauntingly beautiful. There were workmen etching in four new names for this year. There are 58 282 names on the wall and then these additional four. They are still updating the honour roll which has names in order of death. Of the original 600 or so missing in action, they are able to change them as KIA as they are found every year.
Woman's Memorial at the Vietnam War Memorial

Woman's Memorial at the Vietnam War Memorial


Workmen etching in new names on wall -after today there will be 58 286 names

Workmen etching in new names on wall -after today there will be 58 286 names


Next, we were able to get even closer to the White House.
At The White House again!!!

At The White House again!!!

The White House

The White House

We visited The Capitol Building at the northern end of The National Mall.
Julie and Philip (and us) at The Capitol Building

Julie and Philip (and us) at The Capitol Building

After lunch at a delightful Bakery Cafe near the Mall we went to The Old Post Office and went up (very slowly) in an old lift to see some of the magnificent sights of Washington DC. Here is a view of FBI HQ.
J Edgar Hoover Building FBI HQ-view from Clock Tower of Old Post Office

J Edgar Hoover Building FBI HQ-view from Clock Tower of Old Post Office

View from Clock Tower of Old Post Office

View from Clock Tower of Old Post Office

The picture above shows The White House in the background with the massive Ronald Reagan International Trade Centre in the foreground.

Posted by Kangatraveller 12:06 Comments (0)

DAY 10 Early to rise, we are off to Washington DC

Leaving New York with regret but off to Washington DC (again) via Philadelphia

The huge benefit of a coach tour is that your bags are collected from your room and loaded on the coach while we go to breakfast. While we have been in New York, we have had absolutely fabulous weather except for one day of rain and cold.

SOME OBSERVATIONS OF NYC

But firstly, some observations of New York City:

People here are friendly, helpful and unfailingly polite. We had numerous of examples of people giving up seats on the subway and buses, being helpful with directions or recommendations and using manners.

New York is made up of 5 Boroughs - Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. The smallest is Manhattan which is an island but it has by far the most people. Manhattan is 12.5 miles from top to bottom and 0.5 miles across with a population of 8.3 million people. Central Park is 860 acres of English design in a rectangle of 0.5 miles across and 2.5 miles from top to bottom.

The streets of New York are easy to navigate. The oldest part of Manhattan is the southern tip and was first settled by the Dutch when they bought it off the Indians in 1624. This part of Manhattan has streets with names - Canal Street, Wall Street etc.

The rest of Manhattan has Avenues which run from South to North - 1st Avenue to 12th Avenue. Streets numbered from 1st into the hundreds and run from east to west.

Tipping is customary in the service industry - doormen, taxi drivers, waiters etc etc. There are about 13 rules and 27 different variations of this as to when, how much and can you not get away with it.

Two small observations - the beds here are too high for short people and the toilet pedestals are too low for tall people.

This is just a great place to visit. Here are some pictures that had me thinking.
Street signs - don't block the box!!

Street signs - don't block the box!!

What the..........? sign on bus

What the..........? sign on bus

Sign in Mens Toilet - so it is not water on the floor!

Sign in Mens Toilet - so it is not water on the floor!

Car Parking New York style... - How do they get them up there?

Car Parking New York style... - How do they get them up there?

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the second largest city on the East Coast of the United States, and the fifth-most-populous city in the United States. It is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, and it is the only consolidated city-county in Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 1,526,006, growing to 1,547,607 in 2012 by Census estimates. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley, home to over 6 million people and the country's sixth-largest metropolitan area.

During the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the city served as the temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction.
Independence House Philadelphia

Independence House Philadelphia

The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell


Grave of Benjamin Franklin

Grave of Benjamin Franklin


Visitors Centre

Visitors Centre


Philip and Julie Kornmann at the Visitors Centre

Philip and Julie Kornmann at the Visitors Centre


It is wonderful being back in Washington DC with good friends and great weather.

Posted by Kangatraveller 14:46 Comments (0)

DAY 9 City Tour and off to Broadway

Broadway -The Book of Mormon -a show by the creators of South Park

Today we set off with our tour group on a tour of NewYork.

Although we saw many of the same places we have over the last few days, it was a whole new perspective with our tour guide Mark. We stopped at the Rockefeller Centre which is a collection of 22 buildings. The Channel Garden leads into the plaza which is a cafe in summer and a skating rink in winter.
Channel Garden in the Rockefeller Center

Channel Garden in the Rockefeller Center

View to cafe area of Rockefeller Plaza

View to cafe area of Rockefeller Plaza

The Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center

The next stop was the Flat Iron building built in 1902 and at 21 stories was the tallest building in New York for some time. We also had great views of the Empire State Building from here.
The Flat Iron Building

The Flat Iron Building

MetLife Building

MetLife Building

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building

As Manhattan is composed of very hard rock, the foundations for these skyscrapers don't need to be very deep. The Empire State Building has foundations that go down 50 feet (Sorry, I think in imperial not metric over here.) Also because of the hard rock, the subway is quite shallow. Most of it was built using the "cut and cover" method and they follow the streets underground.

After travelling through Grenwich Village and Soho we arrived at the Financial District to see Ground Zero. It is a surprise to most people that seven buildings of the World Trade Centre were destroyed on September 11 including the twin tours. Four of the new buildings are half the height of the twin towers and the new One World Trade Centre at a height of 1776 is more than 400 feet taller.
One World Trade Centre

One World Trade Centre

Fire fighters Memorial

Fire fighters Memorial

Fire Fighters Memorial Wall

Fire Fighters Memorial Wall

Tonight we went to a Broadway show - The Book of Mormon. Here is a review after opening night by The Washington Post.

Along with Robert Lopez, one of the uproarious brains behind “Avenue Q,” Matt Stone and Trey Parker have devised “The Book of Mormon,” the pricelessly entertaining act of musical-comedy subversion that opened Thursday night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

The marvel of “The Book of Mormon” is that even as it profanes some serious articles of faith, its spirit is anything but mean. The ardently devout and comedically challenged are sure to disagree.

Among the evening’s delights are four performances that intensify the delirium and are surely minting the actors as embryonic stars. The suavely self-parodying Andrew Rannells, a sort of crooning version of Ryan Reynolds, plays the central role of Mormon missionary Elder Price; Josh Gad, a turbo-powered comic engine, portrays his outwardly offensive partner in flock-expansion, Elder Cunningham.

We rather enjoyed this offbeat, Mel Brookish show.
Eugene O'Neill Theatre - The Book of Mormon - winner of 9 Tony Awards

Eugene O'Neill Theatre - The Book of Mormon - winner of 9 Tony Awards

Eugene O'Neill Theatre built 1925

Eugene O'Neill Theatre built 1925

Eugene O'Neill Theatre New York

Eugene O'Neill Theatre New York

Posted by Kangatraveller 19:30 Comments (0)

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