Canadian border control
After New England we swapped cars and headed off to Niagara. It turns out most of the large rental companies are happy for you to drive across the border to Canada and currently as long as you cross and a land border rather than fly in there’s no need for any Visa or paperwork aside from your passport.
The drive from New York to the border was stunning, like the rest of the North East. It had been raining almost nonstop throughout the trip so far and this was the first long leg with sunlight!
Wherever time allows I’d been setting the GPS to avoid freeways to try and see a small glimpse of small town America and I highly recommend that if you do a similar trip. You get so many more opportunities to stop, see sights and see things you’d normally miss.
It was about 8 hours to the border and I had worried there would be delays and a long interrogation to cross but we drove straight up to a checkpoint booth, similar to the old Dartford crossing tolls, handed over the passports and confirmed we weren’t importing any firearms or weapons, paid the $3.50 toll and off we went.
Border Agent: “Have you got any weapons or firearms in the car?”
Dad: “No, we’re English”
Border Agent: “Yes, but you have been in America”
Once acoss it was plane sailing to the hotel. We stayed at the Radisson with a view of the falls, I don’t intend to review every place I stay but this hotel was fantastic and no more expensive than some other budget places we’ve stayed with an incredible view.
Taken from the hotel room at sunrise
Walking down to the falls it is impossible to describe the falls properly. They are awe inspiring. There’s plenty of spaces to stand and take photos and videos but I have to credit a certain Mr Scarsbrook who convinced me to do the boat experience.
On the Canadian side is a boat called Hornblower and the famous Maid of the Mist is on the American side.
It’s a tourist trap, it’s silly and you get very, very wet but I’m converted, you can’t come here and not do it.
Thank you Reuben!
Over summer there’s a fireworks display every night and after that it was time to get some sleep before heading back to the USA the next morning.
We travelled back through Ontario heading west to avoid the longer route going straight back in to the US and crossed back into Michigan by Detroit. It is sad the contrast between Canadian border control and the Americans, it was much more accusatory and threatening coming back in. And it cost $5 to get back in!
Nevertheless we were allowed back in, thankfully, and continued westward.