Thursday, 18 August 2011

August 14 - 17, 2011 - Back to Canada and into Ontario

After Michigan we dipped back into Canada through Sarnia - very simple Border crossing - every crossing is different and all the questions are different.  We just go with the flow!

We enjoyed traveling through some side highways of Southern ON onto the Niagara Peninsula.  Amazingly the neat little farms and towns butt right up against the paved 2 lane highways.  We didn't have to make too many U turns - but enough to keep up our skills in that department. We crossed over the Welland Canal and found a tidy little campground just between Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls.  We skipped the falls (we've both seen them before)  but loved Niagara on the Lake plus a tour of Ft. George where we were immersed once again in early Canadian history and the importance of strategic placement of defence forts etc.  The Geography of Eastern Canada has always been confusing but this trip is clarifying how the pieces fit.  Ft. George was a pivotal and strategic point during the war of 1812 -  the only time the USA and Canada were at war.  The Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario and Ft. George was on the Western shore (Canada) while Ft.Niagara was on the Eastern shore (USA).  One can clearly see both Forts from either shore.  The border is down the middle of the Niagara River.

The interpreters in period costume at Ft. George did an awesome job  - first a marching drill and raising of the flag, then a musketeers demonstration (Sandra missed the finer points of that one but Barry got a lot out of it!), then a talk about women during this era and their trials and tribulations - amazing - the descriptions of their routines etc - mind boggling - especially the hair styles copying Queen Charlotte - a huge basket on the head with hair swept up and groomed with grease or fat to hold it in place.  These grooming routines could take 5 - 6 hours so they kept the same hair do for a week or more till the lice and vermin became unbearable and they would have to take it all out, bathe, and wash and start all over again!!!

After Ft. George we strolled the delightfully quaint streets of Niagara on the Lake and amazingly got tickets for one of the plays of the Shaw Festival (tried for a discount due to name similarity - didn't work!!) - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - excellent show - very well done - and suitably strong characters playing the roles.

Before the theater, we managed to work in a 12 km bike tour along the Niagara Parkway & Escarpment  bike trails.  Very relaxing and fun - not having to worry about traffic - just ride.  While camped in this area we were serenaded every night by tree frogs and then every morning at 6 AM the bird guns started popping - to scare the birds out of the orchards - needless to say this really frightened Buddy as he must have thought it was thunder - very frightening for a little Bichon!

Canon at Ft. George - Niagara on the Lake (NOTL)

Musket Firing Demonstration at Ft. George

Oldest and only original building at Ft. George - the Powder Magazine built in 1796

Adult Potty Chair at Ft. George!

Underground tunnel to the block house for strategic surveillance - it was amazingly 'cool' to walk through here.

Old fashioned game of checkers at Ft.George

Ft. Niagara (USA),  viewed from the banks of Queens Park in Niagara on the Lake

A quaint building in old town Niagara on the Lake

An  example of 'floral art' in Niagara on the Lake

Tennessee Williams'  "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" - Shaw Festival 2011 - an excellent performance!

Cycling beside the Niagara River along the Niagara Parkway!

Taking a break from cycling along the Niagara Escarpment!
Next will be our adventure across New York State, Massachusetts, and Maine.

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