Andrew and Jane's Weddding


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Niagara Falls, Ontario, Dominion of Canada

We decided to get a bit of exercise today and hired bikes.

The bike guy was a member of the United Empire Loyalists - his ancestors fought for Britain against Washington and moved to Canada after the war of Independence. He was very proud of his ancestery and that he had taken an oath of loyalty to the Queen.

Jane on Bike

We followed the recreational trail that runs from Fort Erie to Lake Ontario. The first part we were on follows the route of the old railway that existed before the road was built in the 1930s. It follows the Niagara gorge and there were some lovely views of the steep wooded sides of the gorge and the churning waters of the river at the bottom. There were also some sections that ran through woodland providing some nice shade. It was another very hot day and unfortunately I had forgotten to put sun cream on -ouch!

We stopped for a drink at John McFarland's house - a Georgian house that was used as a hospital by both the British and Americans in the 1812 war. We had a lovely glass of traditional, non-fizzy lemonade. We had a quick look round Niagara on the Lake, but couldn't find anything exciting except a posse of Hells Angels, from the Red Angles (chapter 2) I think. We then stopped to look at Fort George, scene of much action in the 1812 war. (That's the one where the USA tried to invade British North America (Canada) to make it part of the USA, but got beaten and British troops burnt Washington DC.)

It was captured by the Americans and held for eight months. It has been restored complete with soldiers. We saw a demonstration of artillery being fired and infantry men being drilled.

Fort George Fort George Fort George Fort George Fort George Fort George Fort George Fort George Fort George Firing the Gun
Commander at Fort George

On a smoky battle field seeing that lot charging at you would certainly scare me. The soldiers quarters consisted of a large room full of bunk beds with double bunks for married men and their wives - just like a youth hostel really. The officers quarters and mess were much nicer, though most minor misdemeanours seem to be punished by a fine of wine. We then cycled back to Niagara, stopping for an Ice Cream in order to prepare ourselves for the big hill, which I managed to cycle nearly all the way up.

Handed our bikes back with a sore bum and a sore back. It was a different bike guy - this one had had his wife sent home from hospital in labour because they didn't have the staff - sounds just like England. Another thing that was just like England was the pot holes in the road and the bad attempts to fix them which just made more bumps.

We then headed back to the hostel for some rest and recuperation. Once the aching muscles had eased and the sunburn be cooled by cream we headed into town for dinner and some well earned beers. We were treated to some entertainment from a karaoke with a very amusing compare.

We had walked in to town the long way, through the town centre. This area seems very run down and deserted. You could almost imagine the tumbleweed blowing down the street. Niagara seems to be a place that wouldn't exist except for the falls and tourism. I can't imagine there are many career opportunities for young people - tourism or border control and that's it.

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