Showing posts with label Road trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Road trip. Show all posts

Thundering Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

"Ma, what is that thundering sound?", Obi was pulling my hand as we crossed the street from  the parking lot. 
"That's the Falls, dek" answered Bo, my son.
"So we will see the Falls now?  This close? Can we swim as well there ? Obi bombarded me with questions as we got closer.
No, dek. You can not! The Falls is so huge and there are millions of cubic of water falling in seconds" claimed Bo, who definitely was reading the booklet we got from the Park's officer. 
As Bo finished explaining that, we saw the source of the thundering sound.
Welcome to Horseshoe Falls, Niagara, Ontaria, Canada.


The American Falls and Bridal Veils Falls at the US side

By the time I wrote this story, I was in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, missing my munchkins, attending one of the Seminars held by the UN. I started drafting my 5-day  experience in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, when I just realized that I had another draft to finish :). Well, stopping in many cities and enjoying so many attractions along the way do provide me with endless stories and interesting notes. And here I am, bogged down with my own drafts :).

So allow me to get back to our spring break road trip.

We just arrived at Niagara Park, so ready to see the magnificent Horseshoe falls, the Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. After driving  approximately 4 hours, straight from Bon Jovi - This House is not for sale concert at Air Canada Center, Toronto (yes, I know.. I will share that as well later >_<), we arrived at around 1 AM in the morning at the hotel. Directly headed to our room, we had good sleep indeed so that we can enjoy the thundering Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, the day after.

Enjoying Bon Jovi Concert in Toronto :)
Here's the short videos of one of the hits Jon sang for us in Toronto.
Lay your hands on me!

We stayed at the Oakes Hotel overlooking the Falls during our visit. 

Waking up slightly late after our extremely long day at Toronto, we promised the kids that we would enjoy that day's trip like they wanted it. But Bo et Obi were happily chatty about the Bon Jovi concert, although obviously they were not familiar with the songs at all :)).
After a hearty breakfast at Applebee's nearby, we headed directly to National Park Commission at Niagara Falls and ready to start our adventure!

The Niagara Parks Commission, Ontario, Canada

 The plans were to spend the whole day at Table Rock, the area surrounding the Falls to see Horseshoe falls, the biggest Falls with obviously the shape as the name suggested. This, together with American Falls and Bridal Veils falls in the American side, is well known as Niagara Falls. 

As I said, we asked Bo et Obi decided what to do, as they had given me and my hubby a great time watching the concert a night before. Apparently, besides ice cream lunch and swimming pool time, they both were eager to see the Falls and got on a cruise.

Table Rock is the area where you can see Horseshoe Falls from quite a close distance.
Here we can just see the Falls and take pictures for free. When we arrived, it wasn't really packed with people. But I can imagine how it will be during the peak season. 
And the weather at that time was still a bit chilly, especially as we were so close to those millions of cubic of fresh, cold water. 

Cheers from the Frakarsas :)

There are a few angles you can take as you walk along Table Rock Welcome Center from one end where you have Behind the Falls Journey attraction, to the other end where you can get on board Horn Blower, the boat taking you even closer to Falls. So do take a chance to walk along 

on our way to the Horn Blower Cruise, with Maid of the Mist, the US boat in the background

There are several choices and attractions that you can choose here.
Some of them are the Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara Furry, White Water Walk, Floral Showhouse, Butterfly Conservatory, Horn Blower Cruise, Fort Eerie and more.
You can have a package, including with WEGO Bus which will take you to those places, or you can pay the ticket separately.
The package consists of classic (CAD 56.95 per adult, CAD 36.95 per kid) , nature (CAD 56.95 per adult, CAD 36.95 per kid) and plus one (CAD 90 per adult, CAD 59 per kids).
As we didn't really plan to see everything, we only chose 2 and bought ticket separately. You can check NPC website for more accurate information.

We chose the Journey Behind the Falls, where we walked around a tunnel underneath the Falls. The ticket is CAD We saw some pictures and stories about the Falls, including one incident that happened way in the past where one visitor, a boy, fell from the boat near the Falls but he survived.

We walked under a wet tunnel, saw how it was built, and felt the thundering Falls right above our head. Some of the tunnels are closed but we do have one open which is so close to the Falls.

So close to the Falls!

Actually, there is a balcony with stunning view to the Falls, but too bad when we were there it was closed for renovation as many rocks were falling down to that balcony. Scary indeed!

As close as we can get...the balcony is right behind it.

After Journey of the Falls, we went to Horn Blower Cruise and took our chances to get closer to the Falls. We got a free poncho but even that didn't succeed in keeping us dry! It felt like you are riding in a rain with some extra strong wind as a bonus :). The tickets are CAD for adults and CAD for kids 

Get cover :)

After those two attractions and tons of photos, we went back to hotel, had late lunch, and came back when it was dark to see the light show.
We heard the light show is something you CAN NOT miss when you are in the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

In blue...

Yes, at night, you will see Horseshoe Falls in blue, red and white hues.

Interestingly beautiful.

Red and white... just like the colors of my country's flag, Indonesia :)

On our way back home that night, we came across Niagara Falls Lock Bridge, right behind TGIF restaurant where we had our dinner.

Lock Bridge

Have you locked one? :)

If you drive, you will have to pay CAD 15 for parking while you're visiting the area.
The parking lot is spacious but I bet it will be packed during the peak season. WEGO bus is one good option and you can get the pass together with the ticket for other attractions at the welcome center.

Another thing that you use is the funicular.
It takes you down directly to Table Rock welcome center and it happens to be right behind out hotel. The Oakes. The price for one trip is CAD 2.75 per person. 

Using the funiculaire from our hotel down to the Table Rock Welcome Center.

So, I hope you find this post beneficial, especially if you plan to go to witness the thundering Niagara Falls, Ontaria, Canada . We are also visiting the one on the US side and happy to share it on the next post.
Welcome to the Falls

Enjoy Niagara Falls and till the next adventure :).

Greetings from Toronto, Canada

Allow me to take you to Toronto, Canada, through these photos.

Stories are coming for sure, but meanwhile, let's enjoy this blue sky :)

Welcome to Toronto, Canada

At the CN Tower, Toronto

Join us on Skywatch Friday and enjoy the magical sky from different corners of the world!

WW: Byward Market, Ottawa, Canada

Love visiting local market while visiting one particular city?
Me, too!
And we didn't miss the chance to visit Byward Market while we were in Ottawa, Canada.

super cloudy :)

so colorful
It's the beaver :)

Love this colorful market filled with delicious smells of fresh bakery and various food offered on its many stalls, including Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau cookies!

I bought a few and they taste wonderful!

Mr. Obama :)
Not to mention the famous local delicacies, Beaver Tails :).

We love it!

Want some?

Kids love this Beaver Tail

Join us in (almost) Wordless Wednesday  and enjoy fabulous links!

Magical Old Montréal in less than One Day

"Where are we now, Ma?" asked Obi while I was busy snapchatting.
"Bienvenue  à Montréal, Obi!" I replied.
"What's that mean?' She said back with a frowning face.
"It means welcome to Montréal, Obi," said Bo. "It's French..just like in Québec City, remember? You know how to say 'candy' in French? If you don't know how to say it, Mama won't give it to you" he added teasingly.
My hubby and I were just grinning widely listening to Bo et Obi's conversation in the back, as we saw the cityscape of Montréal in afar.
Our adventures continue....And this time, Montréal is enticingly waiting.


Hello, there..

I'm back with more story from our last spring break road trip.
After helplessly being in love with Quebec City, now let's take a closer look of the next city we visited, Montréal.

Anybody has been here before?
I bet many of you have. And again, as expected, we enjoyed Montréal as well, amidst the similar but slightly warmer weather than Québec City. 
But enjoying magical Montréal in one day is possible indeed!

And that's exactly what we did when we visited this beautiful city.
Montréal in a big city for sure. Being the second most populous city in Canada and the biggest, busiest one in Québec province. Many of us, including me, might associate Montréal with the Montréal Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs festivals that I keep watching on TV! Founded on May 12, 1642, Montréal was founded with a strong will of  a handful of settlers, soldiers, artisans and farmers, led by Paul de Chomeday, Sieur de Moissonneuve, and Lady Jeanne-Mance. We saw their statues at the Places d'Armes.

So, as we continue our spring break road trip, we arrived at Montréal at around 8 PM after 2 hours drive from Québec City.  It was still drizzling when we left Québec and so was Montréal. We directly headed to Holiday Inn Montréal Centre Ville down town, which was so close to the China Town in Montréal. 

view from our room terrace :)

Hungry after  driving for 2 hours, we had our dinner at Beijing restaurant, just a block from our hotel. We did order a lot, with noddle soup with roasted duck, fried calamari, veggie spring rolls and fried rice for the four of us :). We slept very well that night and woke up super fresh, ready to explore this beautiful city.

bon appetit!

So, what can we see in Montréal if we only have less than one full day?
Indeed Montréal has a lot to offer, but this is what we managed to explore in less than one day. We decided to stroll around Vieux - Montréal or the Old Montreal. Even this historical part of the city is huge. Old Montréal is only 5 minutes walk from our hotel, so we parked the car and explored the old town on foot. It was still cold that day, but not raining anymore, so we had friendlier weather.

Let's take a look at some places we managed to visit and tell me what your favorite spot is.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

For sure, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal is the gem of the city!
Only with admission of CAD 5 for adults and CAD 4 for kids aged 7 - 17, we were truly amazed by the magnificent Gothic revival church. Built in 1829, all its incredible details are mindblowing!

Place d'Armes

This is a very interesting part of the city, as it has the oldest building in the city, the first parish's church as well as Canada's first skyscraper!

Bo posing in front of Paul de Chomedey statue at Place d'Armes

Marché Bonsecours

This beautiful market is packed with cute small boutiques and some local, trendy designers shops. It took us around 10 minutes walking from the Basilica.

What we love most from this place is the distinct architecture of the market, in Classical Revival style. 

Place Jacques-Cartier

Too bad when we reached this beautiful square, it was drizzling again.
But this marketplace is surely the spots where people love to hang out, as we saw many cozy restaurants and lovely shops around the area.

here comes the rain :)

Of course, again, as I've mentioned earlier, there are soooo many beautiful places that you can explore here in Montréal, but those places I mentioned above can be a good start :). 

We had to prematurely wrap our stroll in Old Montréal thanks to the rain. But if I got a chance to go back, we'd love to see more of this wonderful city. I guess we have to stay at least 2 - 3 days here to really enjoy its beauty. But hey, even with our crazy itinerary, exploring magical Montréal in less than one day is possible :).

Hope to see you soon, Montréal

Next, we have Ottawa, the capital city. 
I know I have shared some photos from Ottawa, but the stories are yet to be published.
Stick around, will you?

Ottawa from Above

A few pictures of Ottawa from above which I took during our tour to the Parliament Hill, including the Peace Tower.

Join us on Skywatch Friday and be dazzled by the magnificent skies from many corners of the world.