Friday, June 03, 2016

USA & Canada 2016 - To Canada! Exploring Kingston, Ontario.

We left Cooperstown in the rain. I think this was the first time I had driven in America while it was raining. A short while into our trip we discovered that the bottle of lemonade we had put in the fridge of our hotel room had semi-frozen. We discovered this the explosive way, when Cathy opened it and the remaining unfrozen liquid rapidly left the bottle. We pulled over to clean up. I thought the bottle had become over-pressurised somehow and didn't realise it was frozen. So as Cathy had dried off and settled down, I thought I could open it gently and we'd be OK.

This didn't work and I managed to soak Cathy with lemonade all over again.

After 'The Lemonade Incident' the journey was without much incident. We stopped at a services plaza as we headed North. It was called Mapleview. It didn't look like much from the outside. Inside it was classic American diner with great food.

We carried on North. The landscape got quite wild and eerie towards the border. There were still farms, but they were more spread out. We were heading for the border crossing in the Thousand Islands, a scenic region in the St Lawrence river, that, yes, did provide the name for Thousand Island Dressing.

It's become customary on Facebook for people returning to Wales to post their pictures of the Severn Crossing. But there are bridges and there are bridges.

This one went on and on.

After the border checkpoint we passed the 1000 Islands Tower, where you can apparently get amazing views up and down the river.

And then another bridge and we were in mainland Canada.

Next stop was Kingston, Ontario, where we were staying for the next couple of nights. After a very brief stop to take some photos downtown (more on that later), we found our motel. It looked like a motel in a movie.

When we checked in the guy on the desk was very excited to hear we were from Cardiff because he was a huge Doctor Who fan. He even rolled up his sleeve to show us his TARDIS tattoo.

Kingston was the first capital of the united Canada, but people were afraid it was too close to those rebellious Americans to the South, so they moved the parliament to Ottawa. They'd already built the parliament building in Kingston, so the town has ended up with this massive municipal building right in the centre.

The town is on the shore of Lake Ontario, which looks like the sea. Cathy got to pretend she was on a boat.

Meanwhile I found a massive train to look at.

There is a real mix of interesting buildings.

And, of course, very different flags everywhere.

Kingston has lots of museums. I felt we should go to at least one while we were there. We chose one of the smallest - the old pumping station.

Mainly because I heard it had a big model railway display. It did.

At Harper's Burger Bar we had another encounter with fried pickles. I'm not sure why I look so startled by it.

We also got the opportunity to try a fabled Tim Horton's doughnut. Tim Horton was an ice hockey player who set up a coffee and doughnut shop after he retired from hockey. We saw Tim Horton's everywhere we went in Canada. They do good doughnuts. I recommend the Maple Dip.

Next up: the real reason we went to Kingston.

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