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Old 05-19-2011, 12:01 PM   #31
skier_pete
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Man it's been ages since I've been to Niagara Falls...let's me think, when was it...oh yeah...Tuesday!

Actually DD had a 1/2 day on Tuesday, and we went across the border to the Bird Kingdom of Niagara. We bought season passes there so we've gone over quite a bit. It also gives us free parking there. DD loves eating at that Rainforest Cafe!

Funny thing is, on the way back over the rainbow bridge the other day, we were talking about the Maid Of The Mist...turns out my wife's never been on it! Neither has DD - so I said this summer we have to rectify that. We actually haven't done most of the things you showed (the Skywheel, the "Behind the falls"). I've really been waiting for DD to get a bit older to try some of them.

I always comment that we should be more impressed that people come from all over the globe to visit something that's in our backyard. That's why we do try to get up there a lot. We actually spent the night before our wedding in Niagara Falls, Canada. We had the rehearsal dinner in Niagara Falls USA and the Hard Rock Cafe (in the Elvis Room) and then a bunch of us walked across the border to check out Clifton Hill. Niagara Falls is historically a big honeymoon destination - not so much anymore, but it still is to a degree - and it tickled my funnybone to spend the night BEFORE our wedding in Niagara Falls....yes, I have a pretty weird sense of humor!

You missed out on spending some time at Niagara-On-The-Lake. A beautiful little town with some cute little shops. Our favorite - Greave's Jams and Jellies. We travel up there once a year to pick up their relish. Not sure if you have what we call "relish" in AUS -> a condiment involving finely chopped pickles and various spices that is typically spread on Hamburgers and Hot dogs here in the US. Greave's relish is FANTASTIC compared to what we get in the supermarket here.

Enough hyjacking of your TR...can't wait to hear more.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #32
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Cool, I'm all caught up now. Niagara is a fun place, been there once in winter once in summer. Needless to say it was our Summer trip we rode the Maid of the Mist!
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:19 PM   #33
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I'm curious, does Melbourne have things like wax museums and Rain Forest cafes?
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #34
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Princess, what an awesome day! Love it how you pack so much in! I am wondering how I am going to take photos when we do get to Niagara Falls...Did your camera survive? There's something about North American puttputt golf that DH loves. We always go when we visit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
I always comment that we should be more impressed that people come from all over the globe to visit something that's in our backyard. That's why we do try to get up there a lot. We actually spent the night before our wedding in Niagara Falls, Canada. We had the rehearsal dinner in Niagara Falls USA and the Hard Rock Cafe (in the Elvis Room) and then a bunch of us walked across the border to check out Clifton Hill. Niagara Falls is historically a big honeymoon destination - not so much anymore, but it still is to a degree - and it tickled my funnybone to spend the night BEFORE our wedding in Niagara Falls....yes, I have a pretty weird sense of humor!

You missed out on spending some time at Niagara-On-The-Lake. A beautiful little town with some cute little shops. Our favorite - Greave's Jams and Jellies. We travel up there once a year to pick up their relish. Not sure if you have what we call "relish" in AUS -> a condiment involving finely chopped pickles and various spices that is typically spread on Hamburgers and Hot dogs here in the US. Greave's relish is FANTASTIC compared to what we get in the supermarket here.

Enough hyjacking of your TR...can't wait to hear more.
You know, I think many Australians are also guilty of this. They travel the world not having seen the great landmarks in their own backyard! Probably because its so much cheaper going overseas... I have never been to WA at all, and I've not been to Kakadu.

Mental note to stop at Niagara-on-the-lake and try the relish for when we go.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:11 AM   #35
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I am thoroughly enjoying this TR PIO, keep em coming.

And your photos are exactly what they should be, happy images of amazing scenery and your smiling family. Please don't ever think you need to make apologies for that. They are perfect.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:02 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFirefly View Post
I've never been to those falls, but those are just beautiful...
I just love waterfalls myself. A friend of mine went to Iguazu last year...and it is now so high on my bucket list!

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Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
Love the shots from "above" behind the falls and from the viewing platform and rainbow bridge.

Thanks

That viewing platform wasn't there the last time we were in Niagara; so it was really cool being able to stand out there and take in the view.

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Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
All that in one day? Amazing!
I have to credit my DS for having incredible stamina.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Man it's been ages since I've been to Niagara Falls...let's me think, when was it...oh yeah...Tuesday!

Actually DD had a 1/2 day on Tuesday, and we went across the border to the Bird Kingdom of Niagara. We bought season passes there so we've gone over quite a bit. It also gives us free parking there. DD loves eating at that Rainforest Cafe!

Funny thing is, on the way back over the rainbow bridge the other day, we were talking about the Maid Of The Mist...turns out my wife's never been on it! Neither has DD - so I said this summer we have to rectify that. We actually haven't done most of the things you showed (the Skywheel, the "Behind the falls"). I've really been waiting for DD to get a bit older to try some of them.

I always comment that we should be more impressed that people come from all over the globe to visit something that's in our backyard. That's why we do try to get up there a lot. We actually spent the night before our wedding in Niagara Falls, Canada. We had the rehearsal dinner in Niagara Falls USA and the Hard Rock Cafe (in the Elvis Room) and then a bunch of us walked across the border to check out Clifton Hill. Niagara Falls is historically a big honeymoon destination - not so much anymore, but it still is to a degree - and it tickled my funnybone to spend the night BEFORE our wedding in Niagara Falls....yes, I have a pretty weird sense of humor!

You missed out on spending some time at Niagara-On-The-Lake. A beautiful little town with some cute little shops. Our favorite - Greave's Jams and Jellies. We travel up there once a year to pick up their relish. Not sure if you have what we call "relish" in AUS -> a condiment involving finely chopped pickles and various spices that is typically spread on Hamburgers and Hot dogs here in the US. Greave's relish is FANTASTIC compared to what we get in the supermarket here.

Enough hyjacking of your TR...can't wait to hear more.

Thanks Pete. I'm really sorry we didn't have enough time at Niagara on the Lake. Next time, I might be tempted to stay at Niagara on the Lake and at Wolf Lodge....and go visit the locks as well.

And yes, we do have relish in Oz, typically made with onions, pickles and spices. We rarely have the green relish that you find on burgers or hot dogs in the US because burgers and hot dogs are not typical fare for Australians. The relish you find here is more an onion brown colour.

You're going to have to take DW and DD on Maid of Mist and the other attractions....

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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Cool, I'm all caught up now. Niagara is a fun place, been there once in winter once in summer. Needless to say it was our Summer trip we rode the Maid of the Mist!
I know that some of the attractions in Clifton Hill are incredibly touristy...but it was fun to do them, particularly with DS. Still, all the Niagara Falls activities - Maid of the Mist, Behind the Falls, the Whitewater - were just so spectacular!

I've seen some winter pictures of Niagara...I'm going to have to try to get out there in winter some time. So many things and places to see...so little money!


Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingfast View Post
I'm curious, does Melbourne have things like wax museums and Rain Forest cafes?

We have museums and cafe....but not necessarily a wax museum and Rainforest cafe hasn't made it out here (yet). Hard Rock is here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shushh View Post
Princess, what an awesome day! Love it how you pack so much in! I am wondering how I am going to take photos when we do get to Niagara Falls...Did your camera survive? There's something about North American puttputt golf that DH loves. We always go when we visit!



You know, I think many Australians are also guilty of this. They travel the world not having seen the great landmarks in their own backyard! Probably because its so much cheaper going overseas... I have never been to WA at all, and I've not been to Kakadu.

Mental note to stop at Niagara-on-the-lake and try the relish for when we go.

This trip was in 2007, before we had the dSLR. We took two Point and Shoots with us. One of them was waterproof to 9m and that was the one we used to take the pictures. We didn't risk the other one and kept it in the bag, underneath the plastic coats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
I am thoroughly enjoying this TR PIO, keep em coming.

And your photos are exactly what they should be, happy images of amazing scenery and your smiling family. Please don't ever think you need to make apologies for that. They are perfect.
Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:04 AM   #37
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Quebec City – La Vie en Rose

Quebec City – La Vie en Rose

We flew out of Toronto on an Air Canada Jazz plane. The service was fantastic and I would have no hesitation flying them again.




We landed in a different world! The airport at Quebec City is not large, so we were off the plane and out in a matter of minutes. And then …it dawned on me….it was all French Canadian!

Founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. It’s been fought over by the English and the French and is distinctively and proudly French!

We had booked accommodation in the heart of the Old Town and needed to make our way there. I had figured that we would catch a shuttle bus or something but hadn’t really done a heap of research on what.

One of the airport staff must have realized that we were nearly clueless and came up to help us. He advised that the best way in to the Old Town was by taxi. And the taxi industry there had a flat rate from the airport to anywhere in Quebec City and/or Old Town. It was going to cost us CAN $30. So CIVILISED!


I don’t have any pictures of the drive in…but I remember wide boulevards and Northern European/French architecture everywhere. Sure felt a lot like Europe to me.

I had booked accommodation for Le Champlain Hotel, which is located at one end of Rue St Anne. It was located within the Old City and had been highly regarded on Trip Adviser. The room tariff included continental breakfast and compared with the other hotels in Quebec City, it seemed to be within the ballpark.

The exterior of this hotel is pretty modest and unassuming. It certainly is one of the buildings that seem rather out of place in the Old Town as it is a little bit more modern looking. But I have no complaints!





This is the sitting room downstairs....some sitting more than others.





Our room..







And the very pretty sink…





The view from our room was priceless! The Chateau Frontenac dominates the skyline.






One of the most unexpected things about this trip was how much DH and I LOVED Quebec City. In the entire trip, the time we spent at Quebec rates as the highlight or one of the highlights of the trip. It also certainly topped the list for best food….not cheap….but great French style food. For 3 adults and 1 child, we were regularly spending about CAN $120 - $150 for dinner (4 mains and dessert). Despite the cost, it was definitely the best food on this trip.


After settling into our room, we needed to make a beeline for the railway station. We had decided to catch a train from Quebec City to our next destination, Montreal, and we needed to make sure we bought our tickets on the train.

The walk from the hotel to the main railway station just showed us a glimpse into why Quebec City Old Town had been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Treasure. Life is just all roses here!




I think these were the gardens near the train station.





And after getting our tickets, we were all starving.

We decided to have dinner here…






…within spitting distance of that Chateau.





We waited for a table to be available..






DS saw a sign that he was interested in…




We eventually got our table, was outside…






I’ve already raved about the food but don't have any food porn to back it up....so we’ll move right along.

Looking at the snappy pictures, I think I’ll just try and group them to the various attractions…we did go back and forward a lot over the 3 or 4 days that we were in Quebec City.

We walked EVERYWHERE and didn’t need to take any public transport in this time. Admittedly, we stayed in the Old Town area…but we didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else.

(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:15 AM   #38
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(Continued from Previous Post)

Walking Around the Chateau and Dufferin Terrace

Without a doubt, the Chateau Frontenac dominates the skyline of Quebec City.







We walked through the Chateau and were amazed by the architecture…






…and smelly socks, which we still don’t know why they were there.





Dufferin Terrace is the beautiful boardwalk that is on the St Lawrence River side of the Chateau.










You get beautiful views of the River from here…





And there were loads of street entertainers out and about.




At one end of the Terrace is the Funicular, which takes you back up to Rue St Anne. It is certainly better than WALKING back up the stairs!



The view from the Funicular…








Petit Champlain

At the other side of the Terrace, is a wonderful old world area of Quebec called Petit Champlain. Petit Champlain is one part of the Lower Town of Quebec city that is completely...well..... charming.

You walk down the stairs to get to this area full of touristy shops, handcraft artist shops and eating places.






We came back to this area a couple of times during our stay…purely for ambience and also for window shopping.










(I'm hungry and I wanna eat NOW!)


Another rare food porn shot…this time of Canadian waffle that we had at one of the restaurants in Petit Champlain.







We found street entertainers everywhere we went…and everyone of them of a very high calibre.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:28 AM   #39
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Lower Town (Basse-Ville)

Lower Town is the original settlement of Quebec City. Whilst Petit Champlain is one of the prime areas of lower town, on the other side of the funicular is the Old Port area.




Like everywhere is the Old Town, the views are spectacular.





(I was rather annoyed when this guy ran into my shot...)



(..until he volunteered to take a picture of me!)


There are some killer stairs that take you from around the Old Port to another part of Lower Town.



(DS trying to look tired after the climb up)


There were shops in this part of Lower Town…..





and I remember buying some Christmas decorations from this shop.





....and everywhere there is just stinkin’ gorgeous European architecture; particularly in Place Royale. Place Royale was the main square in the Old Town and is now an area where shopping and museums ring the square.





The building behind me is the French American Museum…I was keen to go in; but DS nixed the idea.




I can’t even remember what this building was…but it could have been significant…







We wandered along the town, heading back towards our hotel.




Perhaps we might have even got ourselves lost along the way….




..and our progress was slow, particularly when DS needed to take a few stops along the way.





But when everything is no more than 20 minutes from anywhere…





You’ll eventually come across some street sign you can’t decipher into English.





...Or stumble across the street where your hotel is.




And another building that seems significant and I can’t remember why…




And yes, there really is a working Port of Quebec….



(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:35 AM   #40
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(Continued from Previous Post)


The view from the St Lawrence


Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale...



A tale of a fateful trip...




That started from this (not so) tropic port..




Aboard this tiny ship....




The mate was a mighty sailin' man....





The Skipper brave and sure...




Five passengers set sail that day....





For a three hour tour....




A three hour tour!





It wasn’t quite a 3 hour tour…2 hours was more like it. But the views from the St Lawrence were excellent!








The Old City Walls


The old city fortifications are impressive. There is about 4.6 kms of wall around Old Town and we just kept stumbling over them…

These were on the way to the train station…




These were in Lower Town…








Two of the Gates that lead in or out of Old Town.










The horse-drawn carriages make it seem so romantic.









Briefly Outside Old Town

We went in search of Place D’Youville and briefly headed out of the city through one of those gates. There were heaps of marquees set up and so we missed taking a shot.





But we did find the bus terminus outside Old Town.







Outside the city walls, the city seemed much like any other city.






So, we headed back in to the Old City in search of more history and culture...



(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:42 AM   #41
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(Continued from Previous Post)


The Citadel


If you keep walking along the Dufferin Terrace away from the Chateau, you will eventually get to the Citadel. Believe it or not, the Citadel is the home of the Governor General of Canada as well as a full working barracks.







The Citadel is part of the city walls and I was keen to head inside. Sadly, DS nixed this idea too.

But he was happy to climb along the walls, which turned out to be a much better activity for us.





The views were fantastic from this vantage point.





Looking towards the St Lawrence and in the direction of the Plains of Abraham.








We kept following the city walls…





….and saw a couple of, what is now, romantic turrets.





Although, as these items remind us, they probably weren’t so romantic in the 1600’s and the 1700's when the wars with the English and French were going on.









And in case you’re wondering how high those walls are, this may give you an idea.





Arts and Crafts


Here are some of the street art we saw in Quebec City…



(Sorry for this one...but it represents the street art for sale in Quebec City. I might try and get a picture of the painting I came home with and replace it at some stage.)


....and some of the statues.














DS’ favourite pieces of art!








Looking back at the pictures we have from this trip, they definitely do not do this place justice. Not only that…they do not show how beautiful this city is at night!

We really enjoyed our time in the Old Town of Quebec City. It was charming, captivating, breathtaking and amazingly European for a North American city. Both DH and I know that it is definitely someplace we’d like to get back to in the future. And rest assured, I’ll be there with the dSLR in hand for the scenery….and the food porn.


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Old 05-22-2011, 06:34 AM   #42
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Thank you for your lovely update on Quebec. I also adored Quebec. We went in the winter so (if this isn't treading on toes...I will take them down if it is) this is some photos with snow on the ground.

Such a beautiful city

It's wonderful you telling people about it as it's well worth the trip.






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Old 05-22-2011, 07:57 AM   #43
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I'm so happy you are sharing this with us PIO, I'm really enjoying hearing about it and my desire to visit is even stronger now. Thank you.

Queenie, what month of the year were you there, love the pretty snow?
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:23 AM   #44
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Gosh, beautiful pictures of Quebec. I went there a few times with my parents as a kid, but haven't been in years and years. Your pictures made me want to plan a trip back. I do remembe the food, but mostly remember as a kid not likely all the "fancy" stuff...probably be a lot different now! I also remember how very European it felt. (Montreal feels like this also, but more "modern" European.)

From here, Quebec City's probably a 10 hour drive at least, so I guess a good reason why we haven't been.

The pictures in winter from Queenie are beautiful, but it gets C*O*L*D in winter up there. They don't call Canada "The Great White North" for nothin'! You are much better off with a summer visit.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #45
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Your pics make me want to plan a trip to Old Quebec!
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