After a morning of Ford filled fun, we continued our travels eastward, to Niagara Falls, ready to drop the car back and then get ourselves to Toronto. Not the most chilled of days, in fact my co-ordination skills were being put to the test, especially seeing as the car had to be dropped back to America (you can’t pick a car up in the USA and drop it off in Canada), but due to our starting location, it was way faster to drive through Canada. Aka, to get to our final destination, we had to endure three border crossings (into Canada, back into America, and then lastly the return into Canada).
It was around 11am by now, the sun was out and we had a car filled with sweets; it was going to be a good day. In the middle of this though, was a four hour drive, which was not quite our favourite thing.
Nonetheless, we managed it (via a fair amount of traffic) and arrived at Niagara Falls at around 4 30/5pm. We parked right by the falls, which was super easy – there are so many signs for parking, but I’d recommend to just keep driving because you’ll eventually end up at the actual falls. It might be a bit cheaper to park further away, but I can’t say it’s worth it. By the time we got there hardly anyone was actually in the car park, so we sauntered (hurriedly, as we didn’t have much time before we had to return the car) across the road and suddenly were actually at Niagara Falls.
It’s way better to park in the centre as well, because there are actually things going on. Niagara is kind of a strange place really, a big Gatlinburg-esque even. I’ll get back to that later though.
We were there at just the right time, as a rainbow was stretching across the width of it, and there weren’t actually that many people there to see it. I’d already been to Niagara, but neither Dan nor Hamilton had, so it was really fun for me to see their reaction. I’d forgotten what it was like to see the mist rising up and clouding the sky; spoiler alert, it’s pretty epic.
After a couple of quick selfies, we jumped back in the car and raced across town/the border to make it to the car rental place before it shut. The drop off was at the exceptionally tiny Niagara Airport, which I guess is just a local airport, because somehow we arrived just before the place should have shut and there wasn’t a single soul there.
That’s right. It was shut.
There was no way that happened between the time we arrived, and the time Hamilton got to the desk; I don’t know how the place works, but there was no one there. The whole entire place was shut, as in the front doors to the airport.
And guess what? The key drop off was inside the airport.
We called the company and they had ideas. Most of them unfortunately, were not helpful. Aka, could we drop the car at a drop off 30 miles away in the opposite direction to where we’re going? No. Could we lock the keys inside the car? No, the car was too smart for us. It knew what we were trying to do and did not like it. Finally, they told us to take the keys and drop them at a car rental desk at the airport on our way back.
So, strangely, we left our little (huge) car in an empty airport, and took the keys with us. It sort of felt like leaving a child alone for the first time. Well, a slightly broken (steering/being given constant electric shocks) child, that is.
This was only the start of our issues…
I had assumed that we would get the car rental company desk to call us a cab to the border, and then we would get to the coach station in order to get to Toronto from there.
Nope. The only thing around us, were some non-descript buses. Thankfully, the bus drivers were super helpful, and for a dollar (maybe two dollars), we could be dropped fairly near to the border. So we sat on a bus for what felt like hours, with our massive suitcases, before finally arriving back where we’d just come from – Niagara.
We were pretty knackered by this point, and super, super hungry. So with our suitcases in hand, we crossed the border (yep, by foot) and meandered into Niagara. I suppose it’s because people come from far and wide to see Niagara, so often stay and they want other things to do. But for some reason, whenever there is a gap in the market for leisure activities in towns like this, Mr Ripleys is first on board, followed by some sort of scary house, museums of odd things and a bird kingdom. We didn’t have time to frequent any of these things sadly, but I can’t say I felt like I was missing out.
After fulfilling our fast food needs, we found a taxi and raced to the coach station, where we got some super cheap Megabus tickets and were on our way to our final destination as a group… Toronto, where we’ll pick up next time.