Around Lake Ontario in 5 Days

Hi, I’m back!

As promised, I am already starting the newest blog entry on my trip around Lake Ontario. Since I am travelling a lot in July, it would definitely be too overwhelming to post everything in the end. So I have decided to create a blog entry now and update it every evening. So either check back every day or you can also wait until my trip is finished and everything is uploaded:)

Day 1:
After spending one night in a hostel in Toronto, I got my rental car and started the journey. I plan on driving around 150-300 kilometers a day and stop every now and then and explore. The first stop on my itinerary was the Warsaw Conservation Park, located about two hours away from Toronto. The Park has a great hiking trail, where I spent about 1,5 hours hiking and enjoying nature.

Originally, I had chosen this trail because of the caves that were located there, but they were too dark and tight and very hard to explore since the weather the past few days had not been too great. So I stayed on the hiking trail and enjoyed the view and the animals.

Afterwards, I drove another two hours to Kingston, where I have rented an AirBnb for the night. Tomorrow I’ll have a lot of things planned, including crossing the border into the US.

To liven up my playlist a bit, I will try to find a song for every day of my roadtrip.

Song of the Day:
Roads – Vargas & Lagola

Day 2:
After a quiet night, I continued my journey early this morning. I drove to Downtown Kingston and went on a cruise through the national park. Here are a few impressions of the city:

Kingston is on the edge of the 1000 Islands National Park and they offer boat cruises through Lake Ontario. So, for the next three hours I was able to explore all the different islands and their history. On the boat was a tour guide who gave us a lot of interesting facts on the park. The first leg of the tour took us past Kingston and Wolfe-Island to the St Lawrence River.

Afterwards, we went through the Admiralty Islands which lie just outside of Gananoque.

The last part of the tour took us past Howe Island and the mainland back to Kingston. Interestingly, many of the islands are artificially made and only have a house and a boat dock on them. All islands in the nationalpark are numbered and many of the homes have their own name. All in all, the cruise was very interesting and it was amazing to see the islands and the nature surrounding them so closely.

After the cruise I drove to the US border which I was able to pass without any difficulties. But since it was the 4th of July weekend, the wait time was pretty long. I drove to Watertown, NY to take a short break and some pictures of the town square area.

Now I am finally settled in my AirBnB in Syracuse and I’m enjoying the rest of the evening listening to the fireworks. Tomorrow I will do some sight seeing and drive the next part of the route back to Toronto.

Song of the Day:
Haus am See – Peter Fox

Day 3:
After a restful night, the day started rather gray and rainy. Nonetheless, I packed my bags and headed towards Downtown Syracuse.

There, I decided to first go to the Erie Canal Museum. In the 19th century, the Erie Canal became very important for American trading and the development of the industry surrounding the Great Lakes. To this day, the last weigh lock station of the Erie Canal is still in Syracuse and the museum is built around it. When driving through, the ships were weighed and the captains had to pay the fees connected to their wares and weight.

Although I planned on exploring Syracuse a little longer, the rain made me decide otherwise. Before it started pouring, I was still able to see the Hanover and the Clinton Square. There are many old and historical buildings that are surrounding the Hanover Square, which was one of the central places of Syracuse when it was founded.

Clinton Square became a very important trading post because of its great location within the city. Named after former Govenor DeWitt Clinton (1817-1827) and not former president Bill:), the local market is still held there.

Afterwards, I decided to change my plans a little and I drove to Seneca Falls. This small town in the middle of New York state is very important in the history of the US. Here, the first female organized convention was held in 1848 and the rights of women were discussed and highlighted. Following this meeting and other conventions, the “Declaration of Sentiments” was signed and published which shaped the way for many women’s rights to come. The Seneca Falls Convention was important, because for the first time women were heard in regards to their rights and their wish for equality.
To commemorate this occasion, the town built the Anthony-Stanton-Bloomer statue, which depicts the first women coming together and sharing their opinions.

Another statue, titled “Ripples of Change”, depicts the four activists Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Laura Cornelius Kellogg, and Martha Coffin Wright. All four of these women represent some part of the women’s rights movement in the US and they are important pillars of the female society and history.

My last stop for the day was in Sodus Point. Here I walked to a lighthouse which has a great view of Lake Ontario. While walking up the path and along the beach I enjoyed the scenery and took in the vastness of the lake.

In the evening, I drove to my AirBnB in Holley. Here I decided to take another walk to explore the village a little. As seen in the picture, then sun came out all of the sudden and the evening was amazingly sunny. Typical weather change for the Great Lakes region. I did not venture too far off since I saw a coyote on the path and I did not really feel in the mood for an encounter with a wild animal;)

The day was filled with many historical impressions and information. Tomorrow will bring more history and in the evening, I will be back in Canada!

Song of the Day:
Meet Me at the Lighthouse – Mister and Mississippi

Day 4:
Today, I started my journey to Buffalo bright and early. My first stop on the itinerary was a tour through the Theodor Roosevelt Inaugural Museum. Here, Roosevelt was inaugurated as the president of the United States in 1901. Days before, William McKinley was shot by an assassin and died of his wounds. Since Roosevelt was on vacation with his family at that time, the inauguration had to take place at the Wilcox home in Buffalo. Today, the rooms are designed as exact historical replicas of the house at that time.

After visiting the museum, I used the time to explore the downtown part of Buffalo a little more. The big building in the middle of the picture gallery is the Buffalo city hall. A very impressive building in the center of the city.

My next stop was the Buffalo Naval & Military park. Three decommissioned cruiser ships and a submarine are part of the museum and offer a historical insight in the different wars the US took part in.

Many fallen soldiers are also honored on statues and plaques in the connected park.

Buffalo is a very interesting and historical city and I had a lot of fun exploring it. But doesn’t just offer culture and history, but also geographical sights. On the city’s edge I was able to see another one of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie. Under the Peace Bridge, the bridge connecting the US to Canada, I walked to the edge of the lake and took some great pictures.

In the afternoon, I left the US behind and made my way back to Canada. Usually, I used the time in the evening to relax, write my blog, and prepare for the next day. Today I had to use the opportunity to see Niagara Falls by night. In addition to the lights, they also offered a fireworks show which made the experience even more spectacular.

Back at the AirBnb, I went to bed happy and excited for the next day.

Song of the Day:
Firework – Katy Perry

Day 5:
I started the last morning of my roadtrip with a cup of coffee and a nice talk with my AirBnB host. In general, I have had a lot of luck with my AirBnBs and I’ve had pleasant stays the last few days. After packing my things for a last time, I drove back to the Niagara Falls.

There I watched a 4D movie on the origins of the Falls and afterwards I went to the “Journey Behind the Falls”. Here, you are able to enter the area behind the waterfalls through a tunnel and experience the might of the water from a close. When standing so close, it’s pretty interesting to see how much water actually comes down. Here’s a little video:

When visiting though the tunnel, you’re also able to enter a plattform to see the falls close up from the ground. Of course the water gets everywhere and I was pretty drenched afterwards.

Here are a few more pictures of the Falls:

My next stop was the “White Water Walk” a little down the river. Here, the river picks up a speed up to 50 km/h, the waves can reach about 5m in height, and the water ends up in Lake Ontario.

The last stop on my journey was Niagara-on-the Lake, a smaller town on the edge of Lake Ontario. On the way there I drove through the wine regions and enjoyed the view of the lake. In the background, Toronto had already become visible.

After this last stop, I drove back to Toronto, dropped of the car, and checked into my hostel for the next few days. I will be in Toronto for five days and then continue the trip to Calgary. Of course there will be more posts for those trips.

In total, I drove about 1200 km during the past 5 days. I was able to see a lot of places, learn about new things, and enjoy myself. Here’s a summary of all the places I visited and a picture of the car that travelled with me:

Tomorrow I will spend a quiet day in Toronto and then explore the city. I will probably upload the next post while staying at the airport on Tuesday. In addition to the Song of the Day, I have chosen a Song of the Week as well, to sum up the last few days.

Song of the Day:
Waterfall – Stargate, P!nk, Sia

Song of the Week:
Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Until then!:)

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