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End of the road!

Niagara Falls and New York

Our penultimate stop on The Road Trip was Niagara falls, somewhere I'd always wanted to see. We crossed over into Canada and arived late at our hotel, where we could hear the falls. Our "falls view" room was on the 11th floor with no obstructions between us and the river, so we were really excited about waking up to a spectacular view in the morning. Turns out it didn't quite work out that way...

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Nature was a bit against us, and we really couldn't see much of the falls. Walking round the town we managed a few slightly better views, especially of Niagara Falls USA (there are two slightly separated sets of falls, one in each country) but the picture postcard view of the Canadian falls just wasn't happening.

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We took a tour behind the falls which was a bit more successful. From here you can really feel the powr of the falls - they're seriously impressive. Shockingly after the heat we'd been experiencing in the deep south for the past few weeks it's still full on winter up here - and there's ice everywhere. That was fine by me, I've missed the stuff recently and it all added to the beauty of the place. Despite the mist, a truly spectacular place to visit.

Here's the view from behind the falls:

On leaving Niagara we just had time for a final milkshake stop before heading on to our ultimate destination, New York.
Hopping on a city tour bus we spent an afternoon taking in all the major sights. Nomatter how cliche or touristy, it's still pretty great seeing the Statue of Liberty up close, or hanging out with the bull near Wall St. There's plenty to see in this city.

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The site that hit me hardest though was a bit more somber. I was in two minds about whether I wanted to see the memorial at Ground Zero, basically because I didn't really want to end up depressed for the day, but I figured some things are probably quite important to see, even if it's not pleasant. Now, I'm not really one for placing meaning on any art, and generally get quite annoyed at abstract scupltures that the artist pretends represents something, but this was an exception. I'd be hard pressed to say why (I could try if you ask me) but this memorial just seems incredibly appropriate. For me they couldn't have done anything better with this space - and the feeling of loss and emptiness here is almost palpable. Not exactly an enjoyable visit, but I'm very glad I went.

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We also managed to take in a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden (the terrible game was significantly less boring thanks to the regular breaks for "Celebrity Cam" picking out stars from the crowd - the highlight being Sabrina the teenage witch...) and I had a slightly odd relapse into real life as I met up with my boss for a ridiculously good steak (thanks Alex!) but fortunately there wasn't too much work talk and we just got drunk instead.

The inescapable fact that we hadn't wanted to deal with though, was that New York was the end of the road. I'm saying bye to Jamie at this point and heading into South America next on my own. Cheers Mate - it's been awesome!
Also, we were going to have to say goodbye to the 'stang. After 4 weeks we'd clocked up over 100 hours of driving and covered over 5000 miles across 15 states, along with a quick jaunt into Canada thrown in for fun. I don't want to know how many milkshakes had been racked up, but it was somewhere North of 25. The car's been absolutely amazing, and we couldn't have had anything better for this trip. I'm genuinely a bit upset to see her go!
Now. I wonder how much it'd cost to get a car shipped over to the UK...

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Posted by Matt Cocken 05:38 Archived in USA Tagged new_york niagara

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