Enjoying Canada

   It was October, 1999 and a goot time to get our H1 visas finally. To make life better we decided to pack  business and leisure goals in the one nice trip :) So we spent a week in Canada though we didn't visit french provinces because of lack of time.
   Actually our mission started in New York. We stood nervous for an hour from 7a.m. at Canada's Consulate
to get tourist visas. Anyway we got them almost without troubles besides going to Piscataway back for some documents and then again to NY in the same morning.
   Now about our trip. This time we were driving by our own car from New Jersey through Pensilvanya and New York states to Niagara Falls, US then Niagara Falls, Canada and Toronto. We didn't have any troubles with car or air tickets and etc. :) because it was our car! It was about 7 hours drive to Niagara Falls through the mountains at first and then via straight highway. The places are very colorful, you know it's autumn here. All trees are mix of green, yellow and red colors! Actually the nature on the north reminds me Chelyabinsk's nature... The border between US and Canada lies through the Niagara river and actually when you cross Rainbow bridge you are in Canada. Canada's custom was very simple and it was great. Then we were driving further to Toronto.
   Toronto is quite a big city with 4 millions people but it's nice, not many jams, a lot of public transportation and etc. Especially I liked the style of houses it's like british (victorian) style I think. We lived in the small private hotel which
is located inside such victorian house. It has very warm atmosphere and good breakfast that the owner prepared every morning :-) And they have shared bathrooms there. It sounds funny and uncomfortable for me but people talk that there are many such hotels in Europe. I wonder is it true or not? Anyway we liked the hotel look inside and outside so much that we filmed it on the video.
   Next morning after our arrival was very hard because we were visiting US consulate. The weather was quite cold... We brought a pile of documents there and prepared all possible answers on the crazy questions. Still we were
not sure will they give us or not. One our before opening the queue contained about 50 people already...After applying at Friday we should've get visas (or not) at Tuesday. So,we spent about 3 days in Toronto researching this city. For people who want to know what happened with our visas, we successfully got them.
   At first,of course, we visited CN Tower. Do you know that it's the tallest structure in the world? It was built for 3 years and we saw the movie about it. Poor builders... It has the same shape as the tower in Moscow (Ostankino
tower). Canadians had a lot of entertainment there except gift shops. We rode on the couple of motion simulators, it was fun! The tower has 3 observation levels and the different between them is quite big. The speed of the elevator is 50km/hour I think. Sure,we filmed everything about tower and especially the glass floor. The one part of the first level floor is made from a glass where you can stay, sit or even lay and it's little bit scary to see the ground under your legs :)) It's the only one tower between others we visited having such glass floor. Actually I like architecture of the city.
Many buildings look new and modern, especially 'Holiday Inn' building and the high tower is situated near a low building of Stardom complex. Cool view! I almost forgot there is '360' restaurant on the CN Tower which is moving and it makes 360 turn in about 70 minutes. We visited it,  the food was great and of course exciting view on the whole downtown and harbor! Also we visited Ontario Science museum and spent a whole day still couldn't research all exhibitions there. Very exciting for all ages I think. CasaLoma, Art Gallery of Ontario (I liked the pictures of big seven group of the canadian artists, they made very great looking nature images),  HarborFront... Toronto has lake Ontario right beside it and there is very nice and picturesque view. There are couple of good fish restaurants, we visited one. There are also a lot of tour ships and ferries that go to the Toronto islands and around those. We made such trip just to see islands and a good view on the Toronto downtown.
   In whole I like that the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxing. I'd walk there every weekend .... It's very romantic I suppose... Another pleasant feature is the number of small cafes,restaurants and shops in Toronto. They have really good bakery and deli shops, canadians like sweet stuff as I do ;*) And there are a lot of parking places, expensive but you always can find some. No, it's not NY completely...
   Also we've been in the 'Famous Players' cinema theatre there. It's the best theatre we saw, this NJ's theatres are no
comparison too. And they have 3D IMAX where you wear special glasses and enjoy the movie (it's called stereo in Russia). Last time I saw such thing maybe 10 or more years ago in Russia. Yes, that 3D stuff was real especially
when stones fall into you face :) I guess I described almost everything about Toronto. The main idea is that
Canada is not US and even large cities are not ugly as NY. And we liked everything there!!!
   After that at Monday we drove to Niagara Falls, Canada and spent there couple of days. This time we had a video camera, so we made a full video about Niagara Falls and etc. Also we watched night illuminations again, it
looks much nicer from canadian side because you see both falls much better than from american coast. Also we've been in Frankeistein house and Movie Stars Wax museum. Most of actor figures are not exactly like the originals
but it's still fun especially alien always looked like real alien ! What was the real fun is the casino. We decided to visit at first time the casino and spend there some money...(trying to save some for the way home). So,we don't know card games that's why we played on the coin machines. At first we spent a lot but then we won some and then machine again stopped to cooperate :-) Of course, ahh, at the end we still had our budget minus some money (not plus). No, we are not lucky in the gambling :-( I was very surprised to see a crowd of all ages people there playing and constantly winning, every minute you hear sound of some person winning big money. Some people even have frequent players cards. Crazy, I think ?!
   I forgot about such nice adventure as a jet boating on the Niagara river. We thought it will be peaceful trip on the river. No,no , it was vise versa, cold water adventure I guess. At the beginning we were given sweaters, jump suits and life jackets and resin boots. I wondered do I need that? Sure, it was very useful but still not enough because we've been riding on the waves and became completely wet including jeans and etc. Even jump suite didn't help :) We bought a video about it to show everybody that we've been very brave!
   Last day we saw famous canadian Floral Clocks and bought some fruits and wine from the farm shops and winery boutique there. Canadians have a lot of such shops and wineries along the road by the Niagara river. Very nice and
everything is fresh. I wonder why americans don't have the same on the another coast ...
   Wednesday afternoon we left Canada and went back to US. US custom wasn't so friendly even asked about our car. Did they thought I stole it or what? After we drove back for another 7 hours and again WITHOUT TROUBLES!!! Can you believe it? (If you do, read our story about trip to Niagara this summer)