Toronto Day 2: Graffiti ๐ŸŽจ and Waterfall ๐ŸŒŠ

After the first busy day in Toronto, think maybe I should give myself a little break? Nah, itโ€™s packing in more and more! Two of my destinations on the itinerary were Graffiti Alley (recommended by my friend who visited before) and the legendary Niagara Falls! So it was up early in the morning and journey on! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธโ˜€๏ธ

Graffiti alley was a decent half an hour walk from the Union Station, so it was perfect to walk off the breakfast calories lol! The artistry there really was very impressive, and it were pictures after pictures with my phone! ๐Ÿ“ธ ๐Ÿ“ธ These are some of my favourites below (and I still have even more pics but I thought letโ€™s not go overboard! ๐Ÿ˜‚) Which one of these is your favourite? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Afterwards, I found a little spot for lunch and ordered the Canadian national dish of poutine. I wonโ€™t say it was very impressive (to my British brain, it was essentially chips, gravy and โ€œhalloumiโ€-like cheese ๐Ÿ˜…). But whatโ€™s not to like?

Poutine

I then returned to the Union Station area as I await my pick up bus to Niagara Falls. I ordered via FlixBus online, costing me just under ยฃ40 for the return journey (it was expensive ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ though it appeared to be my cheapest option from the recommendations at the tourist information centre. The only cheaper option was the seasonal weekend bus which I unfortunately would miss- apparently they are only CA$10 for a return ticket in comparison!!)

The bus pick up spot was at a weird cross junction down by the Harbourfront (8 York Street). It was hidden right behind some large scaffolding, so I almost missed it until I spot a large group of people queueing by the bus.๐Ÿ˜… The bus itself is around a 2-hour journey to the Niagara Falls, so it was time to sit back and relax (and charge my phone lol). ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿ”Œ

Upon arriving, I took the inclined railway down the cliff (costing only CA$3 and it was super quick) to the Nigara Falls. And the spectacular views really were worth the journey! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

The roaring Niagara Falls
It was very cooling – cause the splashes even sprinkled on you on the high cliff! ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ
The ferry โ›ด braving the storm! ๐ŸŒŠ (They do tours down there in the water but I was a bit short on time plus they were a bit too expensive for me especially after spending so much already on the bus tickets! ๐Ÿ˜”)
Rainbow ๐ŸŒˆ at the waterfall (how lucky!)
Rainbow bridge to the US borders

With four hours to spend until my return bus, I decided to head over the State side of the Niagara Falls (in the state of New York) by crossing the Rainbow Bridge through to the US border. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Just a short tour before my flight to Texas tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‚ and it was a straightforward crossing plus a small fee (make sure you have all your travel documents with you though!) The only extra thing right now (due to current COVID restrictions) is you will need to fill in the ArriveCAN form again before reentering Canada.

Crossing the borders
Leaving Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‘‹
The flags marking the two borders
Welcome to USA! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
New York, New York!
Looking over back at Canada from the US!

By the time I got back to Toronto downtown, it was already almost 9 at night ๐ŸŒƒ (and I got an early morning flight the next day urgh ๐Ÿ˜ช). But I did manage to capture the beautiful red sky form the sunset! ๐ŸŒ… (And enough to tempt me for a short wander around the city hehe!)

CN Tower in the sunset

After a small dinner back in my hotel room (with the leftovers noodles from Chinatown I left in the fridge yesterday ๐Ÿ˜‚), I made sure my alarm clock was set for my flight to Texas tomorrow morning! ๐ŸŒ„

6am at the airport ๐Ÿฅฑ and juice breakfast ๐Ÿฅค
Very small plane! My head could almost touch the ceiling! (And I am 5 ft 6โ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜‚)
Flying over Texas โœˆ๏ธ

See you guys in USA! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Toronto Day 1: A Fast-Paced Metropolitan ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ

So finally itโ€™s summer and my sabbatical has also officially begun! ๐Ÿ˜Ž And this August, I have planned for a long trip away from the UK as I will be visiting both Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ and USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ for the entire month, so let the adventure begins! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Amazing scenery of Greenland as we flew over on the way to Canada โ„๏ธโ„๏ธ

Jetting off from Glasgow Airport in the early morning (spent a night over there after taking a bus from Edinburgh), the flight โœˆ๏ธ lasted around 7.5 hours before landing in Toronto. Though I had been running very low on sleep ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ช since leaving home, but I managed to muster enough energy to head to downtown after checking into my hotel located near the Pearson airport.

Terminal changing train

From Terminal 1 Pearson airport. one may take the UP Express at the cost of just under CA$13 to Union Station in downtown (and they only offer one-way and no cheaper return optionโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ) I stayed near Terminal 3, but it was a very easy change to Terminal 1 using the free terminal changing train.

Union Station in Toronto Downtown

Toronto was a huge, busy metropolitan (in my opinion, rivals New York!) and a fast-paced city with an almost futuristic feel to it. I was a bit blown away by the intensity at first, but at the same time, it was totally unforgettable. ๐Ÿ˜Š

What a metropolitan the city is! ๐Ÿ™
Trio of tacos for lunch! ๐ŸŒฎ ๐ŸŒฎ ๐ŸŒฎ
Loving the skyscrapers!
Busy busy busy!
๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

After a brief lunch break, I headed to Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to board the ferry โ›ด heading to Toronto Island Park. The glorious sunny weather was perfect for a combo of sailing, park day and being by water! ๐Ÿ˜†โ˜€๏ธ

Terminal entrance
Boarding the ferry
Amazing skyline of Toronto! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™
โ›ด โ›ด
Toronto Island Park
Pier sea view (not going to lie but there was an awful stench by the beach there!! ๐Ÿคข)

I also visited the Franklin Childrenโ€™s Garden – temporarily turning back into a kid again as I navigated around the bushes and joined in the scenes! There was something quite magical about it!

After boarding the ferry back to the main land of Toronto, there were forecasts of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms ๐Ÿ˜จ (and also just when I left my umbrella ๐ŸŒ‚ in the hotel!) But, after some initial hesitance, I decided to take the risk and walk to Chinatown for dinner – praying I could make it back before the rain falls! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ

Toronto Chinatown

Toronto Chinatown was certainly unlike any in the UK – the moment I entered the community I completely felt like I was back in Hong Kong/China and the nostalgia hit me like a ton of bricks. After some wandering around (it was so big and I was totally spoiled for choices), I managed to find an eatery that really resembled those I used to visit as a child in Hong Kong and ordered some old classic favourites. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Squid fish balls and my favourite childhood drink- soya milk! Classic combo!
Bean paste mince noodles was one of my favourite comfort food as a kid! This one was so gigantic though that I had to take a doggy bag home ๐Ÿ˜‚
Even the ticket brought back so much memories! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ
Yakult bubble tea! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

And it turned out the weather forecast didnโ€™t happen ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†, so I skipped down the streets of Toronto with my takeout bag and bubble tea in hands as I crashed into a deep sleep back in my hotel room! ๐Ÿ˜ด A long day was finally over!