Up at an uncivilised hour in order to get a lift to O'Hare on my host's way into work. I use my 2 ½ hours at O'Hare productively by losing my boarding pass. Best guess is that it got scooped out of the tray by the X-ray machine. The drama is fairly anticlimactic as the gate staff replace it the moment they finish their conversation.

As my waiting approaches its end, the skies darken and the lightning starts up. Operations close the gate down and we wait out the rain. We're about an hour late when the storm passes and we get to depart.

It's a short flight, and we've pulled back 20 minutes by the time we land in Buffalo. The best way of getting to Niagara Falls from here appears to be a $45 taxi. Half a hour and $50 later, I'm standing happily by the side of the Niagara River in cheerful anticipation of seeing one of the iconic places of the world.

The waters from the US side are, as promised, less spectacular. It isn't long before I walk across the bridge, out of the US and into Canada.

My first experience in Canada is a Canadian grill which allows me to breakfast on Proper Bacon overlooking the Falls. My second experience is getting my cash card rejected and having to exist on plastic.

The Falls are indeed spectacular from this angle, and I gradually walk the length of the Parkway to the Horseshoe Falls in the deteriorating weather. It's hard to say whether the water in the air is spray or rain. Whichever it is, it's definitely wet. It's also obscuring the view - the middle of the Falls is a white out from all directions.

I'm trying not to be too BTDT about the whole experience, but particularly here in the off season, there isn't that much to entertain you once you've gazed upon the water. I come back for a fresh look when it gets dark and complete my visit by getting the experience of the Falls all lit up. It's pretty funky picked out in the multicoloured lighting, but it's also properly raining now so I finish my tourism for the evening and go to warm up in a coffee shop.

After almost a full day in Canada, I feel I'm experienced enough to share some observations on Canadians. Most importantly, they really do say 'eh'. They also do put cinnamon on everything. And finally... It's odd - the moment I step off the bridge, it all just feels more relaxed and easy-going. Canada, eh?

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