Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Days 21 Burlington to Niagara Falls

Day 21 on the Pan-Am torch relay was both a treat and an eye-opener. We were lucky enough to end our day in one of the top tourist destinations in North America, Niagara Falls (population around 83.000 
But first, we had a torch bearer meeting in St. Catharines, Ontario, (population around 131,000), about 51 KM south of Toronto across Lake Ontario

This was the first of two groups we had today in Saint Catharines.

Couldn't get very close, had to move on,  but there was a lunch time celebration at their Market Square, a downtown meeting spot that includes a farmer's market.  

Only 5 torchbearers in the second group.

When you drop of a torch bearer, it is always nice to see the support from family and friends

Then it was good-bye Saint Catharines, and a quick 20 min. cruise down the road to Niagara Falls. This was the start of Clifton Hill, the eye-opener. It runs all the ways down to the falls, and is, in my mind,  a tourist trap. (although it wasn't quite the summer season, there was still hundreds of people from all over the world walking around.)

It was one attraction after another, including this Ripley's Believe it or not moving theatre.

Hard Rock Cage, Movieland, etc., etc., ETC.!

My first view of the falls, was American Falls, to my left of Niagara Falls
Another relay first, (aid, that is). Our meeting point at the falls was in the first aid station, the torch bearers had beds for seats, thank goodness no emergencies came up while we were in there.

Looking down river. There was a lot of mist blowing around today.

a close up shot of the front edge of the falls, near to me

way down below, the tourists were riding the "maid of the mist" , or the "hornblower" boat tours that cruise close to the falls. At $20 bucks a pop, and tours every 15 minutes, well, you do the math. Today our first torch bearer carried the flame on the Hornblower and transferred it to a cauldron while the boat cruised close to the falls

This was interesting, to me at least. While all the action was down at the falls and on Clifton Hill, the actual downtown of Niagara Falls was like a ghost town.

It was still fun to check it all out.

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Another one of the torchbearers had the opportunity to take the flame "behind the falls".

We only had 5 torch bearers in our group, and with two gone to the falls, that left three to run with the torch down the hill to our end of day celebration. These 3 got treated like rock stars as many tourists mobbed them to get pictures of the them and the torch.

and now the happy moment for another torchbearer as Tabitha, our torchbearer escort turns the key to turn the fuel on. Another torchbearer will soon be here to exchange the Pan-Am flame.

We could not get close to the end of day celebration, but from the music blaring, it sounded like a party. Next stop, Hamilton, the city that hosted our test event way back in early May.

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