So after surviving a night at the historically cool Chelsea Star Hotel it was a short walk to Penn Station to catch Amtrak train 281 (romantically named Empire Express) from platform 5 East to Niagara Falls. Armed with supplies (coffee, juice, croissants, kit kat, etc) I was ready for the 9 hour 30 minute journey through upstate New York.
There was nothing particularily express about the journey, with stops at every station along the route. Plus rail maintenance work conspired to add almost two hours to the journey.
The scenery along the way was pleasant, following the Hudson River, and passing through Hudson, Albany, Amsterdam and Rome. Trains follow a corridor through cities, and these are typically poorer parts of the city and often house derelict buildings – not very inspiring. The best part was wifi (sometimes a bit patchy) along the route, enabling me to start designing this blog.
On arrival at Niagara Falls I discovered my motel was on the Canadian side which created some transport logistics issues – so I took a taxi to the border then walked across the rather spectacular Rainbow 🌈 Bridge into CaNaDa. The view was breathtaking.
So here I was in the location that Marilyn Monroe starred in the movie Niagara in 1953. See the trailer here on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9GF9W93yzE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Coincidentally its just a few days shy of the 50th anniversary of her death.
After some intense interrogation by Canadian border control I was allowed to pass and entered entertainment hell. Clifton Hill was alive with every conceivable showground attraction on the main street. Ugly ugly ugly.
But the main attraction was bathed in glorious sunlight the next morning and did not disappoint.