In order to keep things cheap I’d put aside a whole day to make the long train journey from New York to Niagara, it turned out to be a really good idea. After a few tense moments finding platform in the complex Penn Station, I made my way on to Amtrak service 281 to find very comfy seats, power outlets and wifi! This is probably standard on most trains now I suppose, but I’ve not enjoyed such big comfy seats on a train before. This made the 9 hour, yes 9 hour, trip to Niagara much more bearable as I could sit back with my laptop and do what ever I liked, including enjoying the green rolling hills of upstate New York and even talking to one of my mates on Steam. As we drew into Niagara butterflies started to build as I knew the border was near and would prove the ultimate test of my paperwork!
Well I can’t say the border was much fun! Despite Canada being probably the most friendly nation I’ve met (tied with The Netherlands) I was scalded by the border guard in the manor of a disappointed teacher, mainly for having no fixed address for the duration of my stay and no Canadian phone number. I left the border feeling somewhat disgruntled, and then began to wonder that perhaps I’d given answers that they were looking for. Why, if I was entering for the first time, would I have a Canadian phone number already? And a fixed address? I think they were looking for people trying to re-enter having previously lived in Canada illegally before. If I was in that position I might have given up that info in an attempt to appease the belligerent border force. Clever!
Safely in Canada I made my way up to my next hostel and bedded down for the night.