A Thousand Islands without the dressing!

There seems to be some dispute about who invented the recipe, but not that it originated in this area of a thousand islands, or 1,865 islands to be more precise. An island here is something with at least two trees on it, but then we wondered looking at many tiny ‘islands’ when is a tree a tree, and not a bush? It is a spectacular part of the St Lawrence though, the bit that flows out of Lake Ontario, complete with ospreys, which we saw, and eagles, which we did not. We arrived in Kingston on Tuesday afternoon, 20 June, by way of Prescott (2 photos), Brockville (tall ship photo), Rockville and Gananoque.

We had a wander round Kingston

Having established the best boat tour of the Thousand Islands was out of Gananoque, we headed for the 10am boat yesterday for a three hour cruise round the islands. We sat on deck and enjoyed looking at many islands, large and small in both Canadian and the US waters. If an island was any size at all, it had a house on it! Apparently many of the islands are privately owned and pass down from generation to generation. What a place to live/have a holiday home!

Here is the shortest bridge from Canada to the US, house on one island, garden on the other!

We saw the rather hideous Bolt’s Castle, with its sad history. Bolt, the kitchen boy who went on to become the owner of the Waldorf Astoria in New York, built it as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife, but she died before it was finished and, heartbroken, he abandoned it. It was later saved from ruin, the building completed and is a tourist attraction now.

In the afternoon we saw this end of the Rideau Canal, having visited the other end while we were in Ottawa. It was completed in 1832, when the US and Canada weren’t quite such good friends as they are today, in case the Americans blocked the St Lawrence. In the end it was never needed for that purpose and was used for commercial purposes and now just for pleasure craft.

Continuing our nautical theme we headed for the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, only to discover it had been replaced by a brand new Marriott Hotel, so we came back, sat on our noisy balcony in the sun, watching the rush hour traffic and reading The Times(deeply depressing), before heading next door to A&W to sample their burgers for dinner. This was also deeply depressing as they list the number of calories in each portion! It was rather yummy, but no more of those, it will take three days of salad to even out the damage! Today we head over the St Lawrence for New York State.

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