25th November 2005
Niagara Falls, New York

We head south to the city of Buffalo. After navigating our way into the city centre, something we are getting quite skilled at in our own way, and finding a parking space we head out onto the main street and look for the tourist office. We find it moderately quickly thanks to our myriad of maps that we keep stashed in the glove box.

There really isn't much going on in the town at the moment. Buffalo is quite well known for it's architecture and the nice lady at the desk gives us a self guided walking tour leaflet. Wandering back out onto the main street we locate the beginning of the tour just around the corner and wander amongst the buildings.

The leaflet is informative, and upon spotting a similarity between one of the buildings and the former world trade center towers in New York, I am pleased to read that they were both designed by the same person. It's not really that much fun to read about a bunch of buildings so I won't go into great detail here. A couple that impressed me were the City Hall and the Old County Hall. The City Hall looked like something out of Ghostbusters. But if you want to know something, just know that it is a cold, cold, day and we don't linger very long at many of the sites. Trams run through the streets at regular intervals but there doesn't seem to be anyone around to get on them.

My hands are genuinely freezing. We warm ourselves up with two huge hot chocolates from the local coffee shop and complete the tour. There are some impressive buildings dotted around the streets.

On our way back to the car another vehicle slows down and pulls over next to us.

"Hi, do you know your way to the outlet malls? We've come over from Canada to do some shopping!"

What is it about me that looks as if I know where I'm going? I tell him that there is supposed to be a huge selection up near Niagara and get back in the car and on our way. Navigating out of Buffalo is a lot easier than coming in was, and we soon find ourselves back in Niagara. We decide that we may as well make our own way to the outlet malls and have a look around. We buy a few bits of clothing and then head back to the motel to hide from the cold.

Chris Cottam