1000 islands of Lake Ontario
This is another insider tip. I had never hard of the 1000 islands before. Given how much I enjoyed my visit that is a real shame! When you drive east bound along the Ontario shoreline of lake Ontario, past Kingston, you will reach a place of natural beauty of luxury indulgence. It’s right where the lake meets the Sant Laurence river that 1800 tiny islands were formed. This part of the river is called 1000 islands.
View from atop
First we crossed the bridge over the Sant Laurence river. Later that day I learned that in this area you’ll also find the shortest international bridge in the world. It connects Canada and the US. We had picked a bridge before, still with both ends in Canada for the view. Unfortunately the footpath along the bridge was closed for maintenance, so we couldn’t walk across. But from the car I got a pretty good idea why people flock here in the summer. There’s also a look-out tower and a scenic parkway along the shore.
Several towns along the shore there have ports where short cruises are offered. They range between an hour and a half-day on the water and go to different places. Kingston offers them, but from there it’s still quite a distance to get to the islands. I would advise starting the cruise in one of the more Eastern ports. We got the 11am boat from Rockport. They have a good touristic infrastructure with lots of parking and places to eat. So this makes for a great day trip. Our one hour cruise took us through the diverse seascape. Most islands are so small, there is only one or two houses on them.
The castle in the lake
When I say houses, I don’t necessarily mean cottages. Some of them are mansions built by rich city people. The biggest one by far is Bolt Castle, which these days you can rent as event space for weddings etcetera. Supposedly it was built as a summer residence for the builder’s wife who could not swim. He dropped her off there in the spring and picked her back up in the fall. So they told us on the boat 😉 Construction is expensive and takes a long time. Just think about having to transport all the materials there by truck over the frozen lake in the winter. Then wait for the summer to actually build anything.
I hope the pictures can give you a bit of an idea of how serene and opulent at the same time this place is. I’ll keep you updated on my next adventures in Canada 🙂