Being typically European, there was however one particular direction we were itching to go, for no better reason than because we wanted to say; “Lets drive to America for the afternoon.”
One of T’s colleagues had suggested Lake Placid to him on the Friday afternoon. Located in the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State, the lake is a couple of hours drive from home, which was a perfect distance for a road trip ‘popping over’ to America!
I hadn’t realized we were so close to the US-Canadian border, it took us just 45 minutes to reach (which was a good thing, as we had set off much later than originally planned...). But it then took us another 45 minutes of queuing in traffic to get through border control. We had remembered to bring our passports with us, and already had an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) for when we flew back from Sydney (as we had come via America) so we got through the border without a problem. Even though there is no reason why we would not be allowed through the border, there is always a worrying brief second where I fear we will get turned back. I always feel guilty when I am questioned by border control, despite having nothing whatsoever to hide - why is that??!
It was not at all what we expected.
The town was more touristy than we had envisaged for a start; and was not the quaint rural setting we had in our minds. (I don't know why we had thought this though...!) Having not had a chance to research the area on the internet much before we left, we had planned on getting some information on the area from Tourist Information, but it was closed. Granted, it was a Sunday, but we thought the Tourist Information Centre would open seven days a week and this threw us somewhat. The lake was clearly visible from the main road which wound through the town. We drove along the high street and carried along the road, ending up driving around the lake in a couple of minutes. This was disappointing as we had it in our heads that the lake would be much larger and more scenic.
Despite our unsuccessful day it was interesting to see the area, with the stunning landscape and different styles of houses, and at least our mission - to say we went to America for the day; without the minimum 7 hour flights, no jet lag, just us in our own car rather than a hire car – was a success!
We were a bit disappointed with the trip, especially the lake, and we couldn’t help wonder why T’s colleague had recommended it to us.
I have just been researching Lake Placid on the internet to get the correct spelling of the region it is in. Drawing up the map, you can imagine my ‘d’oh!!’ horror when I see that the village of Lake Placid sits on… not Lake Placid, but Mirror Lake.
Mirror Lake is approximately 128 acres in size and 14 feet deep. Lake Placid, on the other hand, is 2,170 acres in size, and has an average depth of 50 feet. Ahem. We came back to Canada without actually seeing the body of water known as Lake Placid…
I have a feeling we may be making a return trip at some stage...