The forecast had said that this was going to be a nice day and that the next few days would be a somewhat rainy so we decided to do the Thousand Islands cruise to Boldt Castle that Jennie had requested.
When we got up it looked very foggy.
It had looked the same early yesterday morning but by the time we had gotten moving it had burn off so we hoped the same thing would happen today. We were not so lucky. It stayed kind of foggy and dreary all morning but in the afternoon we were back in the sunshine.
We drove the 40 km to Gananoque to catch our 10 am cruise. In total it is a 5 hour trip. It is about 30 km and 1.5 hours out to the castle. You have 2 hours to tour the castle and then it is 1.5 hours back on a different route through the islands.
We spent all of our time on the upper deck.
Once we got moving it was kind of chilly. We were glad we had brought extra jackets. A lot of people went below to stay warm.
We took all the usual pictures of the cottages perched on tiny islands. Some of the them were taken on the way back. You can tell by how much nicer the weather is.
Everybody takes one of the shortest international bridge.
This looked like a great way to tour the islands.
Underneath the Thousand Islands Bridge.
The shoreline got pretty crowded here.
It thinned out a bit as the places got bigger.
Our first view of Heart Island and Boldt Castle.
George Boldt was a self made millionaire who eventually became the owner of the Waldorf Astoria in New York. He wanted to build a replica of a German castle as a summer place for his wife. Three hundred men worked for nearly 4 year on the various buildings. The castle was almost complete when George’s wife died suddenly. He immediately halted construction and never set foot on the island again. It sat neglected and vandalized for 73 year.
The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the castle in 1977 and began to restore it. The exteriors of most of the buildings seem to be done and I would say about 1/3 of the castle interior is done.
Since the castle is on US territory we had to bring our passports and go through US customs when we landed.
Initially we had thought that 2 hours would be plenty of time to see everything. It wasn’t. The castle alone has 120 rooms although most are not restored yet.
The main floor.
The central atrium.
The glass dome at the top of the atrium.
The view of the top of the dome from an upper floor.
We headed down to the basement, first to see the giant fireplace.
And the pool. All the sparkles at the bottom are coins that people have thrown in.
We took the tunnel and path over to the power house.
This building’s sole purpose was to supply power to the rest of the estate. The lower floor held the generators and the upper floor held the rather luxurious apartments for the engineers that maintained the equipment. The clock tower has a carillon from a large hotel that no longer wanted it because it was too loud.
The next building was called the DoveCote.
The top was going to be a dove house and they think the bottom was going to have an exotic bird collection.
Next was Astler Tower. It was the first structure completed and the Boldts lived here while the castle was being built.
We couldn’t go inside as it was under construction.
There were lots of interesting gardens.
I had never seen peppers in a garden before.
We went back inside to explore the upper floors. The second floor was mostly restored.
The rest was still a work in progress.
There was lots of graffiti.
We ran out of time and had to head back to the boat.
On the other shore was the Yacht House. It was big enough such that all of his sail and power boats could go in fully rigged.
It was much warmer on the way back. The only wind was from the movement of the boat.
People on a US tour boat. They don’t have the bother of going through customs.
A guy on a jetski came out to jump our wake (and show off) because there were no other waves. You can just see him in the middle right, below.
One jump didn’t go so well.
Back at the dock and we were quickly through Canada Customs.
Jennie was really impressed by the castle. We are going to a wedding at Casa Loma in Toronto next weekend. Jennie has never been there so we will have to see how she thinks they compare.