Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Day at Niagara Falls

I'd been to Niagara Falls several times before in years long past so when my brother and nephew came to stay recently it seemed like a good time to pay another visit. 

They certainly are an impressive force of nature. From a calm and quiet start:

 the water tumbles over the cliffs with such force:

and produces a spray so high that it almost obliterates the skyscrapers behind:

The Falls lie between America and Canada and there is a perpetual debate over which side is the best for viewing. Canada generally comes out top because of the full view of The Horseshoe Falls which from the American side looks like this:

until you take a ride on one of the Maids of the Mist:

for a view like this:

Interestingly, it looks more like ice than water from this vantage point.

or this:

Luckily, you get high-fashion protective gear to keep you dry:

not something I'd want to make a permanent addition to my wardrobe!

(Note: the Canadian side offers this style in red only.)

Back on shore, you can follow a path leading to a staircase which takes you to the 'Crows Nest' for a close up view of the American Falls:

Or go for a stroll on Goat Island, which divides the Niagara River, hence creating the two falls.  Only accessible from the American side, it offers a park-like environment (still in the making as of this summer) with walkways  and greenery.  To my mind the American side has a pleasanter feel to it, more in keeping with nature which, after all is surely the whole point in coming in the first place.

Unfortunately, the Canadian side has been over-commercialized with theme parks and casinos providing a less scenic view for those visitors who are looking across from the American side.

It is possible to walk across a footbridge from the US to Canada, and we had originally planned to do so, but, after a pleasant few hours on the American side and a trip on the Maid of the Mist, it didn't seem worth the hassle of having to go through passport control twice in one day.  

If you haven't been before and find yourself in the area, I'd highly recommend it. It's definitely an awesome sight!

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