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  • Day21

    Niagara Falls

    May 10, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    After a 'continental breakfast' of sugary muffins and coffee served in the reception/quickie mart of our motel we took the short stroll down to see the Falls. It was 9:30am but it was already hot as we made our way through the typical tourist town make-up of restaurants and souvenir shops as well as a heli pad for helicopter tours of the Falls. Like Joey in 'Friends' we took a moment to 'get in the map' but the Falls were pretty hard to miss with the spray of their cascading waters hissing in the distance.

    Being in the U.S. we naturally came upon the American Falls first with the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in the distance but largely out of sight due the mist of spray coming off it. We purchased tickets to take the 'Maid of the Mist' boat ride that takes you as close as is safely possible to the base of both Falls (we laughed when the adolescent male ticket attendant with braced teeth commented 'you're accent is awesome' to Alex as we paid).

    Looking down from the observation tower we could see tiny people clamber along walkways from the lifts that would take us to our boat. Down below was also the walkways for the Cave of The Winds tour that unfortunately we were just outside of season for due to the walkways requiring repair after yearly harsh winters and the constant battering they receive from the Falls.

    Once down at the boat we were issued with blue ponchos to keep us dry (you can see from the photos they are very fetching and Alex particularly liked his). This was a natural selfie moment for all with Kim helping a family get a picture of themselves all together.

    As we approached the Falls the 'oohs' and 'ahhs' turned to shrieks as water sprayed down onto the deck and we were enveloped by the mist. The ponchos were definitely necessary! Soaked by the end, the views and experience were incredible and we'd highly recommend it to anyone going to see the Falls.

    We explored the rest of the State Park with its islands and outlooks around the Falls. Three small islands, The Three Sisters, are named after the daughters of General Whitney who are believed to be the first European settlers to explore the islands in the 19th century. Not such a big deal looking at the size of the islands or the distance between them when you're crossing the now connecting bridge but the current is obviously strongly and there is only one way you'd go if you fell into it.

    We also went food shopping (really exciting but necessary). We noticed both in the State Park and in town how we felt like we were the only people walking anywhere with tourists taking a bus around the State Park and residents driving around town. The town was eerily quiet as it was Sunday as well as Mother's Day in the U.S. Rows of dilapidated timber framed homes stood silent with only a chained dog, an old man on a porch and some children playing in the distance showing any signs of life.
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