Monday, August 23, 2010

Niagara Falls & our Canadian adventure – eh!

All thanks to a little miscalculation on our itinerary. Here we are in Canada!

We weren’t entirely sure we could get into Canada yet alone get back into the US. But after taking to a couple of people and a quick read of the Lonely Planet website we were 99.9 per cent sure we’d be fine.

We were staying on the US side of the falls a largely working class and industrial area just outside of Buffalo. It does have some good views, but it isn’t as naturally blessed as the Canadian side and amenity wise it has a long way to go.

Pretty much every friendly Canadian we met wanted to know why we weren’t staying on their side and offered some teasing words about their American neighbours.

All in all we crossed the bridge between America and Canada three times, each with varying degrees of hassle and questioning, but it was a fairly quick and painless experience.

We were expecting the falls to be inside a national park similar to the others we’ve seen on our travels, but civilisation is built up right around Niagara.

I also thought it was going to be a lot higher, but totally underestimated the width and size of it all.

You get so close to the raging water with only a waist high stone wall separating you from a rather large drop.

Dotted along the length of the falls are several early 20th Century buildings left from the old power station.

There are actually two falls you can see from the Canadian side the smaller US Falls and the large Canadian horse shoe falls – which is communally called Niagara Falls.

So much mist comes off the falls when you walk passed in certain places you get soaked and on a sunny day rainbows appear.

Not sure exactly what to do we bought a four adventure pass which included a walk to the white water rapids, a film showing the creation and journey of the Falls, a trip down to viewing platforms at beside and behind the wall of water and finally, a ride on the legendary Maid of the Mist.

With $10 Canadian left in my wallet we went for some good clean fun at the arcade.

Like the Grand Canyon, there's not too much you can say about the splendor that is Niagara Falls - you really have to see them for yourself.

Traveller’s tip: if you park at the $16 a day carpark and stay until after 10pm the booth person will be gone so you don’t have to pay! Nice!

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