Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Niagara Falls - breathtaking, beautiful and blustery!

Seeing Niagara Falls had always been an ambition of mine and they certainly did not disappoint. After doing some research we decided that the best view of the falls was from the Canadian side rather than viewing them from the American side.

 My first glimpse of the falls was awe inspiring as gallons of water ricocheted down into the Niagara River below creating an almighty spray which you could actually feel on your face the closer that you got. Niagara Falls consists of 3 waterfalls, Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls on the American side.

Horseshoe Falls fall around 173 feet and are around 2,600 feet wide. Many people have attempted to jump over the falls. In 1901 schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor went over the falls in a barrel and unbelievably managed to survive. Later, in 1960 a 7 year old boy, Roger Woodward was swept over the falls but thankfully was rescued and survived.

At night, on the Canadian side the falls are illuminated by floodlights and offer an ethereal, magical view of this spectacular sight. Almost at odds with this magical sight, the surrounding area of Clifton Hill I found very tacky and ‘Disneyesque.’ There were many motels, restaurants and shops on Clifton Hill but also attractions such as Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum which I found to be out of place around such natural beauty as the falls.

As it was out of season for the Maid of the Mist boat ride we opted to do ‘Journey Behind the Falls’ for an up close view of that thunderous water!  This attraction allowed us to witness one fifth of the world’s fresh water thunder down to the river below – the sound was deafening and the spray really soaked us! Hence why we were given very fetching yellow ponchos to wear!

 2,800 cubic meters of water falls every second travelling at 65 kilometres per hour! The Journey Behind the Falls tour lasts around 30 to 45 minutes and is well worth it in my opinion.

We also took a ride on the Skywheel (again I was attempting to conquer my fear of heights!) which looked beautiful all lit up at night and offered stupendous views across the falls. We rode on it at night and it was great seeing the falls all lit up by the floodlights from 175 feet up.

(We stayed at Lyons House Hostel, 5741 McGrail Ave, which I would not recommend. Bear in mind this was 5 years ago and I understand this place is now under new ownership. Great location but badly in need of a refurb when we stayed www.hostelniagara.ca)

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