When someone says “Water Falls”, the Niagara Falls are often the first to be mentioned. After taking the tour of the falls, we will marvel at the view from our Fallsview room at the Hilton Hotel and Suites just right at the Falls to experience a Special Stay.
Today was a day of “lines”. A line to those who have travelled in America is really a que of people – waiting. Although the coach journey was efficient, our line-ups were efficient too but loaded with other tourists waiting for the event or sequence of viewing or experiencing something worth waiting for.
We arrived in Niagara mid morning to join the line towards the Hornblower Cruises along the Ontario River in front of both the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. I noticed a zipline and wished I could ‘float’ towards the falls, but not to be. Our visit to the region is just for one night with very little free-time. Included in the line-up for a cruise on the river, is the distribution of a red poncho to shelter us from the consistent mist spray from the falls.
It’s also a time of ‘push and shove’ as some races are well known to ‘fight for survival’ in their childhood. That carries over to adulthood, it seems, and is evident. Fortunately, the weather is on our side so far this tour. Bright sunshine helps with good photos and today we have been blessed.
After boarding something like 2-300 passengers, the boat cruises across the river towards the American Falls and thence up to the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the border. The Niagara Falls has the highest volume of water flow in the world. Having seen all three major tourist attractions in the water fall category now: Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls and now Niagra Falls, I would rate them, on the experience I had, as Iguazu number 1, Victoria number 2 and Niagara as number 3. There would be many with valid arguments to have them in a different order and many would say that other waterfalls are better, but I am only considering the falls, which have become ‘tourist meccas’. My favourite non-tourist falls are in Wells Gray Park in British Columbia.
For our lunch break, we were taken to the beautiful little town of Niagara-on-the-lake. I had the feeling that the local council, residents and business owners are proud of their clean, quaint and attractive village which is, in its own way, a mecca for garden lovers. The shops and nature strips are well supplied with colourful flowers and foliage. Autumn colours were starting to show especially through polarised sun-glasses.
Because I had taken a helicopter flight over the Victoria and Iguazu Falls, when the opportunity to take a flight over Niagara Falls came, I jumped at it so my “comparison judgement” would come from all three types of viewing: from below, eye level and helicopter altitude. And here goes another line – initially it was to be 45 minutes but we waited over 2 hours before being whisked up and away. Yes, the Horseshoe Falls show a similar shape to what their name implies. They are a very, busy set of falls, which is confirmed by the amount of spray hanging above the falls forming a ‘perpetual cloud’. Because I was filming full time, I didn’t manage to take any stills of the falls during the flight, so you will have to wait for the movie version.
You always ‘dream’ of a magnificent view from your hotel room while on a Scenic Tour for at least one night; that dream became a reality this evening. The photos are taken from our 34th room and 33rd level restaurant. It seemed that at some time during the night, the falls are given a ‘rest’ and don’t have any tourist “gauking” at them for a time, when the evening spot lights are turned off.
Tomorrow is a transit day down through part of New York State and into the State of Pennsylvania, where we will experience the lifestyle of the Amish people.