Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Niagara Falls

We were really looking forward to seeing the Niagara Falls again as we had visited them in 1980 and although I remembered the falls I did not remember much else. Our RV Park was on Grand Island, which was much bigger than I imagined, literally in the Niagara River and just 6 miles from the falls. This was a KOA site; KOA sites are always good, well run and near the appropriate attractions.  We immediately booked a tour for the Canadian side of the falls starting at 5pm. It took about 20 minutes to cross the border. We saw the falls from every conceivable angle, including underneath - we were issued yellow raincoats, descended 150feet on an elevator and walked along passages to see the spray from under the falls - returning to the surface we saw both the American and Canadian Falls. One definitely gets the best ground level view from the Canadian side, from behind a barrier one can get very near the Canadian Falls the center of which is lost behind the ever present mist. After darkness had descended we went up the Skylon tower and saw both falls lit up with rainbow colored spot lights, which were hidden beneath the falls with the colors changing every few minutes - a spectacular display.  We could see for miles in all directions from the tower. We were disappointed that the fireworks display was cancelled, no real explanation - probably because of a few showers during the day- we had been really looking forward to the fireworks as we had heard that they are spectacular. Returning into the US took forever, close to an hour!

Next day we toured the American side. We parked up river from the falls and watched the rapids as we strolled along its banks. The highlight was our trip into the base of the falls on the “Maid of the Mist” we got absolutely and wonderfully soaked from the spray which comes at you in sheets of water - great fun; an experience not to be missed! Holding onto our, now blue raincoats, we climbed up into the spray of the American Falls - the others are called the Horseshoe Falls. Later on we walked to an over-hanging platform on the USA side from which there’s a good view of both falls.

It is hard to do justice in describing the awesome beauty of the Niagara Falls; the rushing of the white water rapids, the pounding noise and sheer volume of water that flows over the falls and the ever present mist blowing this way and that in the wind. Amazing and a true wonder of this world!

The area around Niagara Falls has been greatly improved since 1980, now it’s all beautifully laid out and landscaped with magnificent parks on both sides and most of the commercial areas placed well back from the falls. We will not forget our return trip to Niagara Falls.

From here it’s on to the Finger Lakes and our former neighbors and friends Eileen and Terry.

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