Waterfalls are natural wonders. Of course it means water falling over it (duh!). And in some places (such as yellow river here), the volume of water that flows and fall over can be tremendous. So much that it becomes spectacular.
And this was where we wanted to be when we were at Niagara.
Now a little geography is useful. The falls is located right on the border between two giant states as you might already know. It is where the Niagara river flows through from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. As you may imagine, before the age of paved roads and bridges, it must had been a natural barrier to get around.
Though there can be dispute over which parts belong to whom, it has become a very popular place for tourists from around the world – such as us… Back in the day, day trippers can easily cross over the rainbow bridge anytime to view the falls from both sides. Remember it is the border separating the countries. Especially in the evening and nights when the lights come on. It was truly spectacular though our amateur photographic skills could not capture them well.
Now it was a long drive from NYC, taking almost the entire day, when we finally got to the Falls. It was late evening and on a summer day it was still bright. So we went first to view Canadian side – Horse shoe falls, ironically from the American side…
Our maiden stop was at Terrapin point, on goat island. Did you know that its original name was Iris island? There used to be a lot of these on the island in the past, but did you also know why it was renamed? Good to look it up!
Now we are sure you would know that the volume of water flowing through here is the most in all of the north American continent. But did you know it is approximately 675,000 gallons per second in the summer time over Horseshoe fall?
Don’t quote us, read the signboard! It is interesting to note that this represents approximately 90% of the volume that flows through the falls, but when you look at the map it should be plain easy to understand. The fall is much wider than Bridal Veil and American falls combined. Plus the fact that Green island in the middle serving as a wedge, it should be obvious where the flow is great and where the swell is greater.
We are not staying on the US side, so we crossed to the Canadian side where we stayed the night. Well actually we made the walk back to rainbow bridge to try to see the falls at night. But it was faint, because of the distance, thus we would recommend trying for the view at Queen Victoria Park on the Canadian side instead. Time to sleep.
Misty is not the word to be used. Not when it’s more like a spray of rain…while one can book a place on the boat from both sides, we bought our tickets and boarded the Maid of the Mist boat from the calm waters near the rainbow bridge.
It was good to have been provided with a little thin plastic poncho. Because the boat sailed right up against the falls. And with the power of the falls the mist created was blinding thus we could not see well…
On a sunny day such as we had, little rainbows can be seen as we sailed ever that closer to the falls. Bear in mind it was also rather wet because the mist turns into a shower. Thus take care of your cameras and phones plus be extra careful as you walk, because the floorboard can be slippery! This little trip took a mere 20 minutes, but felt much longer.
The best way to see all three of the falls though, is to stroll along Niagara Parkway’s well paved side walk. We thoroughly enjoyed clicking away at the views. This stretches from rainbow bridge all the way till the edge of horseshoe falls, where we found out that there are walking tours underneath the falls.
But the thought of being in the caverns and not being able to capture any pictures thwarted us from getting onto it.
You see, we have limited time! The entire walk though is rather short, and we reversed directions to walk back to the rainbow bridge. See the picture of the falls? Much better in the day!
And how would you like to see the falls like a bird?
Now without flying, it might be hard and we are not talking about drone photography here. At least not back then. The Skylon tower is probably your best bet. We know that since we’ve been to Niagara all these years ago, there had sprung a couple of other venues that offer spectacular views (for example a certain casino).
But at 160m high, it offers a 360° view. On a fine day one may see the silhouette of Buffalo, the nearest American city. And the nice thing about it is the open air roof view where you literally still hear the roar of the falls. Or see the plume of mist that rises as the water plunges down 167 feet. We did not have our meal here though that would had been a wonderful idea with the revolving dining floor.
Although that was all we did, we felt satisfied.
This was a bucket list item that we checked off happily. And we would be glad to return one day when we can. Staying overnight is the best way to enjoy the wonderful view of the falls, so don’t short change yourself – it is a definite recommend.
This journey took place in July 1997