Wet & Wild!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostelling International - Buffalo

Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, August 17, 2009


Eventually got checked in to the hostel at Buffalo hours after my arrival on Sunday – the afternoon shift person didn't turn up so only had time to grab something to eat before settling down for the night in my top bunk, a bit of a change from the night before!

On Monday I spent the day at Niagara Falls – I even had time to nip over to the Canadian side of the falls for an hour or so. Fortunately coming back over the border was much quicker that it had been on Saturday!

The Falls themselves are spectacular. The best view is probably from the Canadian side because you are looking across to them rather than side on (especially the American and Bridal falls). The view of the Horseshoe falls on the Maid of the Mist boat tour isn't so great – mainly because there's so much wind and water that you can't see anything! The experience of going up close(-ish) to the Horseshoe falls is worth the soaking though, however, I would recommend doing the Maid of the Mist ride after going on the Cave of the Winds visit because they give you free sandals. My trainers got soaked on the boat ride and even in the heat of the day took ages to dry off. Both activities provide a free poncho although if you go right to the edge of the hurricane deck on the cave trip it's not really sufficient to keep the torrents of water off your clothes! The cave trip consists of a series of wooden decks at the bottom of the Bridal falls that allow you to get within touching distance of the water. Certain areas are wetter than others and it's possible to remain relatively dry by not going right to the back of the hurricane deck. Looking up at the falls is certainly a much different perspective than looking down – the water looks really smooth and flowing from the top but from the bottom it's all over the place! It's definitely worth the soaking to see.

To dry off I visited Terrapin Point, the closest point to the Horseshoe falls on the American side – it's certainly spectacular but didn't help my dry off because you get hit by the mist standing at the top too! I carried on round the park using the tram service and visited the Discovery Centre and Aquarium and watched a film about the Mysteries of Niagara (including some information about people who have gone over the falls) then walked over the Rainbow bridge to Canada (after triple checking that I had my passport!). Passport control was very easy - visiting for a short time must be the way to go although you probably wouldn't see much of Canada just visiting for an hour or so at a time! I followed the walkway along the side of the gorge taking in the excellent views of the American and Bridal falls then carried on up the the Horseshoe Falls. Due to the way that the wind was blowing there was a really clear view of the falls without having gusts of water hit me in the face so I got some pics then made my way back over the Rainbow bridge to America and the bus back to Buffalo to pack my bag ready for an early morning flight to Las Vegas.
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