Niagara Falls- first comment "BLOODY HELL!!!!"

Trip Start May 05, 2007
Trip End Sep 02, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, June 7, 2007

I was a little late in leaving than I had originally planned, I couldn't find my $US, which was a little worrying at first. Although I had already planned ahead and found directions to the easiest car park for RVs as well as purchased the necessary park coupons for the various attractions should the lines be busy. When I got there though I discovered that there weren't many people around, which meant I got a free car park for the day but had to walk a little (750mtrs). The walk took me along the catchments area for the Horseshoe Falls, and I was amazed at how much water was flowing!!! Apparently this was one of the best times to view them, just after all the melt water had come down (and fewer tourists too). I half ran half walked in anticipation of seeing the falls, and what a sight! It was truly an awesome sight, such power and water volume tumbling down.
          I bought a pass back in Sarnia that allowed me all day transport on the people mover (a shuttle bus that runs constantly throughout the day every 15mins up the "tourist areas") as well as entrance to The Butterfly Conservatory, The Maid Of The Mist, Journey Behind The Falls and the White Water Walk ($40CA).
          After taking it all in I decided to head for the Journey Behind The Falls, up to the Butterfly Conservatory for lunch and finishing off with the Maid Of The Mist (highly expecting to get drenched).
             The first area that I stopped off in was Journey Behind The Falls, whereby you emerge about thirteen stories below the rim of the horseshoe gorge falls. The sound was incredibly deafening, and a really confronting sight from all the water spraying over the drop. The tunnels to the observation area are quite damp, slippery and fairly cool. There are also observation tunnels where you can see the water coming directly overhead (you can see the force in the movie Journey behind the falls).
After seeing the start of the falls journey it gave me an idea of the type of day I was to expect, and didn't want to rush it too much so I stopped off at the Butterfly conservatory for lunch. It was really pleasant to sit in the sun and have a burger and a beer (even though it was a bit pricy) and not have a care in the world. The butterfly conservatory was really quite a spectacle with free flying butterflies everywhere in a temporal rainforest setting. They would just flutter around and some even landed on you, quite neat.
          Although my coupon pass did not include the aero car and even though I was a little later than I had planned to be I had no real time commitments and I was probably only going to be here for the day so I took the time to purchase an additional ticket to the aero car and see the rapid whirlpools. It offered a stunning view of the churning water as the river changed direction, so much force and power created (no wonder it has one of the highest rapid ratings in the world)
Seeing this I continued back to the falls and went along the White Water Walk, the next attraction on the tour. This wasn't a spectacular view of the water falls rather a peaceful boardwalk along the churning river; however it was still worth while giving a different look at the Niagara Falls and surrounding region.
This left the last attraction of the day, The Maid Of The Mist. From what little I know about the ride it has been in operation since 1846 (although used as a ferry service back then between the Canadian and USA sides). It later became a tourist attraction in 1854. The half hour journey takes you right inside the falls area and gives a great view of both the Canadian horseshoe falls and the American falls. Seeing as this was a trip worth doing well I skipped the first departure and waited to get right at the very front of the cue (so I could go up the front). I got a great view at first then absolutely blown away from all the water when we entered the horseshoe falls area. It was like being in a storm with water just pummeling down and that wasn't even directly under the falls!!! Well worth the wait and experience
After all the excitement I thought I would have a look around the small town based in the area, it was very touristy. They had amusement rides, souvenir shops and little (overpriced) café areas, none of which I was interested in. Tired but overwhelmed I left the area and headed for the border and more navigating around large cities
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