Niagara Falls

Trip Start Nov 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 27, 2012

Flag of United States  , Ontario
Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!! Up at 6.30 this morning to get ready to go to eat breakfast at 7. The included breakfast was pancakes, scrambled eggs and potato gems. We were finished by 7.30 and decided we had given ourselves way too much time, so an extra half an hour sleep in tomorrow is definitely on the cards. The bus left at 8.

First stop was Souvenir City. We had a wander around inside and I bought some postcards and a lapel pin, also a nice Niagara Falls shirt. Across from Souvenir City is Niagara River and gorge. We got some photos of the river and I even scaled the wall to get onto a viewing platform (a little harder to get back!!) We got some photos with the novelty scenes at the shop and tried some fudge in Chocolate World - yum.

We left at about 9:15 next stop Skylon Tower. The Skylon Tower, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is an observation tower that overlooks both the American Falls, New York and the larger Horseshoe Falls, Ontario from the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Construction of the Skylon began in May 1964 and was officially opened October 6, 1965. Standing at 160 metres (520 ft) from street level and 236 metres (775 ft) from the bottom of the falls. Got some great pictures of the falls from up here, however it didn't give us the perspective of how huge the falls actually are!

We left the tower to go the the IMAX theatre at 10 to see "The Falls Movie: Legends and Daredevils" and museum based on the people and all the craft that had gone over the falls. This spectacular IMAX movie takes you back to the days when Native people worshipped the thunder spirits, and the first European encounter of this wild wonder of nature. Meet the daredevils who challenged the fury of the Falls, from the Great Blondin, who completed a death-defying tightrope walk over the river in 1860, to Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher, who became the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and live to tell the tale. Share the heart-pounding terror of seven-year-old Roger Woodward, who survived the plunge with only a lifejacket. The Falls is waiting for you.

We left just after 11 and next stop was the "Journey behind the falls". The Journey consists of an observation platform and series of tunnels near the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian shore of the Niagara River. The tunnels and platform can be reached by elevators from the street level entrance. The two tunnels extend approximately 46 metres (151 ft) behind the waterfall and allow visitors to view water cascading in front of the open cave entrances. Barricades now exist further back from the ledge at the end of the tunnels to ensure visitor safety. It wasn't quite what I was expecting as I thought we would walk behind the falls in a cave like you see on tv! Definitely a different view of the power of the falls.

We then had some free time to be able to walk along the promenade and get closer to the top of the horseshoe falls. Got some nice photos from here. I walked further up the top of the falls and saw the Niagara Scrow, which is the unofficial name of the wreck of a small scrow that brought two men perilously close to plunging over the Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the Niagara Falls. I also saw the Hydro Power Station.

We left at 12.30 and headed out to the "Niagara Helicopters" helicopter base. Trish and I had decided to give this a go, as we had both never been on a helicopter before. There were 6 places on the Helicopter so we went with some Indian guys from our tour group. They work for the helicopter company and got to do the ride for free - lucky! I was lucky and got picked to ride in the front of the Helicopter as "co-pilot" (lol), We watched the helicopter before us take off and it did some wild moves to enable the girl to take a photo of everyone.

Up we went for the 10 minute flight. I recorded some footage and tried to take a lot of photos. It would have been nice to just be able to sit back and enjoy the ride without having to take photos etc, as you don't seem to get the same experience when you are looking through the lens of a camera!! What an incredible experience though!! I felt a little queasy in the stomach after the ride - it was pretty wild!

When we arrived back at the base we were able to purchase the photos they had taken of us for an exorbitant price. Some good ones of the co-pilot there :) I purchased some of the photos and so did the Indian guys, so I took Kishore's card and we said we would exchange the pictures we had purchased. Then into the gift shop to get a pin to mark the occasion. The tour guide wanted to charge us $150 each for the helicopter tour, however we had seen on their website it was $118, and we also had a $10 voucher. So we talked him down to $120 to cover the bus taking us there and having to wait for us. Internet what would we do without you!

Next on the itinerary was lunch - suprisingly at a Chinese buffet - Jade Gardens! We had been warned by a review on the internet that all lunches would be Chinese, so at least we were a little prepared :) I had some salad for lunch today to save myself for Chinese tomorrow! The ice-cream was not as nice today as yesterday, but the easter eggs Trish had bought from Australia went down a treat!

After lunch we went to the Great Mountain Ginseng Presentation Centre where we were able to try some Ginseng tea which tasted terrible! Next door was Busy Bee Gardens Lavender and here I also tried some lavender tea. We were then supposed to go to an Ice wine tasting winery, but it was was closed.

Next stop on the tour were the Outlet stores. We had 2 hours to spend here, and we scoffed that we would be bored and may even walk back to the hotel early!! Oh how time flies, when you are shopping even when you don't want to!! We went into Body Shop and I bought a gift set marked down to $10 from $40. Next we went into the Guess shop, and there were some nice things, but we were a bit lazy to try stuff on. Next was the Nike store where Trish and I both bought joggers. Only $45 - cheap! We browsed through a few other shops, and then sat in the sun for a little bit to soak up the warmth.

The bus left at 6.10 to go back to the hotel. We made plans to meet up with Anne, Matthieu and Ludo at 7.15 to go out. We walked to Clifton Hill which had the atmosphere of a theme park or carnival. Permanent fun shacks and haunted houses and rides line the streets. Ludo was so keen to go to one of the haunted houses! We decided to have Wendy's for dinner then down to the Falls to get some photos of the falls lit up at night with colourful lights. Got some nice pics and footage on the new camera.

We then decided to try the casino. Matthieu and Ludo gave the roulette a go. I was intrigued with the craps table, trying to figure out how the game worked. Had a few drinks, and watched people gamble their money! Matthieu won on the roulette and then also on the Black Jack. Johny turned up a bit later on after having a sleep and we all had a drink coutesy of Matthieu the winner!

We made our way back to Clifton Hill and Johny went for dinner at Wendy's while the rest of us tried out "the haunted house". It was as shit as expected but quite a funny experience. Especially to hear the guys squeel!! We met up with Johny in Wendy's and Anne and Trish decided to go home. The rest of us stayed out and played pool at "Strike Rock 'n' Bowl". We were keen to go for a dance, however no clubs were open being Easter Sunday.

We talked about heading to the other casino for a look, however I was keen to head back to the Hotel, so they guys walked me back. Got to the hotel at around 2.30, what a fun day!!

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