Niagara Falls - Water From Every Angle

Trip Start May 15, 2010
Trip End Dec 15, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, September 23, 2010

The transfer bus arrived almost half and hour late, waiting outside the hotel for 45mins not sure if i had missed the bus. I even went to the concierge desk to get them to call to find out what the delay was. So the bus finally turned up and after a few more stops at other hotels we arrived at the bus depot and transferred to the touring coach. The coach then set out to take us through the Toronto traffic out onto Winston Churchill Way onto the Queen Elisabeth highway. After about an hour and a half of travel with the tour guide telling us lots of information about what we would be doing in the day, the route to Niagara what to expect and a few anecdotes along the way. The first thing on the agenda on arriving was a drive by tour of the town, we drove past both the Canadian and American falls and up to the town (which looked a bit like Blackpool). After the tour of the town we were taken to the Falls View Hotel dining room for lunch, this was a buffet on the 12 floor of a hotel opposite the falls. I had lunch with a Canadian and two Australians. After lunch we were taken to the maid of the mist ticket booth and issued with a ticket. We followed the the line round to the pier past the tourist photographer and down to the boarding area, on the way we were issued with maid of the mist poncho's. We boarded the boat a double decker, i headed up to the top deck as the tour guide had advised it. The boat took a journey in front of the American falls, then down to the Canadian Falls and into the spray. After doing a 360 of the fall the boat headed back to the pier past the American Falls. Getting off the boat we had the option of keeping the poncho or disposing in the appropriate bin, i decided to dispose, mostly because I didn't feel like carrying it. We then had to exit through the gift shop. Following the boat trip we were given an hour of free time to explore on our own i decided to walk down the promenade to the Canadian falls. On making it to the falls i hardly had time to take photos before having to head back, i hadn't realised i had walked so far until i had to walk back. Returning to the coach we had been offered the chance to see Niagra by helicopter. It was a little expensive, but i figured since id got the money back on the excursion earlier in the trip by logical justification the money was already spent. So those who wished to fly were taken to the heliport while everyone else was taken to the whirlpool viewing port. There were seven of us who wished to fly i a six seat helicopter. As we approached the helicopter the lady next to me was offered the front seat, she appeared to decline so i asked if i could have the place. The helicopter took off and after a couple of steep banks we were heading towards the falls. The copter took us up the Niagara river to the falls around the falls and back down again. The entire journey took 15mins at the most but i figured that since id never been in a helicopter before that the experience coupled with seeing Niagara from the air would be worth it. In the gift shop i spoke to the woman who had declined the front seat and she told me she would have taken it if i had given her the chance, i felt a little bad but it was a cool flight and i promised to send her my pictures. After the flight they took us back to Toronto with two minor detours. The first was a slow drive through Niagara by the Lake a retirement village which had passed a by-law stopping coaches from stopping except for in the paid parking on the edge of town. As we drove down the lane parallel with the Niagara river the guide told us about the Niagara wine region. As such our last stop was at a winery in Niagra for a wine tasting. As im not a great wine fan i wasn't impressed by the wine but i dont know if i was supposed to be. After the wine tasting we headed back to Toronto, arriving in Toronto two things happened. Firstly we spent some time in the Toronto roadworks (road-widening) and then we stopped at each hotel in town dropping people off (as usual my hotel was one of the last). In getting off the coach the guide was expecting a 'show off appreciation' but since it was my last day in Canada i was a little short of cash, so the exit hand-shake was very short once the host realised it was empty. I finally returned to my hotel around 7:30 after what had seemed like a very long day, but well worth it.

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Maggie on

My goodness the falls are most impressive although I thought they would be in a wilder area. sounds as though you are enjoying your travels. Maggie

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