The Falls

Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
Trip End Aug 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I left the apartment early in the morning, but once again didn't anticipate the masses congregating around Penn Station. This station is by far the largest of all the Amtrak places I had been so it was somewhat hard to navigate around. There was a big line to pickup tickets, but I managed to get my ticket as they were calling us to board. The train was packed and I was sitting on the aisle for about an hour before the guy next to me got off. Once he had disembarked I was able to get the window seat as well as prized power outlet so I could power my laptop. This was crucial as I have movies and videos on my laptop which made the long journey seem to go very quickly. 9 and a half hours later I arrived at Niagara Falls Station and got a taxi to my motel. It was extremely shabby with very thin walls which caused  me to wake up early.

This was hardly a tragedy as I planned on heading to see the Falls in the morning. Temperature was a nice 27 degrees with storms only forecast for late afternoon. To start off with I went to the information center and then up the lift to the observation deck. From here you could see the Niagara River but not much of the falls, so I pretty much came straight back down. After reading some good reviews of the 'Maid of the Mist’ boat tour I decided to go on that. It was unbelievable. The falls are spectacular, hard to even put into words and like the Grand Canyon, the photos simply don’t do it justice. The boat takes you right up to the base of the falls. They told us we would get wet on this boat and given I was carrying my wallet, phone, passport and camera I made sure to have everything covered as well as they free poncho they give you before getting on the boat. I am not sure why people think they won’t get wet, as I read in some reviews. You go almost under the falls. I got absolutely soaked! There was nowhere to hide. Photo taking once getting close was impossible, yet there was the typical clowns who kept videoing the entire way (maybe its waterproof who knows?). I was confident that my protection would keep my valuables from getting wet and they worked extremely well. The trip took about half an hour but was just awesome. After getting off the boat, I walked around to get other views of the falls. Niagara Falls consists of two waterfalls. The biggest and most spectacular is on the Canadian side and the less spectacular, but still spectacular in its own right waterfall is on the US side. There are lots of walking  trails and views off the falls wherever you go on the US side. As such I didn’t travel to Canada as I felt I had seen everything there was to see, although the Canadian side has all the best hotels (with USA just having Motels) as well as apparently ‘better’ views.

The true majesty and power of the falls can only be comprehended by firstly seeing it with your own eyes, as well as getting up close on the ‘Maid of the Mist’. A true wonder of the world.

After the Falls I got a taxi to Amherst in preparation for tomorrow, the day I start my short course at the Center for Inquiry.

Until then,

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