Jul 13, 2009
Oct 07, 2009
Where I stayed
Hostelling International- Niagara Falls
The next day we got up and walked down to the falls. Our first impression was that Niagara Falls was a bit of a ghost town when walking up from the hostel, it definitely got busier when we got closer to the falls. We took a tour for $59 each as we only had one day to see the sights. We went to Cave of the Winds which was beautiful and you definitely need a nice yellow poncho when you got to the Hurricane Deck. Some people still got soaked as the wind lifted up their ponchos. After leaving there it started to rain and we had thrown our ponchos in the recycling container
! I was wanting to keep the blue one from Maid of the Mist as I thought it was a more fetching colour. So we jumped on the bus and headed to the Daredevil Museum. It was really interesting how many people have gone over the falls. It is now a felony to try it as so many people die. It is also has the 2nd highest rate for suicide attempts after the Golden Gate Bridge although suicides aren't counted if bodies aren't found or it isn't witnessed and quite often the bodies aren't found so it could be the highest. A bit grim for such a beautiful place. The museum was really interesting. The next stop was Maid of the Mist and we got a bit wet. We eventually got our ponchos and guess what... it stopped raining! We still had fun. After the boat trip we were taken to The Whirlpool, past the power station (which takes 50% of Niagara Falls water so it is never at full capacity) and then to the 3 Sisters Islands. Other interesting facts are: that by the Canadians building hotels adjacent to the falls, these prevent the natural cross wind from blowing the spray away you will very rarely see the falls without A LOT of mist preventing a clear view, they are the 2nd largest falls after Victoria Falls, they are 160 feet deep under the base water level and their colour is from the mineral content.
After the tour we headed to the supermarket and found the bus station to work out how to get to Buffalo Airport (taxis/shuttles cost about $65/$70). We found a few options but the lady that runs the hostel suggested the 210 express bus for $2.35 each :-) We had a relaxed night as it was raining again. Our general impression of Niagara wasn't that great to be honest and for the 10 hour bus trip from New York we could have cut it out and not really missed it. Staying in hostels or poorer accommodation just doesn't help with the overall impression too. Maybe if we had stayed more down town and hadn't ventured back and seen how run down parts of the town are we would have left with a different opinion. The Canadian side looked much better but we can't vouch for that.
We arrived into Niagara Falls at 21:45 after a 10 hour bus ride and it was bucketing down. Luckily we didn't have to wait long for a cab. A bit eventful there though as another cab pulled up saying we were his fare. We quickly loaded into the first cab and arrived at the hostel shortly after. The hostel seemed ok (little were we to know, find out in the next installment) and after 10 hours we were glad to lie down.