Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Niagara Falls

Lucia and I made a quick drive to Niagara Falls and Toronto this past weekend and as with New Years Eve we lucked out with the weather.
January and a balmy 12 degrees.
For those of you who haven't been its a must do on anyone's bucket list.
In my mind the falls hold their own  with any of the world's iconic destinations.
And I've seen quite a few.
They're the geographical equivilent of Katz's pastrami on rye.
The reality matches the anticipation.  
The blessing s bestowed by the upgrade gods turned a $104 hotel room into a terrific vantage point. Awesome views. 
Even the city looked nice at sunset viewed from the hotel balcony.

In the light of day however, it seem less appealing
I suppose the shabby wax museums and poor man's London Eye don't benefit much from the contrast of the natural wonder 200 meters away.
There's an instinctive urge to be dismissive of the town as a tacky exercise  in prising $'s from tourists.
In retrospect that feels a bit unfair.
People were friendly and there was a noticable absence of  hustle and rip off preditory practice.
The falls are a tough act to follow, but I've got to believe they could have come up with something better than wax museums and haunted houses.
I'm not sure the same people who travel 100's or even 1000's of miles to see the Falls would naturally gravitate to a Ripley's Believe it or not Museum after the  primary attraction  was done.
There's got to be better ideas to broaden whats on offer.
One of the stranger sensations on a visit is the almost mesmerising quality of the rushing water as it surges to the abyss.

There's a weird "come to me" siren call.
Kind of like standing on a high balcony and having that insane urge to jump.
Or is that just me?
Errr....moving swiftly on.......
A cool thing to do is go on "The Journey Behind the Falls"
Pretty awesome value for $12 ( half price in winter)
Its an unguided wander through two tunnels extending about a third of the way,under and across the horseshoe of water.
The coolest part of course are the little side tunnels leading to portals sitting behind the wall of water.
In the summer there's an observation deck at the foot of the falls giving full view of their expanse and lots of chest rumbling sound to go along with a shower of spray.
Too damn cold to do in January, balmy(ish) weather or not.
Its not just North American honeymooners who love the falls.
Romanians have a particular fascination for the falls in particular and Canada in general.
I first came across this in Bucharest where people never failed to mention them when they learned I was Canadian.
I asked the waitress at the little Italian restaurant we ate in and she said they have TONS of Romanians in the summer.
That's what she said.
Why the Romanian- Canada connection?
I've heard it said that Canadians have  a history of contact with Romania dating to communist times when Canada sold and serviced CANDU reactors to the country and it all radiated ( pun intended) from there.
I don't know, and don't really care but thought it an odd bit of trivia useful to spice up the post.
That's it folks
Stay tuned for more as and when.
Love T 


Sister Sara said...

I love this post and love those falls makes me want to go again ! Ya know the kinda tacky wax museum stuff is sort of a je ne sais quoi that s part of the whole experience ! Like your hotel much better ours had bricks holding up one corner of the bed ! What fabulous shots of the falls ! Never knew anything about the tunnel walk ! You picked a great time to go because summer is sheep herd experience ! Glad Lucia had this Canadian experience !

Margem said...

I was surfing through random blogs and came across yours. I must say that the waterfalls caught my attention almost right away, considering it was the first post to be shown on your blog. It was very interesting to read your posts (Niagara and NYC). Kinda made me feel like I had been able to go there myself, though I've never visited to those places. Your photographs are amazing and so real!! Keep up the awesome work!
(A fellow blogger)

Terry said...

Hey Margem thanks for your kind words.
There's a ton of stuff lurking in the various posts from over the years. It's strange looking back on all those trips and remembering the various places and the states' of mind I was in at various locales and times.
Thanks for visiting

Brenda said...

I, too, have heard the "come to me" call at Niagara. Did you notice how flimsy the fences are? So easy, just a few steps, and you're IN. I lived in Rochester for over a decade before I visited the Falls, just down the Thruway. I assumed it would be hokey. Wrong. Try mesmerizing. Why, I can't really articulate. Something about the magnitude of the water's lack of control. And the lighting at night, also surprisingly mesmerizing. I was told that they rebuild the substantial wooden observation areas every spring. If they left them up the ice would destroy them. The violence of it!