Sunday, April 25, 2010

Niagra Falls = AMAZING!!!

The other day Julia had the brilliant idea of going on a little road trip to visit Niagra falls. A simple yet far fetched idea for me since I thought it would be super complicated to get there, however, she planned a flawless itinerary on GO buses from Burlington right into Niagra's lap. 

We cruised there this Saturday and the weather worked splendidly for what was in store. It was still early season so there weren't millions of tourists even though Dairy Queen had their buy one blizzard and the one for 25 cents which we clearly capitalized on upon arrival!

Had our window been larger, we would have had a bunch of activities to do. Bowling, lazer tag, haunted houses, ferris wheel, wax museums and a plethora of carnival activity joints lined the main streets giving tourists plenty of things to do while drying off or preparing to get soaked from the mist. 

Blizzards in hand we cruised down the main street for my first ever sight of the falls. SPECTACULAR. I have a huge affinity to waterfalls and this may just be the most impressive natural wonder I have ever seen in real life!

                                      

The American falls were the first to present themselves. A wonderful display as thousands of tons of water crash onto a marvel of large rocks that have broken from the falls only to be lodged beneath them. It looks like a miniature display from a far but up close I can tell you that it most certainly is not! 

                                     

We snagged a few self portraits and then asked some passersby to capture a few for us. I love this one of Julia and I as without intending to I framed up the American falls quite nicely! We then grabbed a pass to the Maiden of the Mist boat tour and threw on our provocatively stylish rain coats.   

With few people on our boat we had an unhindered view and we threw on our hoodies in preparation for the mist. Just an incredible feeling of awe and power as the rumble penetrates your body through sight, sound and vibrating energy. We putted along to the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls where the volume of water is far more substantial. I am proud the Canadian side is more menacing as an awe inspiring 90% of the 100,000 cubic feet of water per second falls on our side. Our waterfall is about 173 vertical feet and spans 2,600 feet in width!  



Amazing to think that the falls were created from Glaciation about 10,000 years ago and since their conception they have eroded upriver 11 kilometers. This process has now been controlled by human intervention so the retreat of the falls has now been limited to 10 centimeters every year. 
                                   

Drenched yet excited from our intimate experience with the falls, we continued our tour with a Journey beneath the falls. This was unfortunately quite anticlimactic as I was expecting natural caves only to be disappointed by concrete pathways. The tunnels ended a four or five meters from behind the falls and offered a raw sample of the relentless pounding of water on the rocks. I was hoping for something a little more risky but I guess when you have millions of tourists and a human crushing force, one doesn't leave chance in the equation. Regardless, Julia and I found ourselves captivated by the earth shuddering power the falls create. I could have stared into the dynamic water for hours as it was like looking into a fire; constantly inspiring and entertaining. I closed my eyes and let the earth's vibrations reverberate through me so I could steal a little of its power to bring home. 

We continued our Niagra Falls experience with a new attraction called Niagra Fury. This 4D experience brings a 360 degree screen to life with both animation and real life footage depicting the creation of the falls. We stood in the middle of a moving platform and got soaked from head to toe as jets of water squirted us during the ice age thaw and monumental storms. It was really a great addition to the experience and I feel the 4D experience was the best it could have possibly been! 

After four hours of touring, gawking and lounging around the falls we packed up and took a local bus back to the GO train station. An hour and a bit later we found ourselves in Burlington and I then hopped on a train to head home for the evening.

A splendid Saturday spent in the presence of one of the world's natural wonders. I hadn't thought of it as being a priority in my life to see the falls, however, after experiencing them first hand, I would recommend them to anyone who is easily moved by the natural beauty of our planet.

Cheers,

Martin


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