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Niagara Falls

To cel­e­brate the first big heat wave in Canada this year (yes, get over it — I’m Cana­dian. Half of the year, I com­plain about the cold, and I com­plain about the heat the rest of time. We call it the windchill/ humidex com­plaint here), we decided to drive to Nia­gara Falls thought the USA.

Last time I was there was 2005 but it was in early April and it was still cold (see… told you!) and it just wasn’t the same. This time, we drove across the State of New York and arrived in Nia­gara Falls on the US side. The park by the fall was open and we got very close to the Amer­i­cans Falls.

Niagara Falls

The first big water­falls I saw, a few years ago, were the Iguazu Falls, at the bor­der of Argentina and Brazil. I had been told not to expect too much from Nia­gara after that but I still find the place amaz­ing. Sure the water­falls aren’t lost in the jun­gle but there’s the noise, the con­stant pow­er­ful water flow, the huge drop… I love it!

The first thing you can’t help notic­ing is the mist. It’s just amaz­ing… water every­where and on part of the prom­e­nade (mostly on the Cana­dian side), peo­ple are almost soaked. The mist hides part of the Cana­dian Nia­gara sky­line when stand­ing on the US side, as you can see below.

Arriving in Niagara (US Side) The US Falls

These are the Amer­i­can Falls. They drop about 21 meters and are wider than the Cana­dian falls (323 meters).

The Canadian Side Of The Falls The Casino District

There is a huge dif­fer­ence between Nia­gara in the US and Nia­gara in Canada. The US side, except for the park near the fall, is pretty shady. The once pros­per­ous town seems now aban­doned Most build­ings spot bro­ken win­dows and a lot are vacant, locals wan­der around and busi­nesses are closed or bank­rupted. On The other side, Nia­gara Ontario is like a mini-Vegas with its casi­nos, five-starts hotels, pricey restau­rants, col­or­ful neon bill­boards and adver­tise­ments min­utes from the falls.

The Falls At Sunset The American And Canadian Falls

At sun­set, the falls take this deep blue color… just beautiful.

The Skywheel Niagara By Night

We took a ride in the new Sky­wheel to take pic­tures from the top. At past 11pm, the night was just start­ing in Nia­gara Falls… Peo­ple were already queu­ing at the local bars and dis­cos, kids were play­ing video-games in the numer­ous arcades and the rest of us was just wan­der­ing between Ripley’s and IMAX theatres.

The fol­low­ing day, we headed to Toronto to attend the R.E.M con­cert.

Niagaras Main Street Niagara By Night

25 comments

  1. @Lori — Some­thing dif­fer­ent than Texas, isn’t it? ;-)

    @expatraveler — We can exchange houses if you want, I’d love to visit BC!

    @shionge — I didn’t take the Maid Of Mist because it was too packed. I went behind the falls last time though. I’d love to see the falls mi-winter, with all the ice and snow…

    @Celine — Water­falls are very sooth­ing to me… I love them. I have yet to take the Maid of Mist, next time maybe!

    @Ulquiorra — But it’s easy to go on the Cana­dian side, min­utes away. The Amer­i­can falls are quite good actu­ally and you get a view view of the Horse­shoe. Just the town is a bit shady.

    @barbara — The town itself is a tourist trap but I have seen worse… and at least, you can escape to the falls. I love them!

    @Rayanne Lang­don — Glad to see I’m not the only one to think the weather here is crazy! Some­how, it makes me feel better :lol:

    @Cori — I’m going to Mon­tréal this sum­mer to see Radio­head, never been there for a con­cert, we will see ;-)

    I under­stand what you mean about the response to fear… did the same to em when walk­ing in the glass ceil­ing on top of the CN Tower in TO!

    @Froggywoogie — You’re miss­ing the water noise, that’s why ;-)

    @Aiglee — No prob­lem, we will meet next time! It was kind of a last minute thing!

    @johnada — We were very lucky, I think it was the first nice we this year. It got really hot in Toronto on Sun­day though!

    @SilverNeurotic — The show was awe­some, I’ll post pic­tures! Nia­gara Fall’s sky­line is unfor­get­table… in good and bad.

    @bluefish — “The hon­ey­moon cap­i­tal of the world”! A bit too tacky for me but it’s nice for a WE. Lovely food blog you have by the way!

    @Shantanu — Ooops, sorry about the com­ment thing… I changed theme last week and spent a few days tweak­ing the result!

    @durano lawayan — I see your point and I see why some dis­agree on your com­ment. ;-) Nia­gara Falls is a bit weird because it’s so… mini Vegas. Great for tourists because it caters to every­body and it’s kind of a party town. Wouldn’t live there though… I guess it’s just different.

    @Shantanu — I only went behind the falls in 2005, I have yet to take the Maid ferry!

    @Max Coutinho — Nah, Euro­peans just like to com­plain about mild weather ;-)

    Water­falls are very sooth­ing, aren’t they? I’m a water per­son ad I could spend hours look­ing at them!

    @James — I totally under­stand both his and your com­ment. I loved Iguazy as I said in my post because the falls are just lost in the jun­gle. Nia­gara is a dif­fer­ent atmos­phere… not always my kind but it’s pretty unique in a weird kind of way and fun for a cou­ple of days. I vis­ited Mont­morency a few years ago (mid­dle of the win­ter though…) and it’s dif­fer­ent, I agree.

    @Linguist-in-Waiting — I under­stand your point. I guess Nia­gara Falls has been mar­keted for a long time and I wasn’t sur­prised the first time I went there. Was I dis­ap­pointed? No, because I could still see the won­der and enjoy it. I don’t have to go to the casi­nos etc. I basi­cally turn a blind eye. I felt the same way in Paris with Mont­martre… nice place but a tourist trap and I was sad to see it this way.

  2. I loved my trip to Nia­gara falls and the pic­tures here reminded me how beau­ti­ful the falls are. Unfor­tu­nately when I went to Nia­gara, it was in Decem­ber and it was freez­ing! *cough* Not the waters… but I was freez­ing because it was so cold! *lol*

    Ange­les last great read…Road trip

  3. So which side is bet­ter as far as view goes, every­thing else aside?
    .-= Outrigger´s last blog ..Out­rig­ger Vaca­tion Club Wel­comes You To Col­orado Ski Sea­son =-.

    • I’d say the Cana­dian side is much bet­ter (and I’m not being patriotic!).

      The US side is a bit dodgy, plus you are miss­ing a good close-up of the horse­shoes fall.

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