Day 20 (June 25, 2008) Niagara Falls


  We will land in New York airport early for a quick link to the Buffalo flight. Once there, we will take a taxi to the hotel, crossing Canadian border in our way.

   We would walk watching both falls there: the Brideveil and the Horseshoe, and go for the Maid of the mist ride, a boat which sails to the foot of the falls, the closest one can be to them.

   There are some other options here, as the attraction “Behind the falls”, which allows to walk behind one of them, or Sky tower, with great views.

   At night we will go for a newer sight of the Falls with the lights .

Niagara Falls map

   The spots marked at map are:

0- Hotel Doubletree Fallsview
1- Brideveil Falls
2- Horseshoe Falls
3- Maid of the mist


       It’s 6:15 AM in the East Coast when we’re landing in JFK airport of New York. We’ve been proven planes are not a good place for sleeping for us. I’ve spent more hours on the Trivia game in my screen than in closing my eyes and trying to sleep. Flight to Buffalo leaves at 9:05 AM, so we’ve got a couple of hours to spend in this airport. We get our boarding gate and try to sleep a little in our waiting.

Manhattan from the sky   This plane to Buffalo is quite small and we get wonderful views of Manhattan when taking off. It is a few minutes less than two hours long.

   At 11 AM we’re in a Buffalo’s taxi. The driver gives us his car for calling him anytime we need on despite of knowing we’re going to be in Canada. Taxi fees are fixed and it is 30$ for a Canadian hotel and 30 minutes’ ride.

   We can see the falls for first time when reaching the border. It is in a bridge with boxes in every lane as in a toll. At the entrance of the bridge our passports are stamped as US exit Border bridge USA-CanadaUnidos, y en and, at the other side of the bridge, they’re stamped as Canada entrance. We don’t get out of the car in any moment.

   Hotel looks great. There are some hotels in the edge of the river and this is behind them, in second line. We mention we’re in our honeymoon but they cannot offer an upgrade to us as we’ve already got the best rooms: higher floor with Jacuzzi and view to the falls.

   Rooms are fantastic and we agree on resting for a while, so we’re in a nap in bed in no time.

   After three hours we get ready for going out, although our bodies are already missing the bed. We need to lunch and the will have just the afternoon for our visit to the falls.

   It’s late and that’s the reason all restaurants in town look empty or closed. We choose a Italian restaurant called “Four Brothers” in our way.

   We get a small lunch as jet lag and flight snacks have confused our stomachs. My sister gets a single dish meal and my wife and me share a pasta main course and a salad: 40$ in total.

   Now we’re finally reaching the natural wonder around of which has grown this entire touristic town. The road ends in a small roundabout with nothing in the middle. It seems made just to let cars turning around. Only pedestrian can then walk across the park in front of the Skylon Tower to reach the falls walk.

American FallsCanadian Falls

   There, the first we can see is the American Falls. There are two falls here: Brideveil is also called “American Falls” and Horseshoe is also known as “Canadian”. These nick names are obviously coming from the country they’re really sited. Brideveil are a flat falls with a horizontal and white look while Horseshoe are spectacular falls shaped in “U”.

Lookout platform in American side   They’re close each other as per having a sight of both in an outlook. We chose to be in the Canadian side because of this. The problem in the American side is the American Falls are located just there and they cannot have a front view of them. The solution has been building a lookout, like the beginning of a bridge, in the way people can go to the end of it and looking back to the falls for the best view from that side.

   And then is the popular Maid of the Mist, working from both sides. When leaving the restaurant after 5PM I thought this activity would be for tomorrow morning, but we’re in front of the falls and the entrance to Maid of the Mist is just at our left. I didn’t know if it would be opened by 7PM, but it is, so we purchase our tickets by 14.50$ each and go down the stairs fixed in the cliff until the river shore. We’re delivered blue raincoats; they’re poor quality ones but you can keep it. We could see from the lookout all the people in the boats were blue.

   While waiting with this look we can have great views for the American Falls and the boats: American one is going while Canadian one (ours) is coming back.

Uniformed for Maid of the MistMaid of the Mist

   We all uniformed go on board. I don’t know if it’s due to the season or the time but the boat is quite empty, which is perfect as we can choose any location.

   We first pass by Brideveil, quite close of it. We can see a lot of people on its right wearing yellow raincoats all over some platforms. This is the “Behind the Falls” activity. Then we start our trip to the middle of the Horseshoe. If you look at the picture at right, or any other general picture of these falls, you will see there is a cloud of water drops in the middle of it. That’s where “Maid of the Mist” must come from and we’re going to be inside in a few minutes. In our way we can see a lot of water birds which makes me think it must be a lot of fishes in this place.

Seagulls in Niagara FallsTo Horseshoe Falls

   There are so many seagulls that the riversides appear completely covered of white points. Picture above at left maybe is not showing this as in live, but it is an approach.

   As we’re reaching our goal, the views of this semicircle of water are becoming more stunning as they’re coming with its sound: the roar of the water here is an endless thunder and we cannot talk to each other. Another problem appears for us, poor little persons: there is water everywhere around! Obviously, if you get into a cloud of water you get full of water. The raincoat is our friend at this point and the camera must be kept inside of it. Everything out of the raincoat gets wet in a second. Also, if you manage to open your eyes you can see nothing as everything is white.

Canadian side of Niagara FallsUnder the Falls in the Maid of the mist

   As the boat is going out of the mist we have sight back from the feet of the falls. The amount of water running here is amazing and seems incredible it can be maintained the whole year.

   We move to the poop of the boat while it is coming back to get our last views of the falls at river level and having photos posing with them, photos looking as a blue mass in front of a beautiful falls.

   We’ve ended completely wet, no matter how careful any of us has been in preventing it.

   The falls are amazing, but this is all. Once you’ve seen them from one side, from above and from the below you have nothing else to do. We just walk to the end of the walk to observe closely the massive amount of water of the Canadian Falls and getting into a gift store for some souvenirs.

Horseshoe FallsNiagara Falls

   I don’t know what people coming here for several days are doing, unless they spend the time in casino, but for the falls themselves three hours seem more than enough. So we walk peacefully to our hotel thinking about the time we can spend in Jacuzzi and bed. At night, the falls are in lights, but I think we will have enough with the views from our room.
Brideveil at dusk
   As we’re coming back we can feel like the sun is leaving too and gives us this beautiful image of its last rays over the Brideveil.

   We get our dinner at hotel, a big meal with crab from Alaska. As it is a wonderful dinner it is expensive too: 121$ all three, tip included. It is our last meal in this travel, except for tomorrow’s lunch in New York airport while waiting for our flight back to home.

   Before going to bed I can enjoy a cigarette in the balcony looking at Niagara Falls town by night. It seems a place with a lot of night life. I can see the colorful lights in the American Falls. Today we can sleep without any alarm for tomorrow, although, honestly, it has not being used a lot in this travel.

Niagara Falls by night