Unverified Commit 50a0ecda authored by Richard Perry's avatar Richard Perry
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Final draft of Niagara Day One post completed

parent 4f1599ae
......@@ -223,6 +223,9 @@ locations:
Ottawa:
name: Ottawa
link: /canada/ottawa/
Toronto:
name: Toronto
link: /canada/toronto/
 
post_categories:
china-2009:
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---
date: 2017-04-17 21:10:00 -0500
title: "So Much Water!!"
image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4230/35843804885_db997d47b4.jpg
author: richard
locations:
- Canada
- Toronto
---
We were on the road again yesterday morning, but this time it was only 1½ hours down to Niagara Falls :smiley:. It has been my experience that quite often, some of these incredible sights can be a bit of a let down when you see them in real life. Niagara Falls is definitely not one of those! They are perhaps the most breathtaking natural wonder I have seen! There is no way to appreciate the insane power of them without seeing them up close and personal!
We pulled into Niagara Falls late morning and dropped off our car and bags at the hotel. At this point, we had no real plan so we walked down to the falls themselves to take it all in. :open_mouth:! It was just incredible to see the falls in all their glory. Not only are the main Horseshoe Falls epic, but the American Falls are also an amazing sight!
{% flickr_photoset 72157683905683991 %}{: .aligncentre }
Once we had our [Adventure Passes][1] we went straight down to the 'Maid of the Mist' dock, only to find that the 'Maid of the Mist' has only operated from the American side since 2013! Thankfully, there is still a boat that does the trip from the Canadian side and that is the '[Hornblower][2]'. The queue was tiny so we joined and got straight onto the next boat, complete with our awesome red ponchos! The actual trip is only 20 minutes long, but it's actually perfectly adequate to see the incredible power of all 3 sets of falls. You set off past the American Falls, with massive amounts of rock debris at its base. Then you scoot past the Bridal Veil Falls, a much smaller set of falls between the American and Horseshoe Falls. Finally, you arrive in the middle of the horseshoe surrounded by the Horseshoe Falls as ≈2,500m³ of water falls down the face of the 50 metre drop every second! The noise is just phenomenal and you get absolutely soaked whilst the boat slowly turns around for the return trip. So the boat trip was only 20 minutes, but what a fantastic experience! Getting so close to the Falls really brings into sharp focus the true power of nature. Amazing!
{% flickr_photoset 72157684152001410 %}{: .aligncentre }
After that experience, there was only really one thing we could do, hunt for food :smiley:. Rosie noticed previously that there was a Hard Rock Café somewhere in town so began our mission to find it. Although Niagara Falls is a massive tourist attraction, the town isn't really that big so we headed to the 'strip' and our mission was accomplished. Given we were planning on eating at the fancy steak restaurant, [The Keg Steakhouse][3], at our [hotel][4] in the evening, it would have made sense to have a light lunch, wouldn't it? Well, we're obviously not that sensible because we ordered full meals, oops!
The afternoon drew us back to the falls, but this time we took a '[Journey Behind the Falls][5]' where we got yellow ponchos :grinning:. It's definitely an experience! The tunnels were originally carved into the hillside behind the falls approximately 130 years ago and they take you to two viewing areas that look out through the falls. The first thing to strike you when you enter the tunnels is the noise of the water, then as you get closer to the openings you can actually feel the ground beneath your feet vibrating with the sheer force of the water falling over the edge. At each of the openings, there are barriers to stop you getting too close, but the wind, spray and noise do a pretty good job on their own. There is no way to hear what anyone around you is saying. At first glance, the falls just look like a curtain moving in the breeze, but when you look properly you can see the immense volume of water that is moving past the opening every second.
Once you've seen the falls from behind, there is then the option to view them from the side from an observation platform at the end of the tunnels. This is the real reason for the ponchos! Almost everywhere on the platform, it felt like it was raining heavily because of the amount of spray generated by the falls, but the view was spectacular. George struggled a little with the noise, but he really wanted a picture with the '[Go Jetters][6]' in front of the falls so we got that sorted and got him out of there :smiley:.
{% flickr_photoset 72157683622316904 %}{: .aligncentre }
We finished the day with a trip to [Niagara's Fury][7]. This is a 4D cinema experience describing the history of Niagara Falls from about 12,500 years ago. We were given more ponchos on the way in, then shepherded into a circular room and onto a platform above a shallow pool of water. Rather than spoil the experience for anyone else going, I'll just say that it was a brilliant, and very much immersive, experience that was perfectly geared to kids. If you are in Niagara, then I would highly recommend it :grinning:.
Given Niagara is a reasonable drive away from Toronto, we had decided to book a hotel for the night. We chose the [Embassy Suites Hotel][4] based on Karlene's recommendation and it couldn't have been a better choice! The view from our room on the 39th floor was stunning. The entire end wall of the room was glazing and we looked straight down on the Horseshoe Falls and across to the American and Bridal Veil Falls. We also got to eat in [The Keg Steakhouse][3] which is on the 9th floor of the hotel and also looks out over the falls.
{% flickr_photoset 72157686285637856 %}{: .aligncentre }
[1]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit-niagara-parks/plan-your-visit/deals-packages/ "Niagara Falls Adventure Pass - Save up to 48% off top Niagara attractions"
[2]: https://www.niagaracruises.com/ "Hornblower Niagara Cruise"
[3]: http://www.fallsviewrestaurant.com/ "The Keg Steakhouse & Bar | Fallsview | Niagara Falls, Canada"
[4]: http://www.embassysuitesniagara.com/ "Niagara Falls Hotel – Embassy Suites Niagara Falls Hotel"
[5]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/journey-behind-the-falls/ "Journey Behind the Falls"
[6]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/shows/go-jetters "Go Jetters - CBeebies - BBC"
[7]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/niagaras-fury/ "Niagara's Fury"
\ No newline at end of file
---
date: 2017-04-18 21:10:00 -0500
title: "So Much Water!!"
image:
author: richard
locations:
- Canada
- Toronto
---
We were on the road again yesterday morning, but this time it was only 1½ hours down to Niagara Falls :smiley:. It has been my experience that quite often, some of these incredible sights can be a bit of a let down when you see them in real life. Niagara Falls is definitely not one of those! They are perhaps the most breathtaking natural wonder I have seen! There is no way to appreciate the insane power of them without seeing them up close and personal!
We pulled into Niagara Falls late morning and dropped off our car and bags at the hotel. At this point, we had no real plan so we walked down to the falls themselves to take it all in. :open_mouth:! It was just incredible to see the falls in all their glory. Not only are the main Horseshoe Falls epic, but the American Falls are also an amazing sight!
{% flickr_photoset 72157683905683991 %}{: .aligncentre }
Once we had our [Adventure Passes][ap] we went straight down to the 'Maid of the Mist' dock, only to find that the 'Maid of the Mist' has only operated from the American side since 2013! Thankfully, there is still a boat that does the trip from the Canadian side and that is the '[Hornblower][hb]'. The queue was tiny so we joined and got straight onto the next boat, complete with our awesome red ponchos! The actual trip is only 20 minutes long, but it's actually perfectly adequate to see the incredible power of all 3 sets of falls. You set off past the American Falls, with massive amounts of rock debris at its base. Then you scoot past the Bridal Veil Falls, a much smaller set of falls between the American and Horseshoe Falls. Finally, you arrive in the middle of the horseshoe surrounded by the Horseshoe Falls as ≈2,500m³ of water falls down the face of the 50 metre drop every second! The noise is just phenomenal and you get absolutely soaked whilst the boat slowly turns around for the return trip. So the boat trip was only 20 minutes, but what a fantastic experience! Getting so close to the Falls really brings into sharp focus the true power of nature. Amazing!
{% flickr_photoset 72157684152001410 %}{: .aligncentre }
After that experience, there was only really one thing we could do, hunt for food :smiley:. Rosie noticed previously that there was a Hard Rock Café somewhere in town so began our mission to find it. Although Niagara Falls is a massive tourist attraction, the town isn't really that big so we headed to the 'strip' and our mission was accomplished. Given we were planning on eating at the fancy steak restaurant, [The Keg Steakhouse][keg], at our [hotel][es] in the evening, it would have made sense to have a light lunch, wouldn't it? Well, we're obviously not that sensible because we ordered full meals, oops!
The afternoon drew us back to the falls, but this time we took a '[Journey Behind the Falls][jb]' where we got yellow ponchos :grinning:. It's definitely an experience! The tunnels were originally carved into the hillside behind the falls approximately 130 years ago and they take you to two viewing areas that look out through the falls. The first thing to strike you when you enter the tunnels is the noise of the water, then as you get closer to the openings you can actually feel the ground beneath your feet vibrating with the sheer force of the water falling over the edge. At each of the openings, there are barriers to stop you getting too close, but the wind, spray and noise do a pretty good job on their own. There is no way to hear what anyone around you is saying. At first glance, the falls just look like a curtain moving in the breeze, but when you look properly you can see the immense volume of water that is moving past the opening every second.
Once you've seen the falls from behind, there is then the option to view them from the side from an observation platform at the end of the tunnels. This is the real reason for the ponchos! Almost everywhere on the platform, it felt like it was raining heavily because of the amount of spray generated by the falls, but the view was spectacular. George struggled a little with the noise, but he really wanted a picture with the '[Go Jetters][gj]' in front of the falls so we got that sorted and got him out of there :smiley:.
{% flickr_photoset 72157683622316904 %}{: .aligncentre }
Given Niagara is a reasonable drive away from Toronto, we had decided to book a hotel for the night. We chose the [Embassy Suites Hotel][es] based on Karlene's recommendation and it couldn't have been a better choice! The view from our room on the 39th floor was stunning. The entire end wall of the room was glazing and we looked straight down on the Horseshoe Falls and across to the American and Bridal Veil Falls. We also got to eat in [The Keg Steakhouse][keg] which is on the 9th floor of the hotel and also looks out over the falls.
{% flickr_photoset 72157686285637856 %}{: .aligncentre }
When planning out this trip, we thought a day in Niagara, with maybe a couple of hours in the morning to see the last few bits, would be plenty, but this morning we woke up and wondered how we would fit in everything we had left! Anyway, we started the day riding the [WEGO][] out to the [Whirlpool Aero Car][ac] for a journey over the Niagara Whirlpool and the border between Canada and the United States of America. The international border between the two countries lies along the centre of the river and crosses the Niagara Whirlpool, so, officially, we crossed into and out of the USA twice on our Aero Car trip over the top of it :smiley:. When we got onto the car(_??_) the operator asked George what his name was (_it was 'Batman' on this occasion_), he was then introduced to the rest of the passengers as Batman making George's day! The operator continued playing this game with George all the way across the gorge and back again, which was great because it meant he didn't realise how windy it actually was out there :smiley:.
{% flickr_photoset 72157686324105726 %}{: .aligncentre }
The next stop for the day was the [White Water Walk][www]. We hopped off the [WEGO][] at a little gift shop where we were ushered into a small, old, manually operated lift by a man who then operated the lift for us. After a little spiel about the walk, we alighted at a tunnel that took us to the boardwalk along the side of the Grade 6 rapids of the Niagara River. We've seen some impressive and scary rapids in Switzerland, but they really do pale in comparison to these. I can't believe there are crazy people out there who try to navigate these waters! We walked alongside the rapids to a viewing platform bit about half a mile down river and I have to say, the pictures below really do not show you what it was we were looking at. It looked like you could lose a bus in some of the holes in that river. It was absolutely beautiful and, yet again, highlighted my love/fear of rivers. I feel the need for another paddling trip soon, but on some much less violent water, I think.
{% flickr_photoset 72157683667996404 %}{: .aligncentre }
Given the day was rapidly disappearing, and we still had a few things to do on route, we headed back to the Falls for a few more pictures and some food before starting our journey back to Toronto.
{% flickr_photoset 72157687131189315 %}{: .aligncentre }
ToDo
- 4D Cinema bit
- Visiting the dams like the Go Jetters
- Stopping at Niagara on the Lake
- Meeting up with family for dessert
[ap]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit-niagara-parks/plan-your-visit/deals-packages/ "Niagara Falls Adventure Pass - Save up to 48% off top Niagara attractions"
[hb]: https://www.niagaracruises.com/ "Hornblower Niagara Cruise"
[keg]: http://www.fallsviewrestaurant.com/ "The Keg Steakhouse & Bar | Fallsview | Niagara Falls, Canada"
[es]: http://www.embassysuitesniagara.com/ "Niagara Falls Hotel – Embassy Suites Niagara Falls Hotel"
[jb]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/journey-behind-the-falls/ "Journey Behind the Falls"
[gj]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/shows/go-jetters "Go Jetters - CBeebies - BBC"
[WEGO]: http://www.wegoniagarafalls.com/ "WEGO Niagara Falls - The Ride to Fun, Visitor Transportation System"
[ac]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/whirlpool-aero-car/ "Whirlpool Aero Car"
[www]: https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/white-water-walk/ "White Water Walk"
\ No newline at end of file
---
comments: false
layout: location
title: "Location: Canada > Toronto"
location: Toronto
permalink: /canada/toronto/
---
\ No newline at end of file
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