Monday and Tuesday 10-11th -- Wednesday and Thursday 12-13th -- Friday 14th -- Saturday 15th

Saturday 15th - Niagara Falls

Grand plans and all that... I had planned on getting up around 6:30 to give myself plenty of time to organise myself for the trip down to Niagara Falls. Alas, I hadn't set the alarm to go off on Saturday so it was about 7:15 when I woke. Oh Shit! I had to clear out my bag, shower, breakfast, organise a key for the room safe (to store the laptop while I was out of town) and get to the bus stop across the street before 8:25. I somehow made it on time for a bus that ended up being 5 minutes late.

This first bus was only taking me up to a major train/bus interchange where I would catch another bus down to the town of Niagara Falls. And that bus would only stop at two places in town, first on the eastern outskirts and then at the train station. Neither were particularly close to the actual waterfalls. I got off at the train station (Waypoint A on the first Google Maps link below) as I thought in my ignorance that the waterfalls of Niagara Falls were the more forested type falls. I'd spotted a roadway on the map that ran along the river below the falls that I thought would give a few good photo opportunities of waterfalls and forests and such.

Wrong! Niagara Falls is pretty much all about the Horseshoe Falls and American Falls at the south-eastern corner of the town (more on that later). And the river flows through a sheer cliff-faced gorge over 70 below the roadway. Various slippages over the years had meant that there were no footpaths close to the edge of the gorge further away from the falls. The heavy tourism focus of the town and the control the national parks mob has on revenue out of the falls goes a long way to preventing a tourist from getting away from the throngs too, so my initial journey was quite disappointing.

Google Maps route of the first part of my walk during the day.

My first stop was the White Water Walk "Welcome Centre" (B). It was the first place I came across in my walk that looked like it might have some information. $50 later and I had a pass that would get me into 4 of the main attractions in town including unlimited rides on the "We-Go" buses running around town. The white water walk is a boardwalk built at the bottom of the gorge (you take a 70m tall lift down to it) situated at the Class 6 rapids in the gorge. Class 6 is the highest, most dangerous classification of rapids. They certainly did seem pretty rough but not so bad that they looked deadly as over a century ago people must have thought as well.


Some photos of the rapids. The boardwalk down by these rapids ran from waypoint B to about where waypoint C is on the Google Maps link. The water was fairly roaring through here which would certainly add to the danger of these rapids but I can only guess that it would be worse at other times of the year to be classified as life-threatening.


It was eventually time to move onto the next area. I decided to keep heading away from the main falls for the moment and walked down to the Whirlpool. This involved getting the lift back up to the roadway. I then walked to Waypoint D on the first route above.

Along the way I spotted something that I'm sure would get Matt's attention. A Shelby GT500 Mustang


I did spot one nice view of the river from the roadway


The Whirlpool and its rapids were quite pretty but really only interesting for a little while. I probably should have taken a ride on the Aero Car there but it was already midday and I hadn't even gotten up to the main attraction of the area yet. Here are a couple of photos


As time was looking like it would get tight pretty quick I decided to catch the bus up closer to the falls. The link below shows the rest of the walking I did in the afternoon

Google Maps route of the remainder of my walk during the day.

I got off the bus at a restaurant that would be ideal for you and I:



More on the menu items in there later. There are 2 or 3 bridges across the gorge. This one the nicest of the lot. It is named Rainbow for the rainbows that periodically spring up over the falls during the day. Oh, and that's New York State, USA on the other side over there


There was some nice shrubbery around the place too

But Mum and Dad won't be able to believe that they use this weed as an ornament in a garden!

The Falls you ask? Ah, yes. I hadn't forgetten. Honest! Well there are two main waterfalls at Niagara Falls. The more famous of the two is the Horseshoe Falls


Then there's the American Falls

Unfortunately I didn't get any closer up of the American Falls as I didn't want to spend any time going through Customs twice in one day.

You are here

On that board I got off the bus just off the bottom, walked past the Maid Of The Mist and up to the Table Rock area. The Maid Of The Mist is the franchise which runs boats from both the Canadian and USA sides of the river up into the mist at the foot of the horseshoe falls. It looks like it would be a nice trip. The pass I got earlier in the day included one of those trips but everytime I looked down at a boat they were packed like sardines and that didn't look like a good way to spend my time.

Still more to come!

Monday and Tuesday 10-11th -- Wednesday and Thursday 12-13th -- Friday 14th -- Saturday 15th