Niagara Falls


Spent the day doing touristy things in Niagara Falls today.  I’ve been here twice before, as far as I know.  Once as a toddler (I’m told almost fell in because of the hypnotic effect of the falling water) and once in my early teens.

I remember being impressed by the bright neon lights of the tourist strip, and they light up the falls at night, so I went out twice – once in day and once at night.

Amusing building design: tipped over skyscraper


I also went up on the big ferris wheel they have overlooking the river. Here you can see the rivers leading to the falls – a feature often overlooked:


I went on the Maid of the Mist boat tour.  It’s a short boat ride that takes you near the American falls and right up beside the Canadian falls.  The spray is incredible.  They give you a disposable raincoat, but you’ll still get soaked.  It was almost hard to breathe there was so much water flying through the air – like being under a dozen showerheads at once.  Luckily my camera bag proved itself quite waterproof, but needless to say I didn’t take any pictures that close to the falls.  This is when I had to put my camera away:


I did get this panorama of the American falls on the return leg:


The next place I went was Table Rock, which is the name of the best vantage point above the Canadian falls – and where a young woman recently fell in. This compressed panorama doesn’t do it justice – there’s a lot of water there. It’s about 20cm deep where it goes over the edge, and moving fast.


Just below here is an attraction called Journey Behind the Falls. There are three parts to it. Two are tunnels that come out behind the significant overhand of the falls. You can’t get right to the tunnel mouths though – what you see is this:


That whiteness is the wall of water falling down.  Sometimes the wind blows some spray into the tunnels.

The third part is an observation deck near the foot of the falls.  Lots of spray here too, but I was able to get a more dramatic angle:


On the return trip, at the request of my friend Liam, I photographed the monument to Nicola Tesla, world’s greatest mad scientist.


That’s the documentary view, but I like this angle better since Tesla was inspired as a child to want to harness the power of the Niagara Falls:


You’ll note he’s standing on a partial model of the AC motor, one of his world-changing contributions.

I’m not much interested in the wax museum type stuff that dominates the tourist strip here, but I did go into Brick City, hoping for a Lego extravaganza.  Also I had heard the Lego model of the CN Tower that is no longer at the CN Tower was moved here.

Unfortunately it was a disappointment.  What you see here is everything:


Basically a moderately substantial Lego collection for a single person.  The CN Tower model is not the original, and is not as well done.  Lots of trains, and some nice constructions, but also a lot of “canned” stuff – ie off-the-shelf Lego sets that have simply been assembled and added to the mix.  Overall this exhibit is less substantial than the touring Lego shows that used to go to department stores across the country.

When I was here as a teenager, there was a big arcade on the strip where I and three other kids spent a crazy amount of money playing Gauntlet II.  That arcade is gone and I’m not certain of where it was exactly.  There are four new establishments that have (a poor selection of) arcade games, but they more correctly identify themselves as midways:


More shots from the strip:










OMG, there are dinosaurs and the like after those mini-golfers!


A couple of moon compositions:



Night shots of the lights illuminating the falls, and their effect on the cloud of spray:




Night shots of the falls:






A bit blurry, but there was a horse-drawn carriage lit with Christmas lights that I thought was neat:


They also had fireworks over the falls tonight, but I was up on the ferris wheel at the time and there was too much internal reflection in the gondola windows to get good shots.

I had a good time, but I don’t think I need to return anytime soon.  If you do come here, the Maid, the Behind observation deck and the ferris wheel are all highly recommended.  You can get multi-venue passes to save a few bucks and there are also coupons to be had everywhere.

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