The second day of the trip – Sunday – saw us getting up bright and early, and heading from our hotel in Buffalo City to the Falls again. The first item on the itinerary was a 45 minute IMAX movie at the Niagara Adventure Theatre situated at the Visitors Center. The movie explains the history of the falls, starting with how the old Indians native to the continent worshipped it, to early explorations, and finally to crazed thrill seekers wanting to challenge the power of the Waterfalls.
For those persons who’re going to visit this place at some point, you can skip the film if you’re in a rush or on a tight budget. It’s watchable and informative, but you’re not missing too much if you give it a miss.
The massive structure on the right is the Observation Tower, situated on the American side. The ticketing and admission booths for the famed Maid of the Mist boat trip is situated at the Niagara Falls State Park – which is ground level – but to actually get to the boat’s berth area on the river, you take a fast elevator within the Tower all the way down to the river bed. The tower is massive and I judge it to be about 14 floors high. Most of the pictures later below are all taken from the tower’s observation deck.
From the Wikipedia entry of the trip, a number of the Maid/Mist’s boats work the area – as many as seven. I didn’t see all of them out on the Sunday morning; just perhaps four boats. So, while the area was pretty crowded on the weekend, crowds going for the boat trip were moving along briskly.
The above picture is of the Canadian side of the Boat ride as seen from the Observation Tower.
The boat trip itself lasts for a brisk 15-20 minutes. Yep, it’s really short. But if you’re going to the Falls, this is the only way to actually experience the sheer power, noise and din of one of nature’s most spectacular sights. Victoria Falls is of course even better than this, but also in a far less accessible location in Africa. But Ling now wants to go there – maybe we’ll end up skipping Japan this December and going to Zimbabwe instead.:)
The above four pictures were all taken on the Observation Tower’s deck at various perspectives and zoom levels, and of the American and Bridal Veil falls (the smaller one). You can’t really quite see the Horseshoe Falls from the American side because of the huge mist that’s thrown up. And yeah, the weather was no good. Very little sun, all cloudy. Both the E-Pl1 and D300 had difficulties dealing with the poor color tones, and I tried to recover whatever I could from Photoshop.
OK, two more perspectives of the falls. The picture below is taken of the Crows Nest, a small stoned paved walk away that brings you to take a really close look at the American and Bridal Veil falls. Lots of tourists walk this route, but because the path way is so narrow, a lot of human traffic jams result, thanks to persons who stop and pose to get their pictures taken.
Funnily though, I didn’t get drenched when I made the climb myself. The wind was blowing the mist in the other direction.:)
The below was taken at the Niagara Falls State Park, which lets you get a great review of the Rapids leading to the American Falls.
To be honest, I don’t think the pictures have turned out well at all. The weather was less than pleasing, and the viewing perspective of the falls the Americans get is all wrong, though admittedly if you want to experience the physical prowess of the falls and are less interested in taking great pictures, this is the preferred side rather than the Canadians.
The videos fared a little better, if nothing else they give you an idea of how big the area is. The first video was taken on the climb up the Crows Nest:
And the second video below is taken from the Observation Tower’s deck:
I still have a whole bunch of panoramas taken of the area, which I’ll comment on at the end of the trip. If I’m coming to this region ever again, I’ll want to be on the other side – and hope for better weather too.:)