It was the Summer of 2005 when I first laid eyes on Niagara Falls. It was breathtaking. The park was abuzz with visitors scurrying around like a huge colony of ants trying to get to one place to the other but most were trying to get a closer look at this massive yet magnificent natural wonder of the world! That day, the beauty of the Falls entranced me and became one of those "happy" places I wanted to go back to when given the chance. I got that chance this Winter. And what a stark contrast to see.
If it was beyond alive that Summer, this cold season gave the place a chilling emptiness. It was almost so quiet, it feels eerily haunting. The only noise you hear are the raging sounds coming from the Fall itself. The place also looked like a desolate place in a lonely planet if not for a trickle of few visitors visible inside the park. All attractions inside the park were closed. The Maid of the Mist ride was closed for the season as well. Niagara Falls park is literally dead.
But you know what? I liked it that way.
Serenity by Snow
I got to enjoy the Falls in peace and quiet. It was a great time to commune with nature uninterrupted. I didn't have to jostle my way through a crowd to see the Falls, or have my picture taken with unwanted strangers in the picture with me all the time! Ah, I almost sang Hallelujah!
The best part of the Winter season is seeing the vast landscape covered in snow. I half-expected, half-hoped part of the Falls have froze over but that didn't happen unfortunately. It wasn't that cold yet. Maybe in the dead of Winter but alas, my nifty camera and I won't be there to see it! drat.
But I took in whatever Niagara Falls have to offer to me during my visit. It gave me and my family the chance to enjoy the scenery in serenity. And to see it for how it is during the Winter and marvel at its grandness and magnificence. Afterall, we were there for the Falls, not the park, and we got what we came for and more.
The Unofficial Designated Photographer
The visit for me have been very meditative. Except for those awkward moments of course, where I was interrupted from my mad photographing mode, to take pictures of other visitors. One of them for a young lovebirds, where the girlfriend insistently told her boyfriend that I should be the one to take their pictures because "I was a professional photographer".
I wonder what made her think that way? Could be my odd gymnastics in between the railing of the viewing deck trying to get my perfect shot. Or perhaps the heavy lenses I lugged around with me was a dead giveaway?
Overall, visiting the Falls during Winter is a great escape from the chaotic nature of life when you just want to get away from it all even for a few hours! The mesmerizing sound of the Falls is so calming and the serenity of the place can be very energizing.
And if you're up for some adventure, cross over to Canada. Who knows what fun adventure awaits on the other side of the bridge!
Where is your favorite Winter escape?