|American Falls/Niagara Falls|
Niagara Falls is one of my favorite travel destinations. It's an attraction that changes with the season. It takes on a multi-faceted appearance especially during the winter. In spite of its sheer size and raging power, the falls emanates a sense of calming effect that I can't get enough of. And the rushing water exploding on the rocks at the bottom of the falls creating those continuous thick blanket of mist certainly adds to the mystique of these iconic wonder of nature.
After going to this park for years, I decided that this year, it was time for us to get up close and personal with the falls. Time to be a tourist. Not just a "passing by" visitor anymore...
So, Hello... ( Niagara Falls - Maid of the Mist)... from the other (USA) side.
Our Maiden Voyage began with an elevator ride from the top of Prospect Point Park Observation Tower. A slow 282 ft. descent to the base of the gorge. From there, we were guided down towards a tent where we received our complimentary blue rain ponchos - a garb not only worn to identify which side of the Niagara we're coming from, but more over, a much-needed necessity to protect us for what's to come ahead of us! Let's just say that for some who chose not to wear them, got a very wet kiss from the falls!
|Observation Tower at base of the Gorge leading towards landing deck|
In spite of the vast number of people waiting in line to board the ship, it seem to move very fast and we were boarding the ship in no time. It's not surprising since one of the two ships [ Maid of the Mist VII ] cruising the river can hold 600 passengers. And the original ship, Maid of the Mist VI, can hold about 300 passengers. This explains why they can afford to leave every 15 minutes and accommodate a huge number of guests at each ride.
Our Kind of thrill ride
The Majestic Falls
Getting so close to the Falls especially within almost reach of the Horseshoe Falls was in itself a chance of a lifetime. We were in a ship full of first-timers and being that close to the raging Horseshoe Falls enveloped with thick mist, it almost feels like we were under a torrential rain, was a dream come true. To some it was a total victory!
|Bridal Veil Falls next to American Falls with Cave of the winds |
attraction below, accessed via Luna Island.
|Cave of the winds|
|American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls on the far right|
Horseshoe Falls (Canada side)
|Horseshoe Falls on American side with the viewing deck on Goat island|
Travel Tips to make your visit worthwhile:
If you want to experience an up close and personal opportunity with the American Falls without paying an extra dime, make sure to take advantage of this viewing deck situated on the edge of American Falls after you alight from your ride on the Maid of the Mist. It's rather a steep and rocky hike but, trust me, it's worth the climb. Just be prepared to dock and dodge clueless, self-absorbed, selfie-stick-toting humans who are totally safety hazard on your climb up. Or, you'll find yourself toppling over at the edge of the cliff like humpty dumpty - and you don't want that!
|The steep climb up!|
- Make sure to use the poncho unless you want to get soaked like a wet chicken.
- Wear a sandal unless you don't care about your sneakers getting soaked as well.
- Protect your DSLR cameras with a waterproof case if you can - or make sure it's insured!
I'd say that it was an amazing first ride. It was worth it. Other people may look at this wonderful nature of wonder as just nothing but only, well, Falls...but once you get close to it, you'll see... it's priceless!
Next goal is to try the Hornblower on the other side... Canada side. Only because it is in, well, Canada! Oh yeah!
|The Hornblower docked on its port waiting to fill|