Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nature's Pin-up Poster: The Niagara Falls

As an avid Traveller, its always been a dream to visit the Niagara Falls. When my fate for the next couple of years was sealed at Rochester, NY (80 miles from Niagara), it was an exciting prospect as I could visit her frequently, a far cry from just a dream eh!. My first visit to Niagara was arranged by RIT for the new students. It is still vivid in my mind, the climate was sunny in Rochester and I was naive enough to assumed that it'd be the same at Niagara, owing to the proximity. How terribly wrong I was, read on.
Judging the weather, I dressed light. When I reached Niagara, I got the shock of my life. It was 2 degrees Centigrade! And there i was in my light jeans and tee attire. Steaming breath, teeth chattering in the cold, I attempted the bravado of taking it as it came. 
Coming to Niagara itself, nothing new here, but just for starters, it is shared by both the USA and Canada. So, there is an American side and a Canadian side. Unfortunately, the Canadian side is insanely more attractive than the American Side. It'd be a good idea to try and visit the Canadian Side.But that I will set aside for now.  The word "Niagara" is derived from the Iroquois Indian word "Onguiaahra" meaning "the strait". It is literally a strait, with the Niagara river being the prime water source. 3 waterfalls make up whats called the Niagara Falls and they are: The American Falls, The Bridal Veil falls and the Horseshoe Falls which is in the Canadian Side. 
Our first stop was the "Cave of the Winds" which was a natural cave behind the Bridal Veil Falls. But due to nature's fury (cliche) it was deemed too dangerous and now there is an alternate path which takes you to the front of the falls. When you reach the base of the "Cave of the Winds", you'll literally feel like you're in the midst of a Tropical Rainstorm. Here is a click of what you can experience there (this was taken at 1 deg C, so quality of the pic is naturally affected):

Bridal Veil Falls, Niagara

At that temperature, all of us literally froze, but still was excited enough to feel the force of the falls, which we did. It could have been a stupid decision as I still had to trek a bit to go to the "Maid of the Mist". But Adrenaline kept me going. Wet and literally frostbitten, I limped my way up to the observation tower, where I could click the rainbow bridge. Here's the shot:

Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls

Thought there is not a bluish tinge in the clouds formation to add variety, this was the best I could get that day. Next up was the "Maid of the Mist". Its actually a boat ride that takes you past the Bridal Veil Falls (Cave of the Winds ring a bell?) and the American Falls. Though not as exciting as the cave of the winds (purely personal opinion) it is still the best thing to get in proximity to the American Falls. Here are some pictures:

American Falls from the Maid of the Mist

The American Falls

The Maid of the Mist Boat, Canadian Side

 Niagara By the Night

In the evenings, intense spotlights bathe the falls with different shades of color. I was lucky enough to go back there a second time (this time I drove, Yay! :) ) in the night to witness the beauty of the Niagara Falls by night. Nothing much to add here but some of my best clicks out of the lot:

Sunset at Niagara Falls

Canadian Skyline

Falls Lit up in the night

Canadian Skyline

Canadian Skyline

And here's my few cents for a wonderful trip to Niagara:

- Do stay back for the night to enjoy the Falls being Lit up

- Niagara Nature Trails are something very beautiful and not to be missed. I haven't trekked them yet, but will do it soon.

- Take the walkaway near the American Falls, you won't regret it.

- DO get to know the local weather a Niagara and don't get shocked like me.

Hope you enjoyed reading it. Do leave your feedback.

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