From my first travel to the United States, I had wanted to see the Niagara Falls. We had read so much about them as kids. Last year, I finally did take that journey. I was in New Jersey and decided to take the 3-day tour to the Niagara Falls including the Canadian side.
Let me tell you a bit about these bus tours. They can be booked online and include travel, stay and entry tickets. Most of them are run by Chinese owners and hence the meal stops a lot of time are in China town kind of areas. Don’t be surprised to have a lot of Chinese co-passengers as well though the tour guide will speak in English even if you are the only English speaking passenger on the bus.
The route to the Niagara Falls included a stop in between at Watkin’s Glen National Park. I found it somewhat dirty and unimpressive. Have seen much better places for trekking in the US. We reached the Canadian border by evening. After going through the immigration checks, our bus took us directly to the hotel which was at walking distance from the falls so that we could check-in our luggage before heading out to get a night glimpse of the magnificent waterfalls.
There is laser lighting show of the falls till about 10 p.m. the walk from the hotel was quite safe as it was a small town and whoever was around was just going to enjoy the view of the Niagara Falls. However, it’s a bit strenuous as the roads were on a slope and hence the uphill climb after the view was tiring. Of course I was tired after a full day of sitting in the bus as well.
The lighting show displays a multitude of colors on the thundering waters which is truly a mesmerizing view to see. The pressure of the waterfall is so heavy that even from a distance you can feel the mist in the air.
Even at 10 p.m the place was very lively with tourists. Eating joints were open till pretty late and so were convenience stores. There were quite a few big and small hotels in the area for all kinds of budgets.
The next morning after breakfast we headed out for our actual encounter with the Niagara Falls. We were going to take the Horn blower boat tour (earlier called the Maid of the Mist). Before getting into the boat, we were handed over plastic disposable rain coats to prevent our clothes from getting wet. They were only partially successful in doing so. As the boat got near the falls, the pressure of the water was so high that no amount of protection could help us getting totally splashed on. Cameras definitely need to be protected at this time. Some people damaged their cameras and phones as they got wet as well as lost their balance due to the turbulence.
The icing on the cake was the lunch was at Skylon Towers. It wasn’t the food but the great aerial view of both sides of the Niagara Falls (US and Canadian) from the observation deck of the Skylon towers that truly marked a wonderful end to the trip.