Sunday, July 09, 2006

Slowly I Turned, Step by Step, Inch by Inch

While we were in the Buffalo area for Brian and Kristan's wedding, Alison and I visited Niagara Falls. Here's a little of what we learned:
  1. The Niagara River flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Thus, in the Buffalo area, Canada, specifically Ontario, is to the west, which seems to confuse some people.
  2. The Canadian (or Horseshoe) Falls are larger and more impressive than the American Falls or the Bridal Veil Falls*.
  3. All three falls can be seen best from the Canadian side of the border. For this reason, in many films and television series, scenes are shot on the Canadian side, even if they allegedly take place in the States**.
  4. You can get much closer to the falls from the American side.
  5. The Maid of the Mist boat tour of the falls, available from either side of the river/border, is way cool. I suggest taking swim goggles.
  6. We didn't get a chance to do the Journey Behind the Falls, available from the Canadian side, or the Cave of The Winds trip, available from the American side. (These journeys take you right up to the rushing water.) They seem worthwhile, though.
  7. Because of Points 3 and 4, to really maximize your tourist experience, one should see the falls from both sides.
  8. There's an extended tourist trap lining both sides of a street just west of the river, about a km downstream of the falls. It contains all manner of wax museums, haunted houses, "adventure" centers, and so on, and it should be avoided at all costs.
* The Bridal Veil Falls are on the US side of the border and are separated from the so-called American falls by a tiny island.
** See, for example, one of my favorite series of the many that were canceled prematurely by Fox, Wonderfalls.

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