Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 28 - Niagara - Tabletop, Journey behind Falls and Maid of the mist

Finally the bus came back for us after Christina thought that Steve had lost some of them at the whirlpool because he took so long to get back.  They were probably just having fun…. But schedules must be kept... 
Our first of the view of the falls 
We headed to downtown Niagara where we would be dropped for 2 odd hours for lunch and time to explore. We got our first view of the falls from the ground level. It was beautiful and so busy with a lot people enjoying the beautiful day.
From Tabletop 
I regret not leaving my jacket on the bus because I didn’t really need it. In the sun it was so beautiful a warm and I think I actually ended up with a little bit of sunburn. 
What a awesome view to eat lunch by 
We took the obligatory photos but sat down to enjoy our lunch by the roar of the falls. I got to enjoy it with Kim and Vicki and I really enjoy their company as they are such a nice couple.  I was admiring her beautiful Calvin Klein jacket which she purchased from Macys.
Looking down from the Canadian Horseshoe falls
We decided to go and do the Journey behind the falls which is the walkway behind the falls. The Rif Raf were going to join us as well. I went off to find out how much and how long it takes while Vicki and Kim enjoyed the view. 
Our first view of the Journey behind the falls... just a curtain of water
We ventured on down and thought well what did we just pay $15 for?  We couldn’t see anything except for the hole in the wall and our very sexy yellow spray protectors.
About the Journey behind the falls
Then we walked back and we realised there was a whole other section that we missed when first entered the tunnel. So headed on down to the “viewing” platform and OMG how amazing was that. Although that was why you really needed the yellow slickers. 
View from the Viewing deck how amazing is this view
You were right next to the Canadian Horseshoe falls with the mammoth amount of water falling down and the spray from the water.
Canadian Horseshoe from the Journey behind the Falls viewing area
It made keeping the water off the lens really hard although I had my lens cleaning cloths in my pocket I had to keep on going back into the tunnel to clean them.
What happens when water just won't leave
the lens catches sunflare with grain
But it was so awesome and there were 2 sections there with a covered area and then the out in the open lookout which is where I got the most drenched.
About why Niagara is unique not in size but sheer volume 
But this video gives you an idea of what it was like. 
video

To be there and feel the spray coming over you was so awesome but hard to photograph because of the continual spray there.
That is Hilda walking down the steps before her little spill down some other steps
but this the main lookout near the main building which houses the Journey behind the falls
We headed back up upstairs and did the souvenir shop but I decided not to indulge. We met back at the picnic area at Table top after taking many more photos.
Heading down to the Maid of the Mist and
overlooking the American falls
We travelled all of about 500 mtrs to the drop off point so we could go down to the Maid of the Mist and then we had about another 1 hour free in Niagara. 
Getting ready to board 
We lined up with the rest of the cattle but they wouldn’t let us put on the poncho in the hand out tent because as soon as you walked outside you got blown away so it was hard to put it on. 
The USA side 
Note to ones self – take off back pack first!!!!!  Don’t try to protect the back pack! Just blows up and makes you more wet.
Lens + Water + Sunflare = Pretty 
I was originally at the front of the boat but it was way too windy so I was having to clean the lens every second. So I dumped the welsh crew at the front and headed to the side of the boat.
All that water mist hence Maid of the Mist 
One of the English couples was so generous in letting me have their space on the rail on the side. That was a much better position and got some great shots and especially of the rainbows caused by the water spray.
OOOHhhh Pretty Rainbows 
I mucked around with the girls who were travelling with their mum and took some photos of them, then they returned the favour.
Just to prove I was there 
One mascara streaked face later and photo op done but what awesome fun. I really enjoyed it and laughed through most of it. 
From the top of the Maid of the Mist area 
Spent some time in the gift shop and got a few last minute gifts of the Canadian fare…  then headed up to explore through Niagara but after being on my feet for almost four hours I really wished I could drop the bag off. But no such luck
War Memorial Downtown Niagara 
I went wandering near the Sheraton and found the Hershey shop… which was chocolate heaven. I made a purchase of Hershey cupcake, chocolate and peppermint kisses which were sooooo yummy that I wished I had purchased more. Live and learn on that one.
Downtown Niagara 
Headed back to the main area of Niagara and ran into more of the group members so they reminded me we only had about 20 mins left before we had to be at the bus.
Downtown Niagara 
I wandered and checked out the various shops in Tackville aka Niagara downtown. 
Downtown Niagara 
Saw the Harley Davidson shop which reminded me of a promise to bring back a motorbike to someone so I took a photo… that is the best I could do. Hahaha
Famous Visitors - Marilyn Monroe 
Headed back to the bus right on time to Christina and Steve waiting for me… once again I was last back and I was actually a minute early and reminded them of that.
Downtown Niagara - the famous (apparently) Rainforest Cafe 
We only travelled 2 mins down to the road to the Duty Free shopping and I could have just walked there. Which had more variety than the other one at the Quebec border but it didn’t have guess bags. Soooo annoying 
Downtown Niagara 
Although I did get my foundation for $40 instead of the $46 that I paid in Vancouver or Tempted to pay $43 in NYC.  
Downtown Niagara 
So I was happy with my purchase and some more chocolate, vodka at someone’s urging. Hehe 
Downtown Niagara 
Downtown Niagara 

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