|Awww… They're so adorable!|
Obviously those weren't the main attraction.
|That would be these.|
Gonna give you a warning: If you want a lot of fantastic views of Horseshoe Falls and American Falls, then go somewhere else. Possibly Google image search. The pictures will probably be better.
Don't get me wrong, the falls are awesome, but I want to talk about other things. Like the splendid park at the top of the falls. With free Wi-Fi.
|Because nothing says Nature like burying your face in an iPhone.|
I'd been to Niagara Falls before back when I was 17. Back then we mostly wandered around the Canadian side.
|Where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the falls, then go to the casino, eh?|
But this time I forgot my passport. Even if I had remembered, it wouldn't have helped since I need to renew it anyway.
So we stayed in the US. And decided to get soaked.
|The Maid's sister married well and became the Lady of the Lake.|
Their mother never let the Maid live it down.
Near the dock was a towering edifice of architecture. One to rival those big statues in the Lord of the Rings movies (you know the ones). One which will withstand the ages and show future archeologists the glory of our civilization.
|One which housed the elevator that took us down the cliff.|
I know I should have been up front getting soaked and taking pictures of the falls…
|Like these |
…But I got, well, fascinated by other random things. Like the birds that spit in the face of the mist:
|They mocked us humans and our foolish need for ponchos.|
Or the creepy little sally port next to the bottom of horseshoe falls:
|I searched, but couldn't find out what this thing is.|
I'm going with hobbit hole.
And finally, the abandoned building that pretty much every other tourist ignored.
|Seriously, it is not a small building.|
Why did nobody else take a picture of it?
After a bit of internet research (okay, maybe the park Wi-Fi could serve some purpose), I found out that it's the old Ontario Power Generating Plant. It was built in 1905 using designs by Tesla, Westinghouse, and other such people.
It was abandoned in 1999. The alternators were removed and all the tunnels were filled in. Why? So they could build that shiny casino on the cliff above it.
But I digress. Let us return to our journey.
|But not before visiting the gift shop!|
The Maid of the Mist ain't no fool.
After quickly passing through the giftshop, my two stalwart companions and I set off to the islands above Niagara Falls. According to the informative plaque, this was such a monumental undertaking that when three sisters made the journey in 1818, they named the islands after them.
Sadly, the islands were not immediately named after us when we got there. Evidently they're a lot tamer than they were back then.
|What are you talking about? This is positively rugged!|
The naming conventions of these islands are generally somewhat suspect. For example: Green Island. Perhaps you are thinking it got its name from being so full of nature and, well, green. Nope! It's just named after a dude called Mr. Green.
|After being found guilt of murdering Mr. Boddy,|
Mr. Green fled to an island above Niagara Falls.
On the islands, it occurred to me how French explorers might have approached the falls…
|"Why, this wide river is quite calm! What smooth sailing"!|
|"I don't mean to alarm you, Pierre, but things are getting quite rough…"|
|"Sweet Mother of Cheese, we're all going to die!"|
What intrigued me was how empty the walking path around the islands were. Seriously. Most of the time we were pretty much the only people there. And at the few lookouts, there were only a handful of people. Yes, we were there in the middle of the day on a Friday, but still: The Maid of the Mist and other tourist destinations were plenty crowded.
Not that I'm complaining. Every time the crowds stick to a few places and avoid the side areas, I get to enjoy a little more solitude while I check them out.
But I wouldn't mind a little company out there in Fascination Land.
|Nikola Tesla would approve.|
Oh, and according to Google translate, "Sweet Mother of Cheese" is something like "douce mère de fromage." I will give you extra credit if you use this phrase as an exclamation. Credit will also be given for the shorter "mère de fromage."