Monday, July 16, 2012

Back in the Air - Continued (The Beauty of Niagara)

During our drive to Niagara Falls, I missed me being a map reader. Now, my job has been taken over by GPS. One more hint of how of technology makes us dumb and lazy. I used to have such a good time of driving to new places - gaining knowledge of roads....used to have some kind of mystery of what we may encounter but now, all I have to do is not even bother where we are or on which highway or the shortest route...nothing.

But we had lot of discussions about different topics like how warm and humid oriented countries prefer to consume warm/hot drinks where as cold ones prefer ice cold drinks from ice teas to frozen beers. One more hot topic was about how Caucasians braveness led them to explore every part of the world which allowed them to spread their wings and stamp their genes. But then we discussed, its not only braveness, but the need for something - the craving for things which they don't have in their country or origin - pushed them to explore like tea or spices from India. And then of course, they had the means to acquire what they desired.

Canadian Speed Limit Sign in KM
That proves that Craving is good for humans. If no desires then you don't work hard, you don't explore, no inventions....no success....just contempt with life that means no progress.

We had a discussion about how all daredevil extreme sports are done by Caucasians - what is that puts them to take risks, push boundaries. I guess it might be the way they are brought up - not overly protective parents and the freedom to choose whatever your heart desires to.

We even discussed about how forefathers of Americans hated British that everything from roads to electric switches to spelling words are just opposite to British. But then my husband said, luckily Canada even though follows kilometers in specifying the speed limit , uses the same left side steering and follows the same road patterns as USA.

Full view of Niagara Falls
American Falls + Horseshoe Falls = Niagara Falls
View from USA
I was always scared to go to Niagara Falls. Seeing directly is not as scary as seeing it on TV...but couldn't switch off camera.....tempting to capture the beauty...taking ever shot from every angle with different light settings.

Canada's Longest Running Fireworks series continues
 Every Friday, Sunday & Holiday



The day we went, we had an opportunity to see Canadian Fireworks over colorful lights displaying over falls.... just magnificent, breathtaking....photographer's dream event.

Goat Island, Niagara Falls, NY
The next day, we got ready to explore the falls from up close....that means butterflies in stomach...fear of getting close to thundering falls.

The closer and closer you go, even though you may not be seeing the falls but you will be gently sprayed by water like as if it is raining around that area. 

The Famous - CAVE OF THE WINDS

Must for all if you want to experience hurricane...the winds, the force of the thundering water

I enjoyed like a young girl...totally happy and carefree...
thanks to the weather...no need to worry about shivering...
even though, I was totally wet.
BTW, from sandals to ponchos - taken care by your ticket.
Yes, even for kids!

Niagara is famous for rainbows. You can see two or three, right in
front of your eyes...just  amazing to be so close to beauty;
Tested Canon's ability as much as I could...
protecting the lens from water was quite a challenge.

MAID OF THE MIST
Time to enter inside the mouth....to the real adventure...time to get scared!!
rainbows at Niagara falls
Maid of the Mist: the boat ride that gives 
you a close-up experience of Niagara Falls.




Actually, it was not at all scary. The boat doesn't even go closer to the falls. They may give a feeling of going, but suddenly it takes a sharp turn not even wide which may take us closer to the falls, but they won't....yes, understandable. The force of the water and the drop is just too dangerous to put anybody under risk as no one wears life jackets, not even kids.









 Sitting commandingly at the top end 
of Lake Erie in upstate New York (NY),
 the city of Buffalo is separated 
from Canada by the Niagara River.
 Buffalo is the second-largest 
city in New York state








Nearby market place had the best southwest buffalo chicken wrap, I ever tasted. Even though we wanted to eat warm food and to our surprise, there was no other option than cold sandwich....
but once I took the bite....no more complaints...
.just loved it. Surprisingly spicy too!



After reading this in one of the magazines -
Buffalo is known for being the home of the spicy chicken wing

I craved to taste one more time and thought to make it possible after seeing Canadian side falls but little disappointed
that my wish did not get fulfilled as that was not my husband's priority.

I even felt bad when my touring date did not coincide with one of the largest crowd gathering festival called "Taste of Buffalo".

That night, we crossed the rainbow bridge, entered CANADA. Woohoo!

I just challenged my kids of who will be the first to step on Canadian soil. At the check point, I opened the door slightly
and kept my right foot out and declared - I'm the first. And then my kids tried to do the same but we stopped them
as now, it is time to be serious while Canadian officers trying to check passports. 



Skylon tower, Canada


We had dinner at  the world-famous Skylon Tower Niagara Falls. 
Located in the heart of the Niagara Falls, Canada.

Glided smoothly to the top aboard using exterior glass-enclosed

"Yellow Bug Elevators"  which takes just 52 seconds to reach the
observatory deck for us to enjoy spectacular views of Niagara Falls, 
 the Great Gorge and the city skylines of Buffalo, New York
 and Toronto. 



View from Skylon tower
I noticed a guy at the restaurant taking picture with his girlfriend by meticulously setting up the tripod and angling the camera facing downwards
to get the view of the falls along with them having fine dining experience.


That's the thing, when you go to such places, you need to value the people you are surrounded with, the location and 
in return make it memorable by taking a beautiful snapshot of it. Guys showing so much interest on that moment is worth the mention and
shows the importance of the relationship.


And the other thing I realized is, its not enough if you learn how to dress fashionably when your partner won't match you with his/her 
way of dressing. That day for dinner on Skylon tower, I wore a very sexy dress with a noodle strap on one side and on 
other side with loosely ruffled, knee length dress on high heels. And even dressed my kids accordingly but my husband was
with worn jeans and some stripped shirt with sports shoe. I felt overly dressed for the occasion without a matching partner. And more embarrassing thing was even the dinner crowd did not dress up for the evening.


Well, I thought what can be more romantic than dressing up beautifully for evening dinner with an overlook of beautiful gorge - once in
a lifetime thing. Totally, disappointed that I did not read or check on the internet before dressing up for the tower. I got lot of looks that
night but did not bother to analyze - good or bad.


Few of the facts, I gathered from Skylon Tower Observatory Deck:


American Falls Statistics, Maid of the Mist, Depth Of Niagara Falls
and Cave of the Winds details

Goat Island, Falls Lights, Daredevils, Lake Erie and Buffalo details


Skylon Tower Facts, Great lakes, City of Niagara Falls and ICE BRIDGE

Niagara on the Lake, Rainbow Bridge and Great Lakes




 We tried to book a room in Marriott to get a great view of falls from our hotel room like this one:




 but this is what they had when we tried to book:




That means no view of the gorge, so why to spend $250 and that too just to sleep and hit the road next day.


Early in the morning, we headed to Sir Adam Beck Generating Station in Ontario, Canada.


According to the Guide, you can see rocks beneath the water falls as the flow of water is directed to reservoirs during 12 A.M. to 8 A. M. That proves that what we see in the daytime is controlled and enhanced by humans. "At night, when Hydro Control Dam gates are lifted for diversion of Niagara River water into the hydro tunnels, the flow over the Horseshoe Falls drops to a minimum 15,240 cubic metres of water per second." - NiagaraFallaInfo.com "The amount of water being siphoned away depends on  two variables. The time of year, and the time of the day.  Flow is greatest in the daytime during peak tourist season (June, July, and August). In the event of an emergency  the flow can be somewhat reduced  by the hydroelectric companies increasing their intake." - NiagaraFallsLive.com

I wanted to wake up early and see this phenomenon but as usual that was not my husband's priority.
But we heard about how filling the reservoir behind Three gorges dam in China in 2008, changed the rotation of the Earth.

Niagara Falls Views from Canada: 



Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada
love rainbows...wish I took more than one at at time..Yes, it is possible in Niagara Falls

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

I just couldn't stop taking pictures. Took it as long as the battery co-operated.
I think, I can never justify such beautiful place by just sitting peacefully or relaxing
by sipping some wine.

But lucky me, battery got over in Canon EOS Digital Rebel. We relaxed for a while at Edgewaters restaurant - enjoying the panoramic view of American and Horseshoe falls and sipping away
Canadian red wine.



Niagara falls view from Canada
Horseshoe Falls @Edgewaters restaurant, Ontario, Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada
American Falls @Edgewaters restaurant, Ontario, Canada
Niagara falls view from Canada
Skylon tower, Ontario, Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada

Niagara falls view from Canada
Cave of the Winds

Niagara falls view from Canada
Observatory Deck from Maid of the Mist

Niagara falls view from Canada

Horseshoe Falls in the night
Horseshoe Falls in the night

American Falls in the night
American Falls in the night
Before we tried to cross back to USA, we checked out Duty free shop. Amazed to notice that the souvenir cups are much cheaper than anywhere else. 

While crossing the borders, one thing I noticed is how the officers try to intimidate you by asking questions with much deeper voice and a serious look - Are you getting anything from Canada? No, just a bag. I'm asking you what are you getting from Canada and you say "a bag"? Oh, that is just a souvenir bag. What was the purpose of your visit? How long you were there in Canada? Is these your family? Where are you heading to?

I'm surprised that they don't stamp in-out traveling to Canada in passports. It doesn't matter, you've a good/bad record but the way they question....Oooh, scary! But on our way to Canada, the Canadian officer in a friendly, smiley way welcomed us to Canada.  No suspicious look of any sort.

-----Continued

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