Before I tell you about my first impressions of the town of Niagara Falls, and the falls themselves, you’re going to have to sit through the details + photos of my YT rearrangement. First, I bought a drybag from Canadian Tire:
Next, I removed the passenger seat:
In the gap, I placed the drybag containing air mattress and sleeping bag, then put the tent on one pannier and my clothes bag on the other. The now greatly-flattened YT went on top of all this crap, and was tied down with a combination of rope and bungee cords. Looks a bit messy, but it doesn’t move AND more importantly, my bike now goes where I want it to go.
Okay, you can all wake up now. I rode the 30 odd kms to Niagara Falls yesterday, having first booked a room at the Travelodge, close to the falls themselves. Am staying two nights at this place, because I want to see everything. It is very commercialised, which is fine and to be expected. Tourist attractions in any part of the world are pretty much commercialised. So I’ll show you the commercialised bits first, then some pics and commentary about the falls.
I began reading about Niagara Falls a long time ago. When I was very young, my grandfather bought us a set of encyclopedia, and I often had my head buried in these books, reading about different things around the world (ha ha…what a nerd). Anyway, one of the most interesting bits for me was Niagara Falls, and how people used to hop into barrels and toss themselves over the edge…what a way to go! The people, all men of course, were pictured just prior to these suicidal jumps. They were invariably wearing a coat, tie/cravat, bowler hat, best pants, highly polished leather shoes, and were standing, poker-faced, next to a somewhat flimsy-looking barrel.
So I landed in Niagara Falls and checked into the Travelodge, which is right in the middle of town and only a five minute walk to the Falls. The Travelodge is also right in the middle of the previously mentioned commercialised bits. These places really (figuratively speaking) hit you in the face. I felt like I was living in Disneyland! Here’s what I saw up and down the street from the Travelodge:
The Travelodge is squeezed in between a haunted house and a children’s fun house. Not sure which is more frightening…
Movieland was directly across the road. In fact, there was a strong Hollywood theme all up and down the street; the place had USA written all over it:
To think I’d been worried I wouldn’t find any food in this place! I was never going to starve, that’s for sure:
There was a currency exchange down the street. I was surprised to see the Aussie dollar up there with the major currencies. Unfortunately, it was only 83 cents US. Thanks a lot Kevvy.
Back in Movieland, Lara was intently studying some poor bugger’s skull, or what was left of it. He’s dead, Lara! DEAD, I say!
Across the way, Harrison regarded her gravely and rode up and down this arrangement like he was in some grotesque tomb-raiding theme park:
However, the most amusing part of Movieland sat outside the place. I’m not sure of the connection, but Pharoah and a snake sat near the entrance, engaging in a protracted, unrelated, and delightfully corny conversation. Here they are:
Pharaoh: “Hey everyone, how’s it going?”
Snake: “My girlfriend left me for (unintelligible)…”
Pharaoh: “Why don’t you step inside? You can see Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, and the wonderful Halle Berry, all in great scenes.”
Pharaoh: “Hi there, I’ve been sitting here for 4,200 years!” (I felt like asking him if he had piles after all that time…)
Snake: “You should have seen his birthday cake. I needed sunglasses just to look at the candles!”
Inexplicably, they then broke into a rendition of “Home on the Range.” (This was getting more and more hilarious…)
Then Snake did a solo piece: “Snake rattle and roll, snake rattle and roll, be boppa boppa etc.”
Snake: “Hey, do you think I ought to be in pictures?”
Pharaoh: “Can you act?”
Snake: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Snake: “Slide on in and find your favourites!”
Pharaoh: “I’d join you but I don’t get around much anymore.”
It went along in this vein. From time to time, hordes of enraptured children and their fathers (no mothers, significantly), would surround Pharaoh and the snake and hang on to every word. Highly entertaining to watch.
Enough of all that. The place was constant movement and noise. It was time to head down to the falls and see some natural things. I do not have the words to describe them…just spectacular. There are actually several falls, the main ones being the American Falls and the Canadian Falls. In the below pic, the American Falls are on the left and the Canadian Falls on the right. You can’t really tell in this photo, but the Canadian Falls are better than the American.
Closer view of the American Falls:
I got a few photos, but as it was getting late in the day I decided to do all the tours tomorrow and get more photos. Headed back and ate something at Wendy’s, then went back to the motel and watched the Ellen show on the telly. I was very happy because Ellen was wearing black jeans with white shoes. I wear black jeans with white shoes whilst not riding the bike, and I’ve always thought it to be a bit nerdy, but if that’s what Ellen wears, it must be cool. Phew!
The next day, I grabbed a pass for the Maid of the Mist tour, which takes you right up close to both Falls, and the Cave Tour, which goes behind the Canadian Falls. They give everyone these rain poncho things because of the mist and water (yes, we get that close). So I was wearing black jeans, white shoes, and a blue rain poncho. What a fashion statement!
The Maid of the Mist tour was first. This is a boat which takes you right up close to both falls. These are the American Falls:
By the time we got to the Canadian Falls there was so much water spraying about I didn’t want to get the camera wet so didn’t get photos; decided to wait until I was at a safer distance. But to describe, it was like a complete white-out! Here are the Canadian Falls from various angles:
The cave tour behind the falls is not to be missed, for those of you who are intending to visit. Again, it was very wet, but I managed to get some photos this time:
What an amazing place, so glad I came here. (Well, how could one visit Canada and not go to the falls, eh?) It is worth seeing, despite the noise and crowds of people. Tomorrow I will leave Niagara Falls and continue on my journey. Canada just keeps getting more and more lovely. It continues to delight me. So ‘bye for now. Not sure where I’ll end up tomorrow, but it’ll be on a road somewhere in this wonderfully beautiful country.