Our visit to Niagara Falls started with a trip to the Flying Saucer which served classic American breakfasts such as the ET special: bacon, eggs any way way, home fries, toast, pancakes, syrup – the works. It was really cool; the restaurant has been designed to look like a spaceship and we had to queue out the door waiting for a table and in spite of the rain everyone seemed in real good spirits.
The town of Niagara Falls itself is a lot like Blackpool: it’s mega touristy with casinos, funhouses and shops selling lots of joke T-shirts with the odd waxwork museum here and there. There is even a funfair! It was quite a contrast from what we had expected, with Niagara Falls being a wonder of the natural world here was mankind making the most of this business opportunity.
The actual falls were just a few minutes down the road from this hive of bedlam. As we drove along the esplanade we began to see the beautiful American falls in their glorious splendour and we could see why everyone says you have to view them from the Canadian side. Even in the pouring rain they were magnificent, it’s incomprehensible just how much water is rushing out of America!
Of course we went on the boat trip! After all, we were already drenched just standing out on the street! The Hornblower (note: The Maid of the Mist is the US counterpart), took us out to the falls, first past the American then up close and personal into the mouth of the famous Horseshoe falls. The time of year and inclement weather were in our favour since the boat was comparatively empty – we got a great viewing position on the top deck and had loads of room!
It was so wet! The mist billowing up from the thousands of gallons of water crashing down into the river below was immense, obscuring a good third of the horseshoe. I didn’t put my hood up and ended up looking like a drowned rat, but this once in a lifetime experience was so exhilarating I didn’t care (disclaimer: the Hornblower tours run every 30 minutes and cost about $20 – so you can do it more than once in your life I guess!)