Niagara Falls Tour

September 10, 2014

The breakfast buffet at the hotel looked good, but there would be a big lunch as part of my day tour, so I had just French toast. It looked like it was made from French bread: different, but good. With real maple syrup, I didn't ask if they had any sugar-free stuff. John (actually an Italian named Giovanni), our guide and bus driver for the tour, picked me up at the hotel and took back roads through the vineyards to head for the falls. At the town of Niagara, we picked up the rest of our diverse group from their hotels. I was the lone American. There were two ladies from Brisbane and a couple from another part of Brisbane (who had not met before), two couples from the Netherlands, and an Anglo-Indian man from north London. We got our first views of the falls before heading south.

We rode down to old Fort Erie (scroll down to the Facts and Figures part to read about its significance). The siege of Fort Erie was in progress exactly 200 years before my visit. Across the river we could see Buffalo, NY, and to our south was Lake Erie.

On the way back north we saw gates that are used to control the flow of water to lessen erosion.

When we got back to the town of Niagara, we had the elaborate lunch buffet in the Sheraton and got our best overall view of the falls from the windows of the dining area. The American Falls are near the center of the picture, with the Bridal Veil Falls on the right section of that. The Horseshoe Falls, which are mostly in Canada, are on the right. The river flows north, to the left in the picture, toward Lake Ontario. The park in the foreground is in Canada. I didn't go into the US on land at all during the trip. The border is somewhere in the river, so we crossed in and out of the US on the boat ride.

After lunch it was time for the boat tour. We donned temporary rain gear (which I kept to use as a laundry bag for the rest of the trip) as we got on the Hornblower boat. The Maid of the Mist lost the contract on the Canadian side, but still runs from the US. Our boat was somewhat bigger.

In the picture below you can see clearly the separation between the American and Bridal Veil Falls.

This is a view from the boat of the Rainbow Bridge between the two countries, with wet people in the foreground.

Here is the Maid of the Mist, and a picture of it as it approached the Horseshoe Falls. I didn't take any pictures near the Horseshoe Falls since my camera is not waterproof, and I was using both hands to try to keep the plastic gear down enough to keep me from getting too wet. The day was just warm enough that being wet was not uncomfortable.

After the boat tour we headed north on the Niagara Parkway along the river past more scenic and historical sites and facilities for generating electricity. The Niagara Whirlpool at a major bend in the river is particularly scenic.




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