Niagra Falls

Ben visits the World famous Niagra Falls only to find it not quite living up to his expectations

Sat on an ice cold pavement outside of Peter's home I thought back to the night before and wondered if perhaps planning to be with a different host each night was such a wise move after all.

However,  before I could develop any sense of regret a car pulled up in front of me from which my 3rd host, Dan conveniently emerged...

...I had been messaging Dan online for a few weeks and knew before meeting him that I was in for another warm Canadian welcome - but my God was that to be an understatement. For it was less than two minutes after saying I was keen at some point to visit Niagra Falls that we were heading South on the highway down towards these most legendary of falls.
I had seen pictures and videos of Niagra Falls countless times but none do justice to its size and scale
Pulling off the highway we spent the best part of an hour driving past God knows how many quint looking wineries before parking up what was perhaps half a mile from the Falls themselves. 

Sat next to the World's tallest man at Niagra Falls
On the walk down to the Falls we passed through a maze of tourist attractions which semi-resembled what you might find on a typical British seaside resort... the difference being here it was bigger and much, much tackier. Most fortunately though, the weather was both cold and cloudy and so the tens of thousands of people that I expect arrive here by the hour during the peak summer months were far, far away and so many of these pointless and tack-filled places were eerily quiet if not closed completely.

What I found most disheartening though was that just a couple of streets back from these "hotspots" everything seemed to be in a state of disrepair. The buildings were falling apart, the roads were cracking and everything was spoiled with litter. It's almost as if someone had drawn a dotted line on the map to mark out where visitors would not cross and thereby restricting any investment to within just a few short hundred metres of the Falls. Thinking about it, I just couldn't help but feel sorry for people living on the other side of this line who have whilst having to put up with all the negatives of the Falls, like the incessant traffic and litter, clearly see little in the way of its benefit.
Whilst filled with self-loathing I knew that for just that moment I was the coolest kid in the whole of North America
In saying all this it was quickly put to the back of my mind the moment I begun hearing the low pitch rumble of the water and with 154 million litres of the stuff tumbling these falls every minute you could hear it a long time before you could see it.

And in a word... epic.

Niagra Falls
The sound of the water crashing onto boulders that themselves have broken off from the cliff edge demonstrates perfectly the forces that are at work here. And with an enormous amount of water being kicked back up into the air surrounding the Falls you feel as if every one of your senses is almost attacked by the water.

Geekily I spent half of the time thinking back to GCSE and A-Level Geography where in my head I identified all the features of a classic waterfall - steep valley gorges, hard rocks, soft rocks, boulders and plunge pools... they were all there and whilst filled with self-loathing I knew that for just that moment I was the coolest kid in the whole of North America.
Panorama of Niagra Falls

Looking over the edge at Niagra Falls