Niagara Deja Vu

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Although we'd previously been to Niagara, it was in the middle of Winter and a few people had told us that you really need to see the falls in different seasons to fully appreciate and experience them. When I was on the last school social club visit to the Fallsview Casino, I took the opportunity between bouts of losing money to take a stroll along the walkway beside the falls to see it again. Besides that, Gary and Catherine were very keen to see the Falls too while they were in Canada.

Of course, it's one of those sights that you could never really get sick of seeing. So we hired an 8-seater Chev Suburban and took a drive down the QEW to let them experience the falls for themselves. We started by taking a detour via the delightful little township of Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque little town that, while very nice, has altogether too many boutiquey souvenir shops for my liking. Still, the trees were green, the flowers were in bloom, and it really is a very pretty place now that spring has sprung. We walked the length of the main street, poking our noses into the shops and picking up a few trinkets along the way, before buying a few pies and sausage rolls for lunch and finding a patch of grass for an impromptu picnic. The lunch was nice, but Canadians just can't seem to make a decent meat pie. :-)

From here we took the scenic drive along the Niagara Gorge and into the township of Niagara Falls itself. It really is an amazing sight and it still amazes me that you could have that much water pouring non-stop over the cliff faces. It's an awful lot of water! We clicked away taking lots of photos, as the weather was much better than the last time we were here. The Falls looked very different with sunshine and blue skies. The good weather also brought the people out in droves too, and although it was fairly crowded, there was a nice atmosphere among the sightseers. People were lining up taking photos of their families in front of the falls, and I had good fun walking past them and offering to take the photo while the camera person got into the photo with their family. I met heaps of people from all over the place - Canada, the USA and even some international visitors... they all come to Niagara to see the Falls. I must have taken a dozen or more photos for people as we strolled along the walkway. People have some nice cameras!

We did the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride, but I'll tell you about that in the next blog post. It was amazing.

To finish off our day in Niagara we walked up Clifton Hill. It's hard to believe that a place of such amazing natural beauty as Niagara Falls would be juxtaposed against such a cheesy collection of tacky attractions such as that found on Clifton Hill. It's like a cheap carnival, full of carnie folk spruiking their wares, getting you to spend your money on their amusements. The House of Wax, Ripley's Believe it or Not, the amusement arcades, the rides and games, the souvenirs... it's all a bit tacky really.

It occurred to me that carnivals usually travel around from place to place, taking money from people until they run out suckers to rip off, before they pack up and move on to the next town. At Clifton Hill, it seems that the carnival stays still and the suckers come and go instead.

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