It’s great to be back!
We did four interesting things today:
1) We finally saw Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. We found a good place to park and walked several blocks to the river front. Across the river the whole panorama was facing us, American Falls and Bridal Veil which we had only seen in this direction from the boat on Tuesday, and Horseshoe Falls in it’s semi-circular glory sending white clouds of mist hundreds of feet into the air. Tourists of every nationality crowded the walks, and few eyes were on anything but the falls.
2) We saw Niagara Falls from the top of Canada’s 500 foot Skylon Tower. Since the tower structure sits on top of a hill this put us some 800 feet above the water. From the top of the tower we could see for miles in every direction, and every 5 or 10 degrees there were signs pointing out important features of the river, the town and the surrounding countryside. The day was overcast and mist limited visibility so that we couldn’t see some of the features, but with an observation circle outside the windows we were able to take pictures without reflections or other interference. The view was superb.
3) We took in a fascinating Daredevil Exhibit. These were men and women who challenged the falls and Whirlpool rapids in barrels, inner tubes, and other vessels of their own design, many of which are in the exhibit. A surprising number of them lived to tell about it, at least the first time they tried it. Some, not satisfied with doing it once, died in subsequent attempts, but others managed to do it more than once and lived to pay the fines. One fool who had survived Niagara died trying to plunge a barrel into ten feet of water off the top of the Houston Astrodome. The worst story was of a man in the ‘20s who thought he needed ballast, so inside the barrel he tied a 100 pound weight to his feet. The weight tore him apart and all that was left to identify him was a tattooed arm - an early candidate for the Darwin Award. Surprisingly the Whirlpool rapids claimed almost as many lives as the falls.
4) We ended the day with a musical comedy and dinner show titled Oh Canada - Eh?. The theater was next door to our campground so we could walk to it, which was good because they had several busloads of tourists and don’t have much parking. The actors and singers doubled as waiters and they were good at both jobs. The dinner was all Canadian, with beef from Alberta, chicken from Manitoba and haddock from the Maritimes. Dinner ended with maple frosted cake. The music was all Canadian as well. Even the jokes were Canadian and there are some very funny people in this country! It was two hours of good food and non-stop entertainment at it’s exuberant best.
We haven’t done everything there is to do in Niagara Falls, but we’ve done a lot. It's been great fun and extremely educational. Now we’re ready to move on. Our next destination is Toronto.