Trip Start Aug 10, 2007
92Trip End Dec 27, 2007
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We were up on the 8th floor, right next to the elevator, no coconuts in sight!
We quickly unpacked a bit and then went for a quick walk to find a restaurant nearby. We walked down Niagara Falls' version of the Las Vegas Strip, noting the neon lights in the freezing cold. We had not anticipated it would be as cold as it was, so we cut short our walk and headed to TGI Fridays for supper.
Over supper Jules informed me of the plans for the 12th, my birthday, and it all sounded great.
We were woken on the 12th just after 7am by the "gang" who all wanted to say "happy birthday", or in Steffi's case, sing it! It was very enjoyable to speak to everyone and the view of the sun rising, outside our window, was amazing.
Jules then gave me my gifts, all very thoughtful, especially the Adobe Photoshop CS3 photographer's handbook - great!
We had breakfast in the Golden Griddle - pancakes, eggs and thick peameal bacon, and then we headed outside to get our first sight of the Falls. I was feeling disappointed as Liverpool lost to Reading, but all that was forgotten as we wondered down the street towards the Falls, stopping in at many shops along the way.
As we neared the end of the road, we started to hear the Falls, and see some mist over the street. We got the end of the street and right in front of us was the American Falls.
The centre of the Niagara river is the boundary between Canada and the USA. The Falls on the American side are called "The American Falls", while the Canadian side falls are called "Horseshoe Falls".
We watched the American Falls for a while, but have to admit they were not that impressive when compared to the Iguassu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Contributing factors are that it was winter, therefore only 50% of the usual water was flowing over the falls, and the total water flowing over the American Falls is only 25% of the total water, with the Horseshoe Falls having the 75% balance cascading over itself.
So we enjoyed the sound and the view and then turned to our right and began walking towards the Horseshoe Falls. The first thing we noticed was that there was a massive cloud of mist that reached way above the Falls, in the centre of the river.
We agreed that this was much more impressive. As we got closer, the roar increased and soon we could feel a drizzle on us from the spray. We had to walk carefully as snow was melting all over the place and we kept slipping on the ice!
We spent quite a while at the Horseshoe Falls and were more impressed by these falls than the ones on the American side.
The major difference between Iguassu and Niagara (in our opinion) is the surrounding area - Iguassu is a national park and so the falls are surrounded by nature, while Niagara is surrounded by "Ripley's believe it or not", "Guinness Book of Records", "Burger King", a ferris wheel, "Hard Rock Cafe" and many high rise hotels.
I'm sure this would appeal to many people, and is why Niagara is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, however, Jules and I much preferred seeing the animals and bush in Argentina.
The Niagara Falls are located 27 km north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 120 km south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.
While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet of water fall over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.
We took a lot of photos and asked 3 different people to take our photo before we managed to get a photo that was OK.
It was sunny most of the time, but if the sun went behind a cloud, it felt a lot colder. We decided to grab a take-away pizza and have a nap before going out for supper. However, we first went to Starbucks for a holiday "Gingerbread" latte, which I paid for with my special Starbucks birthday gift card.
I really enjoyed the latte and my mood improved even more when I read Liverpool had won 4-0 and were through to the final stages of the Champions League, go Stevie G's reds!
We took a while to get to "Little Caesar" and our supreme pizza as w stopped off to buy various items along the way.
Back in the hotel room we had our pizza in bed, had a snooze and then went down to the hot tub upon waking. The hot tub was great, but too good as it made us late for our dinner reservation.
We rushed to the Skylon Tower and went up the exterior glass elevator to the top. We had reservations in the revolving restaurant, which has a magnificent view of both Niagara towns and Falls.
I feasted like a king on a big rack of New Zealand lamb, while Jules had a Fillet Mignon. The restaurant revolved twice while we ate, giving us a memorable view. While the actual building does not revolve, the restaurant itself revolves! Along the window sill there are facts about Niagara on typed plates, which you read as you revolve, very cool.
Once we were finished eating, I went up onto the roof and took some night shots of the Niagara Falls, through the protective fence.
Then I came in from the freezing cold and we headed back home - yes, certainly a birthday to remember!!