Friday, June 13, 2008

Niagara Falls, Ontario, CAN

We have just spent a few days at Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side of the border. Niagara is a great place to go ... easily as impressive as its reputation suggests. You won't be disappointed.

However, it has to be said that you shouldn't go if you don't like getting wet.

Of course, Niagara is a tourist hub of world class proportions. That said, early June is a good time to go. The weather was excellent, and there weren't too many queues. Those that did exist moved through fairly quickly.

The best way to get around and gain access to the sights was the Niagara Adventure pass. This includes access to the main attractions - Maid of the Mist, Behind the Falls, etc - and discount tickets for lots of others. It also includes a pass for the PeopleMover bus network for the first day and a discount after that.

For me the highlight was the Maid of the Mist tour. A half hour trip by boat to the base of the falls. It was rather like being at the bottom of a vast pit of water with fire-hoses being aimed at you ... fantastic ...

At the other extreme the Butterfly Conservancy was beautiful. I've never seen so many huge butterflies. They were like a shower of autumn leaves they were so plentiful.

There were plenty of things to do other than in the immediate Niagara river area. Niagara-on-the-Lake seemed a place I'd like to visit again and the Welland Ship Canal has excellent facilities for observing huge ships negotiate the massive locks which lift them over 150 metres over the Niagara escarpment from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.

Niagara is certainly worth a detour.