Niagara Falls

During our visit to Canada we had to see the most spectacular sight in North America.
So this is a short resume of our trip to Niagara Falls

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Turning off the Queensway, we headed up the coast to Niagara on the Lake where our journey starts.

1 Niagara-on-the-Lake
2 Brown's Inn
3 Sir Adam Beck Hydro-electric power station
4 The Whirlpool
5 Niagara Falls

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake

The Niagara Parkway extends from the shores of Lake Ontario all the way to Niagara Falls.  The drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Falls was a wonderful experience with beautifully manicured gardens and well prepared visitor sites along the way.

 

Brown's Inn

The first stop on our journey was at Brown's Point where Brown's Inn was originally located.  Both the Canadian York Militia and the American Army bivouacked near here on separate occasions during the war of 1812.  Later Brown added a store to his in and built a wharf on the river shore below where sailing ships loaded settler' produce, potash and lime destined for Montreal and overseas.

 

Sir Adam Beck Hydro-Electric Power Station

Our next stop was the Sir Adam Beck Hydro-electric power station, one of the most powerful generating facilities on the Niagara river.  With the tremendous amount of water flowing through Niagara, hydro-electric power generation is an obvious enterprise.  The biggest power stations on the Niagara River are the Sir Adam Beck 1 and 2 on the Canadian side and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant on the American side. Together, Niagara's generating stations can produce about 4.4 Gigawatts of electrical power (That is 4400 Megawatts).   You may recall in 'Back to the Future' that Dr Emmett Brown was horrified that he needed to generate just 1.21 Gigawatts.

 
The Whirl Pool

A tight bend in the river produces a fierce whirlpool where the waters churn around a basin almost 1000 feet across.  The basin was formed in the 1800s by John Thompson who quarried limestone from the banks of the river to sell as agricultural lime.  His activities plus the flow of water has carved out this large basin to become a well known landmark.

 

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls comprises two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, most of which lies on the Canadian side of the border, and American Falls on the American side.
The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island.

Entrance to the Niagara Falls spectacle is through a magnificent bridgeway which includes shops and restaurants and a booth selling ticket for entry under the Horseshoe Falls and for the Maid of the Mist ferry boat. 

The Maid of the Mist is a fleet of boats operating from both sides of the river to take visitors into the very jaws of the Horseshoe Waterfall.  Here you can see one of the fleet using maximum power just to push itself forward into the falls.  
 
When visiting Niagara Falls there is a tendency to take photo after photo of the Falls, but when you get back home, they all look the same.  So here, I've trimmed them down for you.  Suffice is to say that Niagara Falls on the Canadian side is an outstanding sight and the way they have kept the area as a pleasant visitor site and not some garish tourist attraction is a credit to Canadian sensibilities.
     


At mid-day, having sampled the photographic aspects of Niagara, we decided to dine at an all-day International buffet.  There we samples chinese, japanese, Itallian, spanish and many other cuisines all for the price of $15.00 a head.  We had gone looking for a snack, but ended up having a feast.  Replete with lunch, we shopped for souvenirs and Scot found a new friend - A Moose and a Canadian black Bear.

   

Memorial stones pepper the area where brave souls have risked their lives to save others who were caught in the fierce waters of the Niagara River.

Amazing to find a London double-decker bus providing tours of Niagara.  We didn't go on it because we have already been on a bus !!!.

 


On our way back home, we came across a peculiarity of Canadian driving laws.  Apparently, if you see a vehicle with a flashing light (either ahead or behind) you must pull in and stop until the vehicle passes.  This little cavalcade was a bunch of politicians who were attending the G20 summit in Toronto and had decided a day out at Niagara would ease their minds.  Accordingly everyone had to stop while they went out for a visit.  Funny I thought politicians were elected to serve the people not the other way around !

On our return from Niagara Falls, what better than to be welcomed with a thick Cheese Cake which Sven had baked especially for us.  Yum.

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