Have you ever had that experience where you visit some place, and you feel within your soul that you were always meant to be there?
I had that feeling the first time I visited Niagara Falls, and on every visit since. It’s one place on earth that I cannot get enough of.
This was my view of the falls walking down to Niagara Parkway from Clifton Hill. It looks beautiful, and even from a distance, it sounds majestic.
The American side of the falls is, without a doubt, beautiful. It’s easy to lose yourself in the sight and sound of the water.
The Canadian side of the falls is known as the Horseshoe Falls. While the American side of the falls is beautiful, the Canadian falls are simply breathtaking. The water pounds over the cliff and an enormous plume of mist rises from the river below as a result of the power and sheer volume of the water.
The ‘Maid of the Mist’ has been an iconic feature of the falls for decades. Sadly, the ‘Maid of the Mist’ only goes from the American side now. Hornblower Cruises run an identical cruise on the Niagara River that takes passengers up to the falls on both sides for an “up close and personal” view. You can tell the two cruise lines apart: Maid of the Mist passengers wear blue plastic ponchos, and the Hornblower passengers wear red. Only very stupid passengers choose to not wear the plastic rain poncho.
Sean, Jenn and I took the Hornblower Cruise on a beautiful, sunny and rather warm late summer afternoon. This was definitely another item on my bucket list that was about to be checked, so that added to my excitement at getting even closer to the beautiful falls that I love so much.
The first thing that really impressed me was the turbulence caused on the river by the falls as we passed right by. There is some serious power in that water!
This was the moment that I understood why it’s called the Rainbow Bridge. I had gone over it in a vehicle before, but looking at it from this perspective made me appreciate it so much more.
Even from quite a distance away, the mist was hitting us like rain. It’s hard to not be in awe of a scene like this when you’re right there!
Obviously, the boat can’t go right under the falls or it would sink. Even so, just being under the mist plume is incredible. The water comes down harder than you’d find comfortable in a shower – it’s more like spray from a pressure hose. It’s an amazing feeling, and you’ll see more rainbows at this point on the river than in any one place for the rest of your life. It’s like a shimmery rainbow curtain of falling water.
We returned to the falls later in the evening for some sunset photos. We walked back past the Table Rock tourist centre to look at the rapids behind the falls.
Even as the sun sank below the horizon, the scene was still magnificent.
Standing right beside the falls at the Table Rock centre, there was no way for me to feel except awestruck. There were no words, only profound amazement and wonder.
I will be back, Niagara Falls. And until then, I’ll just wish myself there.