Monday, September 14, 2009

Niagara Falls: Breath taking views and a huge tourist trap

Update, for my photos from Niagara Falls click: here.

Niagara Falls at Night
Image from here, I'll post my own later this week

Let me begin with the 'on the bright side' story. We just returned from one of this planet's most amazing places - The Niagara Falls. Nature at all it's glory and is at display for all to see. We had the good fortune to view it on Friday evening illuminated and with fireworks, and then again at Saturday noon. We stayed and toured at the Canadian side. To view the park at day time, we parked for free at the Dufferin Island and hiked to Table Rock. We got to go under the mist and take awesome photographs at different stops.

Yesterday, on our way home, we traveled by car north and took some photographs at the Floral Clock, the power station and the botanic gardens.

A map of the area found at can be viewed by clicking here.

Unfortunately, coming from the US, I felt like many things around were overpriced or completely redundant attractions and casinos smartly positioned to welcome the million and more tourists coming to this great place each year.

An interesting 'park at your own risk' awaited us behind a souvenir shop. Doesn't encourage one to feel very secure. Although we made sure to lock our car at most times, and protect our belongings - we missed on the final night while parking in front of our hotel's lobby. Over night, someone broke into our car and stole our MP3 player, player-to-radio base station, and pack of CD-s.

What kind of a person steals a Dr.Sues book on CD read by Jason Alexander (Seinfeld's' George)? What kind of a jerk goes out of his way to make little girls cry?

Was it worth it? Stealing a 3 year old scratched MP3 player with subscription music set to expire? With an MP3 to radio base that's barely functioning? Of course I take blame for leaving ANYTHING in a car - but what kind of security can you find in Niagara Falls? None apparently. It's not easy traveling with 3 little children, one of whom a baby, trying to get from the car to the room when the entry to the hotel is not stroller friendly, we apparently left something behind - and when discovering this on our way back we were very-very disheartened.

I'll try to keep the good memories of this great place, but I don't think I ever want to come back.

While driving home to Michigan, we found no normal stop along the way in Canada. One stop had a sign 'no public washrooms, no exception'. Another had a sign saying 'public washroom 4.3 KM to the left'. The signs along the road were very unhelpful, leading us in the wrong direction.

My friend at work said exactly what I felt: We've just experienced the 'National Lampoon Family Vacation'. The Griswold R' us...


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