“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, said John Keats. I’m no expert in the literary arts but I can safely proclaim that the most cliched line from this famous poem, perfectly extols the Niagara Falls. One glimpse and it’s a revelation that something so mammoth & magnanimous is capable of exuding grace in equal measure. Having experienced the phenomenon from New York & Ontario, I can safely say that despite mesmerizing views from both countries, the experience remains constant, in other words, extraordinary.USA or Canada, I didn’t flinch before thanking the creator for no beauty stands before nature. When Dan Brown describes the Hagia Sophia in Inferno, he says, “a physical space so imposing that that those who entered felt dwarfed, their ego erased, their physical being and cosmic importance shrinking to the size of a mere speck in the face of God….an atom in the hands of the Creator.” The cascading waters of the Niagara can put into effect a similar starking reality.
Standing by the majestic horse shoe falls, as a gentle waft of cool breeze brushed away wisps of my hair, I was overcome by an invigorating joy. Something so close, yet intangible. Throngs of people rushed past the open grounds, some immersed in selfies, some chased after their little children. Sea gulls joined in with their constant cawing. But a soulful silence stood undefeated in comparison with the noise around. That’s the wonder of the Niagara…..
Whether in Canada or the USA, one isn’t expected to just ooh & aah from afar and therefore, I’ve compiled a list of activities they have for us, the excited visitors:
1. The Horn blower’s Cruise in Canada & Maid of the Mist in USA, are both, cruises that take one into the basin of the Niagara Falls. The Niagara River is by far the best place to be to take in the splendor around and the tip of the boat is the best place to be, to drench in the waters of the Niagara. The boat docks for a few minutes just inches away from the falls( or so it appears!). As we were encompassed by a blanket of mist arising from the torrent of pounding waters, I have to admit, I was flipping between euphoria & fright. That being said, one can’t help but feel unfettered & unshackled…..a veritable promise of freedom.
2. Journey Behind the Falls in Canada
At a descent of 150 feet of bedrock( through elevators of course) there are two tunnels that lead to portals, the Cataract Portal & the Great Falls Portal where one can experience the sheer thunder of the falls. Quite frankly, it can’t get closer than this. These tunnels are about 150 ft behind the waterfall and to experience the waters of the Niagara gushing & roaring is somewhat ethereal.Beware though, the floors can be pretty slippery.
3. Cave of the Winds in New York, USA
A 175 ft elevator descent takes visitors down into the Niagara Gorge and that’s where the magic begins. The ascent of a long set of redwood steps is tumulous, yes, but when you have a scenic view such as this, energy is hardly expended. The journey promises as the name proclaims….Gusts of wind surge as we head up to the Hurricane Deck at the base of the Bridal Veil falls where tumbling, roaring waters deafen & crash on us….a thrill not to be missed.(The walkways are removed in November owing to harsh winters & replaced in the summer every year.)
Before you take a look at a few more pictures, if you happen to visit the Niagara, DO NOT MISS the IMAX movie that will implore one to delve in the magic of the Niagara falls. Not only does it offer exhilaratingly close views but also takes us back to a legendary past. Niagara Falls after all 12,000 years old and the immense history she carries with her brims with miracles & myths to satiate the curious.
A play of colours at the Niagara…..