The heat stuck to their skin and sizzled like bacon on the metal hood of every car. Waves of heat stung the air and obscured the landscape ahead. The gravel road that traps them all inside its lines seems to never end. A low grumbling travels along the line. The drivers sit ready as if waiting for the race to start. Unfortunately, the checkered flag lies limp on its pole with no wind to give it life. A girl’s head rests in an open window. Her eyes wander through the windows of the neighbouring cars. She watches as new stories unfold behind each glass pane. Her friend sits in the driver seat. She sings along to the radio and taps her fingers on the wheel. The girl withdraws her head back inside the car and begins tunelessly wording the song blasting from the car speakers. Her friend laughs and joins in on the game. They both shout the words loudly together and dance to the beat with their upper bodies. They laugh at how terrible they sound but continue to perform their duet to the next song that comes on the radio. The traffic finally begins to move slowly across the gravel. The destination was still out of sight but she imagined the feeling of cold water sprinkling on her face. It will be worth the wait she told herself…

 

When I was younger before I had my own passport and was old enough to fly away, I would go camping with my family during the summer. Every year my mam and dad would pack me and my brother up in our little white micra and set off for the popular family holiday centre ‘Mosney’. Once our feet touched the grass, my brother and I would run off to play on the amusement rides while our parents set up the tent that we would call home for the next week. Mosney was a big open spaced resort kinda like the one in Dirty Dancing but with more rides, fewer people grinding on each other and no Patrick Swayze in sight.  Here I felt free and a little wild as back then it was safe (or at least we thought it was) to run about without phones for our parents to call us on or to be kept within earshot. All we had to do is be back at a certain time and that was it. We played all day on the yellow wheel, the bumper cars, and the sombreros. It was simply a great place to be as a kid.

The video below is a bit cringe but it will give you an idea of what cheesy amazingness this place was. But you have to look at it from the perspective of your 6-year-old.

                                       

 

 

There is a reason I am reminiscing about the good old times and why specifically I am remembering Mosney. It is because the next place I visited was what I thought to be the Canadian version just with a big waterfall and without red coats or chalets. Any idea where I am referring to? Maybe my imagination was in overdrive but to me, Niagara Falls brought back that feeling of being a child.

Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. It may not be a terrifyingly high plunge but when you add the fact that 168,000 mof waterfall over the crest line every minute, it adds a shiver of fear down the spine.

 


Our future is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls,  not knowing that the engines are about to fail.    • James Lovelock


 

We parked in a (not so cheap) car park and made our way towards the main attraction. On our way, we passed hotels and casinos. I don’t really care much about gambling so it didn’t draw my attention away from the goal. But we did divert our course when we came across a particular street. This was the street that brought me right back to my childhood. It was a street of amusements, ghost rides, and games. An entire street to occupy the attention of little kids for hours. The Buildings looked as though they were pulled straight out of a cartoon world. Even the crazy golf was like golfing through a prehistoric era where Dinosaurs still ruled and Volcanos erupted before your very eyes.

A shipwrecked pirate making his way through the world by entertaining passersby with his juggling skills so that one day he can buy a new boat and pillage the seas once more. Okay, some of that was made up but which part?

You can’t really get the scale of the building in the below photo but it was very high and this guy was running on a hamster wheel on top of it. We stopped to watch him in the shade for a little while before looking for more street performers. Can you call him a street performer or is he more of a sky performer? You decide!

After all the detours on our way, we finally arrived at the true purpose of us driving for hours in the blistering heat. Hello, Beautiful!

Yes, Niagara you are good looking and just as jaw-dropping as expected.

It doesn’t quite hit you how powerful and how intimidating the falls are until you get a close-up view of the water vigorously flowing over the edge and crashing down upon the water already below. It was hard not to enter that part of my mind that has morbid thoughts about what it would be like to fall in.

Another thing that popped into my head was the Never Ending Story scene where Sabastian has to face his fears and jump into a waterfall to get home. I always wondered if I could do the same and standing there over the Falls, I deduced that I definitely could not. I would be forever be stuck in the Never Ending Story flying about on Falkor’s back. Not a bad new life really.

I find it hard to believe that people have actually gone over the falls as either a stunt, for the thrill or to escape. Because I couldn’t think of anything for grim.

Anyway, anyway, anyway!!!

Back to happier thoughts, look! A rainbow is shooting out of the Maid of the Mist.

 I am sure you all know what the Maid of the Mist is but just in case there is a few that don’t, it is the boat that sails you up to the hem of Niagara Falls skirt without invading her personal space. It is well worth stepping on board to see the Falls from another perspective, even if it means you have to wear a very unflattering plastic bag.

See I told you! no one can look good in these things! Not even Harry Styles!


My one advice about the boat tour is to book ahead of time. It was a very hot day, the queue for tickets was very long and there was no shelter to hide under while we waited with all the other sweaty tourists. Luckily we noticed the one sign that recommended booking online which we did immediately (with the 5% battery Julia had left) and then we strolled smugly passed the queue towards the entrance. Wait! Before go away with harsh judgments from reading this, I would like to mention that we did tell other people in the queue about how you can book online before the smug walking began.

Niagara was a nice day out in the sun to see a beautiful waterfall but I felt like that was all it could be for me. There wasn’t much there that could persuade me to stay there for a few days to explore it little more. It was mostly made up by a Mall, the street amusements, multiple casinos, and the breathtaking waterfall. Something I noticed that was missing was healthy food options. The majority of the restaurants we passed/ stopped off at for a bite were fast food places.  I don’t know if that was just because I myself didn’t see any or because there were none to found. I would suggest you bring a packed lunch if you want to dodge the sugar comedowns. But don’t let this detour you. Niagara Falls itself is completely worth seeing especially if you have a buddy to sing along with on the journey.

 

 

Have you been to Niagara Falls?

Did you have a different experience?

Let me know what you thought of your visit there.

 

Jess x

 

 

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