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USA: Niagara Falls - Between Two Countries

Published: 14.7.2013
I went to a trip to Niagara Falls together with my three au-pair colleagues near the end of my two-year stay in the US. It is an unwritten tradition to visit the Niagaras if you are an au-pair in New York. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t visit the falls or at least wasn’t going to.

The Niagara Falls are also in the State of New York, actually on the borderline of the US and Canada. The Falls were about 8 hours of ride from our place of stay in the northern New York suburb.

Niagara Falls

Initially, me and my colleagues planned to rent a car and ride there “on our own” as they say. It wasn’t that easy actually. They rent a car only to a person who is 25 years old or older. Only I fulfilled age requirements and that meant that I would have to ride the whole time and I would be responsible if anything had happened. I didn’t want to risk that. Except all of this they required my credit card and they didn’t want to approve my debet card. Eventually, we decide to travel with Chinese as we did already in the past. This time, it cost us 85 dollars for a two-day tour. This included bus ride there and back, an English speaking guide and a night in a hotel with breakfast. The excursion was great, without any problem. The Chinese never disappointed us in the US

Corning Museum Of Glass

We departed early in the morning from Chinatown in Manhattan. We had visited The Corning Museum of Glass in the city of the same name while were on the road. There are 45 000 glass items some 3 500 years old or older. We might see also a live glass show (a making of vase) and together with my Czech friend we found several pieces of Czech glass, Bohemia Glass.

We arrived at the Falls in the afternoon and accommodated in the RAMADA hotel that is very close to the Falls. The rest of that day we spent exploring the Falls and around.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is the name for several waterfalls on the Niagara River that flows from Lake Erie to Ontario Lake. The US-Canada border is along the middle of the river, which is in its widest on the place where the waterfall begins. There are two falls that are the most known. On the Canadian side of the border there is Horseshoe Falls that really resemble a horseshoe and its height is 51 meters. On the American side of the border, there is a bit smaller the American Fall and Bridal Veil Fall separated from the former with a small island, Goat Island.

Horseshoe Falls

Mass of water that flows there is unbelievable. Unfortunately, my Czech friend and me could see the falls only from the American side. Although, we could have pass the Rainbow Bridge above the River Ontario and get to Canada. From there we would have had a direct view of the falls.

American a Bridal Falls

There are two towers for that, the Skylon Tower and the Minolta Tower as well as several hotels where you can have a room with a view of the falls. We, the only two members of the excursion who were from the Czech Republic were not, unfortunately, among the people with the view for we were required to have a visa to Canada in the time of our stay in the US. Allegedly, it is useless to reason with the customs officials thus, only our two colleagues get to the other side. We stayed at the falls until late night. We wanted to see their colorful illumination and you shouldn’t miss it either.

Rainbow Bridge

On the following day, it was almost impossible to see the other, Canadian, side through a thick Maid Of The Misthaze above the falls – it is not fog but water vapour. Our whole party hurried on a ship, another way how to explore the falls. You may take a boat tour, either from the US or Canadian side, called THE MAID OF THE MIST. Every passenger gets a blue raincoat with the same sign. The tour takes places right below the falls; it is a wonderful experience for the boat sways, wind tears off your raincoat and you see lot of water almost falling on you. Except roaring of water you can hear nothing, you just are in a picture taking frenzy until you and your camera are completely wet. If you hadn’t a raincoat you would be totally wet however, it is no bother in summer weather.

We had about one hour to dry ourselves after the tour, to buy some refreshments, souvenirs and we got on a road back to New York. We wished to return to this amazing place again. However, I have this wish after many of my trips. Who knows whether they will be fulfilled ....

Text: Pavlína Rouhová 

Photo: Saffron Blaze, Saffron Blaze, Saffron Blaze, Ujjwal Kumar, Ujjwal Kumar, NASA, Daniel Mayer, Yuvb, Jordan J. Miller            

           



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