Niagara Falls: A lot of water, a lot of tourists
I always considered Niagara Falls to be a must-do when you’re in eastern Canada. However, before I left, people from the west coast were telling me that it actually isn’t as exciting as it sounds. And, unfortunately, I can totally understand them.
I found the falls to be a very interesting but ambivalent place. They are one of the biggest natural wonders of the world and, undeniably, it is impressive to see such massive amounts of water fall down a massive cliff.
Nevertheless, I was thrown off a bit by how easy it is made for tourists and how the cities of Niagara Falls (on the American and the Canadian sides) were turned into money-making tourist holes. The “tourist parts” of the towns are full of casinos, wax museums and haunted houses to keep the masses of tourists entertained. Because the falls, unfortunately, fail to keep your attention for too long.
Of course, you can book extra tours like Maid of the Mist, where you take a boat into the mist of the falls, or zip line near the falls, but if you’re a budget traveller who can’t afford many luxuries like that, you’re done after half an hour.
It is just such a different kind of tourism than I’m used to from BC:
At the Niagara Falls, there’s a paved walkway that takes you right next to the top of the falls. From the parking lot, it takes you approximately two minutes to get to the falls.
In BC, you might drive your car into the middle of a forest, but then you leave it there and walk for some time, maybe even one, two hours, to get to a waterfall that’s probably 100 times smaller than Niagara Falls. However, it’s also 10 times more exciting because you worked for it. It’s not made that easy for you but just more fun! (And free.)
Despite all the negativity I’m letting off right now, I can’t deny the beauty of the falls. Especially when the mist rises up from it and the sun shines down from the right angle to create stunning rainbows over the creek.