For as far back as I can remember, travel has always fascinated me. The chance to see new people, places and cultures, is something that has always fascinated me.
In the summer of 2015, the opportunity to travel round the North Eastern United States and Canada arose.
I was about three weeks away from ending a contract and an advert popped up on Facebook for Trek America. Before I knew it, I was heading for nine days travelling with a bunch of strangers in a van. It really isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
It’s an awesome way to travel and make new friends from around the world (though everyone was from England bar two, and even they were from Scotland and France).
The trip included a number of amazing experiences, topped by a trip to the Niagara Falls.
Visiting The Falls
The actual entrance to the Falls is a little underwhelming, and you have to walk a small distance from a parking lot, to the State Park to actually see them. We entered on the New York side, which is probably the better side. The American side has a number of awesome vantage points to see them close up and get some amazing images. We obviously hadn’t come just to get a few nice photos.
In order to get up close and personal and experience the Falls from the US side, there are two options; The Cave Of The Winds or the Maid Of the Mist.
As a big fan of the US Office, and having recently seen the episode where Jim and Pam get married on the Maid, I was in no doubt as to which option to take. I was joined by half of my new group of friends.
Travelling On The Maid Of The Mist
In order to get onto the cruise, you obviously need to purchase tickets, which are relatively cheap, and so worth the $15 or so dollars. Once you have your tickets you go through to the Niagara Falls Observation Tower and Deck. From here you can take even more amazing photos. Just a word of warning, if you aren’t a fan of heights, you might not be a huge fan of this part. You don’t realise how high up you are from the river until you are standing on the deck. We weren’t up there for long, and we soon stepped into the elevators that took us down to the entry point of the Maid of the Mist. Each person is given a customary blue poncho as soon off the elevator being heading on board.
The actual journey itself is around 30 minutes, and allows you to see the power of the Falls first hand. The major issue itself on the boat as you could probably guess from its’ name, was the mist.
I spent the majority of my time in awe, whilst simultaneously trying to take pictures on my phone and ensuring I didn’t lose either the phone or my sunglasses. Between us we managed to get a few good shots.
Once you disembark off the boat there is a chance to get soaked again by a vantage point, which leaves you truly drenched. From here you can see a number of breathtaking rainbows, and my new buddy Tom decided it was a good time to wash his hair. He’d bought along Lynx shower gel, as you do. It worked though!
A quick trip back up the elevator and you get back to the New York side. We couldn’t visit the Falls without visiting Canada, so we decided to head across the bridge separating America and Canada, to Canadian side.
Trouble In Canada
It’s a fairly simple process which gives ever more views before you head to border patrol. After crossing the bridge and waiting in line for our passports to be checked, we stepped forward to a rather bored looking passport control man. At this point I should mention we’d been eating snacks and had bags with us. The passport control guy took a look at each of our passports and then made us wait and told us to empty our bags and pocket. We knew this wasn’t normal considering we’d seen them letting most people through after checking their passports.
Unbeknown to us, the guy at passport control was convinced that he could smell cannabis, and even took it to sniff our passports. In actual fact what we had on us was Doritos. Our tour guide was later convinced he was bored so did this every now and again. Eventually, we entered Canada.
From the Canadian side, we spent a little while gazing at the Falls and taking ever more photos, before heading back across the bridge and to the border to the United States.
All in all, an amazing and very wet experience, but definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done.