What an awesome day
Today’s Blog post contains a whole lot of pictures, and video. So, please grab a beer, glass of wine, or something else, sit down, and try not to get wet.
|Travel From||–||Mississuaga, ON, Canada|
|Intermediate Location||–||Niagara Falls, ON, Canada|
|Ending Location||–||Mississuaga, ON, Canada|
|Miles Driven Today||–||0 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||984 Miles|
|New Countries visited Today||–|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada|
Today’s trip into Niagara Falls was taken in Ralph’s X3, so I did not incur any additional mileage towards the journey.
The BMW Dealer & The Parts order
It was just yesterday that I discovered the part missing from my bike, and I inserted a bolt to hold things in place, as a temporary fix. But, a temporary fix is just that, I as I mentioned yesterday, I expected to purchase the part, once I arrived in Germany, using a friend to help out.
However, it turns out that Budd’s BMW is located about 16 miles from the hotel, so while en-route to Niagara falls, we stopped and ordered the parts. It is also an amazing coincidence that Canada’s distribution center for BMW Motorrad parts is in Mississauga, the same city as the hotel that we were staying, and only 16 miles from the dealer.
Netting all of this out, we were able to order the part, as long as it was ordered before 11:30, and it would arrive the same day. So, we ordered the part, and at 2:30 PM, while in Niagara, I got a call confirming that the parts had arrived.
We were already in downtown Niagara Falls, about 65 miles away from the hotel, so we committed to picking up the part the following morning (Tomorrow). I’ve included an exciting video of he process.
We arrived in Niagara Falls, and after parking the car, we walked the 1/2 mile to the waterfront, and had a quick look around. After a brief look around, we visited the nearby restaurant and had a nice lunch, but not before making a video that describes my mood at the time.
Barrels of fun
Over the years, numerous people have attempted to go “over the falls”, testing whether they produce a prophylactic device, that would keep them safe, while dropping the distance to the water below.
On July 15, 1961 W.M Fitzgerald decided to give it a try, and while he survived, as you can see from the pictures of the barrel below, the “barrel” took a beating. Fitzgerald did survive the fall, and lived to tell the story.
An overview of Horseshoe Falls
At the place, which we’ve come to know as Niagara Falls, there are actually 3 different falls, and it is Horseshoe falls which is the biggest, and the one that gets the most attention. I’ve heard that over 750,000 Gallons/Minute flow over the falls, although since XXXX, much of the water has been diverted into a tunnel system, that routes the water to reservoirs which are about 6 miles away.
In the gallery below, you’ll see numerous pictures taken of the falls, of the boats that approach the falls, and of the people. Enjoy a look at a very powerful, and naturally occurring phenomena.
The view from under the falls
There’s an expression that says that you only go around once in life, and that every day should be an adventure. So, while in Niagara, we decided to try to see as much as possible, so we purchased a “combo ticket”, for which the details were a bit fuzzy. But, purchase it we did.
As it turns out, the combo pack grants us access to the Boat ride iunder the falls, but also to the “Behind the falls” experience, and also to the Skylon tower. We were going to have access to three different ways to experience the falls, and on top of that, we got picked up in a Mercedes Sprinter van, and shuttled from one exhibit to the next, all the while Michael, our driver was sharing his knowledge of, and passion for Niagara falls.
Michael is 22 years old, and is full of energy. The tour took about 4 hours in total, and in addition to these three formal exhibits, Michael also took us to a few more along the say. All in all, it was a great experience, and well worth the $122 Canadian that we spent.
The view from behind the falls is possible only by taking an elevator down into the rock face of the falls, and walking to a viewing point which is at the point where the water is falling down, right in front of us.
In addition to views of the falling water, there is an abandoned tunnel, and several signs which describe various events related to the falls, and which have taken place over the years.
The Skylon Tower is about 520 feet tall, and serves as an arcade, restaurant, and also an observation deck, from which you can see spectacular views of the falls and surrounding area.
I’ve included some pix from the tower, which offer a different, perhaps better view of the falls.
The Whirlpool is a feature of the river, located several miles downstream from the falls. The Whirlpool effect is created because there is a sharp bend in the river, and the speed of the water causes it to flow straight into a pool, which created entire from the power of the water, and the fact that the river simply can’t make the turn.
The whirlpool also has a cable car or tram which has been operating for over 100 years, and which allows tourists a chance to see the whirlpool from above. In this video you’ll hear our guide, Michael, explaining the most interesting aspects of the Whirlpool.
The boat trip
Once we had boarded the boat, we left the dock, and began the short trip to the base of the falls. Along the way, we were getting more and more wet, suffering from the mist coming from all of the surrounding falls.
Once we had arrived at the base of the falls, the boat surges forward, towards the falls, and then it seems that the Captain lets the boat float backwards for a brief moment, before they surge forward again.
As I stood on the 2nd level deck, all of us at the front were getting absolutely drenched, and it was almost impossible to hear, due to the noise coming from the waterfall. But, I figured I’d give it a try, and see what kind of video the camera could capture.
To be honest, standing on the deck, with the wind, and the rain coming at us from every direction, in overwhelming amounts, it was a bit like standing in front of a Water-breathing dragon, who was having a bad day. See for yourself.
Weeding the garden
Well, as it turns out, Canada has legalized weed, so I figured I’d have a look at how our brothers and sisters to the North, experience the various strains and their effects.
I purchased a Sativa pre-roll, and enjoyed a very relaxing night’s sleep. Ahhh, so comforting.
What will tomorrow bring?
Well, tomorrow morning we’ll have to pick up the part from the BMW dealer, do a quick load of laundry, pack all of my bags, and head to the airport. It all starts tomorrow, and it’s gonna be a big day.