Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Canada's Hornblower cruise ship, taking tourists to see Niagara Falls!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cave of the Winds and Bridal Veil Falls, Niagara Falls Postcard

"Rock of Ages and American Falls from below Niagara Falls.  Center Fall issues from between Luna and goat shore foot.  Under the Falls is a place called Cave of the Winds, formed by thirty feet of projecting limestone that has resisted the action of the corroding waters while the shady substratum directly under the ledge has been eaten away.  The so-called cave is one hundred feet in height and sixty feet in depth and can be reached by a perpendicular winding stairway from Goat Island.  The cave derives its name from the constant pressure of the atmosphere caused by the reflex of the falling water which resembles a storm of great violence."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cave of the Winds- Niagara Falls, New York

In an earlier post, I mentioned using disposable waterproof cameras while at Niagara Falls.  I am pretty sure that all of the photos here were taken with those cameras.

I will be upfront right now and say that the "Cave of the Winds" tour was our favorite thing we did while at Niagara Falls.  This is an unexpectedly cool attraction.  You REALLY feel the falls here.

Just like with the Maid of the Mist, you are given a cool poncho to keep you dry.  AND, you get a pair of sandals (along with a bag to put your shoes in).  I am pretty sure this is because the sandals have really good traction- and you will need it!

So, after getting your tickets and snaking through the line to get your poncho and sandals, you start your walk on a red, wooden walkway along the bottom of the American Falls.  You are literally walking right next to the Falls!

AND the coolest part is that there is an area called the "Hurricane Deck".  Part of the Falls is raining directly down on the deck.  You can choose to walk on the part of the deck away from the water, and avoid getting soaked.  I noticed a lot of people doing that.  OR, you can walk over to the spot getting rained down on and place yourself right under the windy waterfall!  I personally couldn't resist.  I held on to my glasses, and stood under the water!

This is a very exciting experience.  You are feeling the water's force as it goes over the most legendary waterfall in the world.  I am pretty sure that this is the most direct contact you can have with Niagara Falls legally.

It knocked the wind out of me.  It is cold and powerful.  It is difficult to breath as you stand there.  And, it is windy enough that if you have a hat on, you will need to hold on to it.

I would say that if you are in the area on the American side, this is the one thing that you must do if nothing else. 





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

American and Horseshoe Falls, Oak Garden Theatre, Niagara Falls, Ontario

"Oaks Garden Theatre is at the entrance to Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and is the finest outdoor theatre in North America".

This vintage unused postcard is undated.

Monday, September 19, 2016

American Falls From Terrapin Point in Winter, Niagara Falls

Before we moved from Northern Ohio, we tried to make one more trip up to Niagara Falls on a cold January day.  We had visited the falls a lot, but never in winter.

We started out driving with a very small amount of snow moving around us, but that quickly changed.  The snow got thicker and thicker.  We finally turned around and headed back for home.

Here is an old, undated postcard to remind us of that aborted trip.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

American Falls and Steel Arch Bridge from Luna Island, Niagara Falls

"American Falls properly comprises two precipitating floods, for the stream as it approaches the fearful brink, is divided by Luna Island and goes tumbling with increased velocity over the ledge at Centre Fall, on one side, and American Fall on the other.  At the point shown, the sheer descent is one hundred and fifty-nine feet, and the width is eleven hundred feet.  The amount of water thus precipitated is computed to be two million five hundred thousand gallons per second."

Not sure of the exact date on this unsent postcard of Niagara Falls.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Viewing the Grandeur of Niagara Falls from Prospect Point

This Niagara Falls postcard was sent from Buffalo in 1957.  The sender tells a friend in Indiana, "It sure is pretty here."

Friday, September 16, 2016

General View and Steel Arch and Bridge Niagara Falls

"This view shows a marvelous picture from Steel Arch Bridge, 192 feet above the water.  In this view of the falls, the beauty and vastness of the scene is most impressive."

This card was sent from Niagara Falls Ontario in 1937.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Maid of the Mist- Niagara Falls New York

The legendary Maid of the Mist.  The legacy of this tour dates back to 1846, when the first boat named "Maid of the Mist" made its appearance in the area.  Sure, early on it wasn't taking thousands of tourists each day for a close up view of the Falls, but it has had a presence in Niagara Falls for well over a century and a half.

I do recall seeing the boats going out on our previous visits to Niagara Falls, with the blue rain coat wearing passengers getting the best view of the Falls imaginable.

On those previous trips, we dismissed taking the ride.  I think we kind of felt like seeing the Falls, meant.... well, seeing the Falls.  I still kind of feel that way.

BUT, I really wanted to make this visit to Niagara Falls our ultimate visit.  I wanted to get it out of our system, in a way.  I wanted to feel like we had conquered the Falls.  AND, since its not legal to go over in a barrel, we bought our tickets for the Maid of the Mist.

Its a relatively short ride but it packs a punch.  It is totally worth the ticket price.  We bought our ticket and we were given cool souvenir postcards of one of the boats.  On our way down to the boat, we received the famous blue rain ponchos with the boat's logo on the front.  Though the process is what you would expect at a famous tourist attraction that attracts lots of people (it is a cattle atmosphere as you are rushed through line and squeezed tightly onto the boat) it is still an amazing experience once the boat gets going.  To be honest, I don't mind the rush to get you on the boat- time is valuable when you are on vacation.  Moving through a slow, leisurely line is not something I want to spend my time doing at a place like this.


Oh, by the way, I did something a bit different on this trip because of all of the water we would be getting exposed to.  I took 2 disposable water-proof cameras (Fujifilm Quicksnap Waterproof 35mm) with me.  I thought I should use them on the Maid of the Mist, and a couple of other things at the Falls.  So, the top seven or so photos you see were taken with my pocket sized digital camera, and the bottom few were taken with the disposable.  The colors on the disposable camera photos are a little off- but I think that is more due to the mist and the bright sunlight and water issues going on.  To be honest, I was thrilled with the quality of the pictures from the disposable cameras.

The boat first went to the Canadian Falls.  It was a total thrill feeling the thick mist from the Horseshoe Falls.  For a moment, it was a bit of a white-out experience!

After a nice pause to admire the Canadian view, we moved on to the American side.  Again, the view, AND the powerful mist were simply amazing.

We passed another Maid of the Mist boat as our boat moved around the area.  We also saw the Hornblower- the Canadian version of the Maid of the Mist go by.

On the Hornblower, the passengers are given read ponchos, so it is easy to tell the Hornblower from the Maid of the Mist.  Other than leaving from different countries, the two boats seem identical.

After we left our boat, we were able to get a look at the Falls from an observation tower that is part of the Maid of the Mist complex.  This is actually a great place for photos on the American side.


As we left the area, we were routed through the very well stocked gift shop.  I picked up a patch and some postcards.  I asked for a large bag so I could carry around my souvenir poncho too.







Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Maid of the Mist below American Falls from Niagara Falls

"Named after the Indian maiden of legendary fame, two of these sturdy craft carry thousands of visitors each year to view the falls directly below them."

This postcard was sent from Toronto in 1952 and is postmarked on the front and back.

The sender tells their friend in Indiana that "everyone is so nice."

Monday, September 12, 2016

View of the American Falls from Niagara Falls, Canada

I found this undated, unused postcard recently.  I love the people in the photo, and the coin operated viewer.

American and Horseshoe Falls at Night, Niagara Falls, NY.

The back of this undated and colorful postcard notes:

"The mists which create rainbows in the sun on bright days have been illuminated in the colors of the rainbow at night by the billion and a half candlepower battery of lights."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Falls Street at Night, Niagara Falls, New York

Sent from Niagara Falls in 1921.  I love the colors on this postcard.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Niagara Falls, the American Side


Here are just a few photos we took from the American side of the Falls in Niagara Falls New York!

I THINK I mentioned before that we have actually been to Niagara Falls several times, but never over an extended period of time.  We really wanted to make it back up to this area and do everything we had never done before.  We wanted to feel like we had COMPLETELY done Niagara Falls.  AND, for the post part, I think we did on this trip.


As often happens though, we found ANOTHER area in the region that we MUST visit in the near future (more on Niagara-on-the-Lake later).

Back to the Falls itself.  We spent one day having fun on the American side, then several days on the Canadian side (our hotel was in Canada).  We had several things planned, but we also had some "if we have time" kind of things that we hoped to get around to doing.  We did most of them.

I did reread my favorite books on Niagara Falls before the trip.

Oh, I do have a lot of cool old postcards from the Falls.  I will try to get some scanned images up to go along my personal stories.......







Friday, September 9, 2016

A Gorgeous Sunset on Lake Erie at Van Buren, NY

Sent from Niagara Falls in 1937 to Indiana.  I love the great colors on this very old postcard.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fort Erie Post Office- Fort Erie Ontario

I don't think I have mentioned this before, but when we travel, I LOVE collecting postmarks!  Sometimes, I might send a postcard to myself from wherever we are, but I really love visiting the local post office and getting a nice hand cancel in person.  I usually take a photo of the post office too....

So, we stopped by the post office in Fort Erie Ontario while we were there.  I had a very nice talk with a postal worker whose daughter had visited Kentucky to see the caves.

I got a couple of postmarks from this great Canadian post office (most post offices will gladly give you a hand cancel on a stamped item).  The friendly postal lady also showed me some of the cool new Canadian stamps!  I don't collect stamps, but I HAD to have some of the new STAR TREK stamps!  How cool is that?  The Canadians love their dinosaurs, so I picked up some dinosaur stamps too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Old Fort Erie in Fort Erie Ontario

While we were staying in Buffalo, we decided to take the Peace Bridge over to the town of Fort Erie to visit the reconstructed Old Fort Erie.  This would end up being the first of four forts that we would see on this trip- 2 in Canada, and 2 in the US.

I have really been in to the Civil War lately, and I have been trying to stick to seeing sites associated with the Civil War.  The 4 forts that I mentioned are all most closely linked to the War of 1812, but a couple did have interesting Civil War connections.


Old Fort Erie had a post Civil War event go down in 1866, but still closely related to the war between the states.  The Fenian Raid occurred when a group of Fenians (including Civil War veterans) used the Fort as a base for their raids on Ontario.  The Fenians were pretty much unsuccessful so they went back to Buffalo.

The Fort had been around for a very long time before that though.  The original Fort in the area was built in 1764.

Thanks to some back and forth battles with the US during the War of 1812, this battleground is considered the bloodiest in Canadian history.

When we arrived, we bought our tickets and went to the very nice and modern visitor center.  A short film is shown, then a knowledgeable guide took us on a tour.  Our young guide knew his history, and he was quick witted, making for a great tour.  Focusing on that battle of 1812, we heard about the living conditions, the fighting, and the families at the Fort.  A very exciting explosion factors in to the fort and the story!

And, at the end of the tour, we were able to enjoy some lemonade and homemade cookies!  You can take home a recipe for the cookies on an attractive, hand-pressed sheet. 

We explored the fort at our own pace after our tour.  There were still several costumed guides around to answer questions.  Even as we left the fort, we were asked if we had any other questions.

We left, and headed back to the visitor center to see the relics displayed there.  As our day winded down, we decided to eat at the cafĂ© on site.


We had a relaxed late lunch here that was delicious and pleasant.

I must tip my hat to the friendly Canadians who work here.  A fellow mopping the floor talked with me briefly about the Fort.  He thanked me for coming out.  Our costumed guide obviously enjoyed his job as he excitedly talked of the history linked to it.  The young ladies who sold us our tickets (and later prepared our lunches) seemed eager to assist us.

Old Fort Erie is a great historic site, with a pleasant crew of people who appreciate the setting.  This was another unplanned site trip that ended up being a highlight of our adventure.







Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Gabe's Tower in Owensboro Kentucky

I took a few pictures of Gabe's Tower in Owensboro the other day.  I honestly have no clue whats going on with the place these days.....  I would love to see it salvaged or restored in some way, but who knows......


Monday, September 5, 2016

Statler Hotel and McKinley Monument, Buffalo, NY

Thus unused postcard shows the Statler Hotel and McKinley Monument, Buffalo, NY.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

McKinley Monument- Buffalo, New York

 The top postcard was sent in 1909.  The other one is unsent and undated.  The photo at the bottom is one I took in 2016.