Ride the Maid of the Mist
For more than 215 years Niagara Falls has been known traditionally as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”. The first honeymooners, Theodosia and Joseph Alston, trekked from Albany, New York, to Niagara Falls accompanied by a number of servants to help on the journey and nine pack horses. Theodosia happened to be the daughter of a future vice- president of the United States. In 1804 two other high-society newlyweds, Jerome Bonaparte (younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte) and his bride, Elizabeth Patterson, travelled to Niagara Falls all the way from New Orleans, Louisiana, by stagecoach. Thus, honeymooning at Niagara Falls was born.
Three separate waterfalls thunder over high steep rocks to make the world famous and beautiful natural geological wonder of the world, Niagara Falls. The word Niagara comes from the word “onguiaahra” which means “a thundering noise”. Niagara Falls is a collective name for the three waterfalls from the largest to the smallest – the Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls (158 feet high and 2,600 feet wide), the American Falls (167 feet high and 1,000 feet wide), and the Bridal Veil Falls, that straddle the international border of Canada (in the province of Ontario) and the United States via New York.
The water that flows over Niagara Falls comes from four of the five Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior, ultimately ends in Lake Ontario, from there water drains by way of St. Lawrence River, and finally to the Atlantic Ocean. Half of this water is diverted for hydroelectric power by the United States and Canada that had agreed to divide the tremendous electric power generated by several hydroelectric plants located on both sides of the Niagara Falls.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda, the American aerialist, when asked why he wanted to walk on highwire strung high above the raging waters of Niagara Falls said, “It’s Niagara Falls. It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. Who wouldn’t want to walk across it?” On 15 June 2012 he successfully made the historic 25-minute walk across Niagara Falls beginning from the US side and ending at the Canadian side. In 1952 the 20th Century Fox movie “Niagara” starring Marilyn Monroe was filmed in Niagara Falls.
My wife Lita and I managed to visit Niagara Falls thrice and each visit we still couldn’t help but be awestruck at the sheer size and power of the mighty Niagara Falls. There are several exciting ways to see the falls. To feel the power of Niagara Falls experience the thundering sound of the rush from the 600,000 galloons of water falling per second through the “Ride the Maid of the Mist” – a ride aboard a small steamboat that takes you close to the foaming torrent of water at the very base of the falls. Shiny blue raincoat with complimentary hooded poncho is provided. Experience also the “Cave of the Winds” trip for a close-up view of the American Falls and the Bridal Veil. This will absolutely thrill you – standing a mere 20 feet from the Bridal Veil Falls. You start by riding an elevator 175 feet straight down into the Niagara gorge, then you’ll be guided down a series of steps to the Hurricane deck.
Niagara Falls is approximately 130 kms. (80 miles) southwest of Toronto, an average drive of 1 and half hours without traffic delays. As of 14 January 2021 Niagara Falls is a part of the province-wide declaration of pandemic emergency until 11 February 2021. Attractions are temporarily closed during the shutdown.