[U.S.A] Niagara Falls.

American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls from the Observation Tower.

July 2 & 3, 2018

The Niagara Falls was one of the last stops in the month-long trip my family and our friends took last year.

The Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls (American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls) spanning the border between the U.S. state of New York and the Canadian state of Ontario. It was created by the Wisconsin glaciation roughly 10,000 years ago; and is well-known for both its beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. It is estimated that a total of 30 million people visit the Falls each year.

It was around 6 p.m. when we finally arrived at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino at the end of our 8-9 hour drive from Arlington, Virginia. The rest of us waited in the lobby as my parents had a heated argument with the receptionist over how the system had apparently failed to register the booking we made on Agoda a couple of months back. It took a while, but the mess was eventually sorted out. We brought our luggage up to our rooms and then promptly left the hotel to visit the Falls.

A view of Horseshoe Falls from Terrapin Point.

It was still twilight when we got to Terrapin Point. Excitement instantly coursed through my veins the moment I heard the thunderous roar of water resounding from the distance. Despite being worn out from the journey, I broke into a run and didn't stop until I reached the metal railings that bordered the observation area. The sight that greeted my eyes then took my breath away. There was the massive waterfall in all its glory: an almost greenish-blue sea that turned into a stream of white as it tumbled past the rocks and crashed onto the Niagara River below. Right across the gorge was Canada, its towering buildings half-shrouded by the mist.

We stayed there long enough just to snap a few dozen photos, knowing that my grandparents were tired. Upon leaving for dinner at Hard Rock Café soon after, we made a promise to return to the Falls the following morning to take the boat tour.

There were few complaints when my sister and I were woken up early the next day. We changed quickly and rushed back to the Falls (while the elderly opted to relax in the comfort of their hotel room), this time heading for the State Park Visitor Center. We were redirected to the line of people queueing to board the Maid of the Mist. The staff handed each of us a folded plastic poncho, and I didn't really understand the significance of the blue hue until we were finally on the boat, leaning against the bars as we took in the magnificence of the Mother Nature's creation.

The Hornblower.

My attention was suddenly caught by the throngs of people on the other side of the raging currents. They were dressed in bright red ponchos – creating a stark contrast to the array of blues, browns, whites, and greens that make up the background. It took me a good minute to figure out that the colour signified that they were visitors from the Canadian side, while blue marked us as visitors from the U.S.A side.

I guess it hasn't really sunken in that I was literally staring at Ontario from across the border.

The Maid of the Mist approaching Horseshoe Falls.

I didn't get the chance to dwell on the thought for too long though. Not when the view of the Niagara Falls from the Maid of the Mist looked like something straight out of a fairytale. But rather than being awed by the clear blue sky, pristine waters, or the way the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls loomed over us as the boat slowly chugged past – the first thing that really came to my mind was:

"I've never seen so many rainbows in one place."

A rainbow over a section of the Niagara River.

Fun fact: the rainbows are formed as a result of the sunlight passing through the mist in the air around the Falls. You can also spot secondary and/or twin rainbows as well; and if you're lucky, you may be able to find a 360-degree rainbow from a good vantage point.

Well – that, and "Christ, are those all seagulls?!" as I gawked at what seemed like thousands of the birds perched on top of the rocks. There were even more of them flying above us, making their presence known with their loud caws. Others were simply chilling on the calmer waters, unperturbed by the boat-ful of humans passing by.

It made me wonder if we were just as much of a spectacle to them as they were to us.

I couldn't remember if someone from my group had been the one to voice out the reminder (or if the ominous rumble was enough to warn us of what's about to come), but most of the passengers quickly drew up their hoods as we approached the climax of the entire boat trip: Horseshoe Falls.

A view of Horseshoe Falls from the Maid of the Mist.

Now, I knew that Horseshoe Falls is huge. I mean, I've seen it just the day before from Terrapin Point. That should've given me enough of a clue as to how intimidating it can be, right?

Wrong. Nothing could prepare me for the feeling of being swallowed by the colossal body of water as the Maid of the Mist kept inching closer. One minute, I was craning my neck in attempt to process the overwhelming scene: hundreds of thousands of gallons cascading down the entire length of the Falls, generating a thick blanket of mist that surrounded us. The next minute, everything was just white and all I could do was focus on keeping my plastic hood up as the Falls greeted us with a heavy shower.

We were standing closer to the back of the boat so my family mostly looked as if someone had tossed a small bucket of water at our heads. The ones who are at the forefront of it got the full experience, to say the least, and were drenched from head to toe.

The Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge.

Nevertheless, we all eventually got off the boat with bright smiles painting our faces, beyond exhilarated from the tour. It made up for my disappointment at not being able to explore the Cave of the Winds since we were running short on time.

On the whole, the Niagara Falls really makes you appreciate just how beautiful nature can be. No amount of pictures can truly do its magnificence justice. Would definitely recommend anyone who had plans to travel nearby the region to stop by and have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Personally, I don't know when I would be able to return to the States again – but when I do, I'll be sure to revisit the Falls.

As a side note, I've heard that the view was better from the Canadian side. I also heard that they have a zipline along the gorge, along with a host of other attractions. Yes, I'm very much interested (and jealous, if you can't tell). I suppose going to Canada is one of the things in my bucket list now.


  1. While reading this, I feel like I see the Niagara Falls with my own eyes.

    The description is awesome and I enjoy reading it.

    Oh, wait. Are you, in any case, a professional photographer? Because the photos you have taken say a lot (^^♪


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