Niagara Falls

This week I spent some time in Niagara Falls. Having grown up in Canada, outside Ontario, I always KNEW that Niagara Falls was not a desirable place to go – impossibly tacky, commercialized, only visited by foreign tourists, and disappointing.

Finally I went there a few years ago, and found that it was – impossibly tacky, commercialized, only visited by foreign tourists, and… more fun than I expected! However my expectations were such that I could hardly be disappointed, and it is still not on my list of 10 (or even 50) favourite places.

I was impressed on my first walk in the city when I turned a corner and saw, unexpectedly, a HUGE waterfall right beside the road and walkway. (Yes, I had heard that there was a waterfall in town, but I wasn’t expecting it at that moment.)  Who would have thought to build it there, right in the city!

Standing at the top of the falls is awesome – the water moves calmly, beautifully, inexorably to the edge and disappears. Imagine those guys in the barrels. Or the explorers 500 years ago, paddling along downstream – “Hey Jacques, d’you think the river is picking up a bit of speed? What’s that noise I hear up ahead?”

Clifton Hill in the city should not be taken too seriously. If you are feeling in a snobbish mood, skip it and go for a drive through the scenic villages and vineyards, with a stop of two. Here’s a bottle from the Strewn Winery, which also has a restaurant and cooking school.