Friday, 20 February 2015

America/Canada Adventure Part 8......

Friday, Day 10, on the road from Toronto to Niagara, we had an unscheduled stop at the Welland Canal. The Welland Canal is a ship canal in Ontario, connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Traversing the Niagara Peninsula from Port Weller to Port Colborne, the canal forms a key section of the St. Lawrence Seaway, enabling ships to ascend and descend the Niagara Escarpment and bypass Niagara Falls.

Our tour guide had heard that a ship would be coming through the canal at St. Catherine's Lock and thought we would like to see how it worked.

We crossed the moveable bridge to get to the canal where we watched the bridge being raised to allow the ship to pass underneath.   Hard to believe we'd just driven across that bridge which was now up in the air!

We watched as it got closer to the lock,

passed us by and disappeared into the distance.   There was another ship waiting to come into the lock from the opposite direction.

Time to move on and continue our journey to Niagara Parkway, where we had a short tour,

and a stop to see the floral clock

and the whirlpool.

The Niagara Whirlpool is a natural whirlpool along the Niagara River located along the U.S.-Canadian border between New York and Ontario. The whirlpool is located in the Niagara Gorge, downstream from Niagara Falls. The whirlpool's greatest depth is 125 feet (38 m).  The whirlpool naturally spins in a counterclockwise motion during normal flow. When more water from the river is diverted to the surrounding hydroelectric power plants, however, the flow often reverses.

There is also a cable car which you can ride from one side to the other.

Our next stop was at the magnificent Niagraga Falls!  Actually three falls, from largest to smallest the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lie mostly on the Canadian side and the American Falls entirely on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction.  These are the American Falls behind me

 and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in the distance.

We just had to go right down there on the cruise, so we made our way to the Hornblower.

 donned our protective clothing

and headed out.  See rainbow bridge behind us

American side of the falls in front

Almost underneath Horshoe Falls, Canada.

Here's a short video taken on the boat.

After that wet, but exciting cruise we made our way back up to the top on the Canadian side, to where the rivers become Horseshoe Falls.  You can see Rainbow Bridge in the distance and of course the rainbow!
The next photo shows the river plunging to make the Horseshoe Falls behind us.

Niagara Falls are a magnificent sight and the photographs really don't do them justice.  We walked back to the restaurants and cafes to get something to eat and look who I bumped into
Elvis is alive and well and living at Niagara!

Appetite sated it was time to return to the coach to visit duty free before we crossed the border into the USA.
We had rather a long time to wait to cross the border. We were worried when a border guard boarded our bus with something similar to a Geiger counter and scanned us all, asking if any of us had undergone a surgical procedure recently, apparently something had set off alarms.  All the lanes were locked down and there was much to-ing and fro-ing by the guards up and down the rows of cars and buses waiting to cross into the States.  Eventually they discovered someone in a car three lanes up had been into hospital the day before for a radioactive scan, then crossed over into Canada to go to the Casino, that was what set off the alarms.  The border guard came back to explain what had happened and said "we don't like anything radioactive"! 

Unfortunately, because of the delay at the border, we arrived very late in Rochester, our stop for the night, with only enough time to get something to eat, a couple of drinks and go to bed, no time to explore.   Sorry Rochester.

Join me in Part 9 when we make our way to The Big Apple, NYC!


Cloudia said...

I'm actually heartened to learn of the sensitivity of the border protection!

Magnificent post.

ALOHA from Honolulu

Valerie said...

It's good you were in Niagara when the weather was better. Can you imagine someone climbing the falls when iced up?

Great pictures, Pearl, especially the first few - anything to do with ships and docks fastinates me.

CrystalChick said...

I have been trying to catch up with your trip!!! All the photos, on here and in previous posts, are awesome! You sure know how to travel and what to see.
Yesterday on FB I posted a picture of Niagara Falls. It's snowy now, but wasn't frozen. We went there about 11 years ago. Only to Horseshoe in Canada though. The Maid of the Mist (?) wasn't running then as it was late November, but I wouldn't have gone out anyway with my motion issues. LOL We did the tour though and saw the Falls from behind. Quite a wonderful place. We'd like to go back up someday.
Sorry for your delay but good that the border guards were working to figure it all out.

Cool posts!

Akelamalu said...

It was thorough Cloudia!

I would quite like to see someone climb the falls when they are frozen Valerie, but I would not enjoy the cold! The canal lock was fascinating.

I believe the Maid of the Mist goes from the American side, we were on the Canadian side so hence the Hornblower CrystalChick. Glad you enjoyed the previous posts on our trip and the photographs. There has to be security, we didn't mind. xxx

Flowerpot said...

I'm speechless! x

Finding Pam said...

What beautiful pictures you have o0f your trip. I enjoyed them so much.

Akelamalu said...

Does that mean you enjoyed it Flowerpot? x

Thanks Pam, so glad you enjoyed it. xx

Banker Chick said...

Another great post. I would like to see Niagara Falls some day. Have you seen the recent pictures of the frozen Niagara falls?

Ron said...

Pearl, the photographs you captured of Niagara Falls are BREATHTAKING! And I especially loved the one of you and MWM standing there with the rainbow behind you. Faaaaaaabulous shot!

"There is also a cable car which you can ride from one side to the other."

OMG, in as much as I would like to do that, I don't think I could. I get so freaked out about being in high places; especially something like a cable car suspended from a cable. YIKES!

So looking forward to your trip into the Big Apple!

Have a lovely weekend, m'dear!


Beach Bum said...

As long as any prospective foreign terrorist decides to cross the into the United States from roadways our glorious Homeland Security will be successful. On the other hand if they sneak through the woods our enter the country by boat, like drug smugglers we're in trouble.

Great post!

Jenny Woolf said...

I have only been there in winter and autumn when the falls were getting really cold! I wouldn't have wanted to go down waterproofs or not!

Daryl said...

well hello Elvis! i am so enjoying your recaps

Akelamalu said...

Yes BaknkerChick the photos of frozen Niagara are amazing!

Glad you lije the photos Ron. There's No Way I would go on the cable car! I did it once in the Blue Mountains in Oz - never again!! Lol

lol next time I'll sneak through the woods Beach! ;)

Luckily it wasn't cold when we were there Jenny. X

That's what I said to him Daryl! ;)