25 Aug 2015

My visit to Niagara Falls.


After saying some extremely emotional and heart-wrenching goodbyes to all of our co-counsellors at Chinqueka, we left Bantam, CT at around 1.30pm and began our 400+ miles to Niagara Falls. We stopped off at a pizza place near Sheffield, MA and had a few more service breaks but still we had arrived in Niagara Falls to our motel, Rodeway Inn, at 9pm. As we arrived it looked pretty rough. We were on a corner next to a gas station and it looked like every motel I've ever seen on CSI. We walked to the motel office, which was some sort of bizarre souvenir and snack shop too, where we found the door locked until a young man unlocked it and let us in. 
We checked in and received the key card with very little words exchanged and two drunken American men stumbling nearby. We were pretty scared yet found it all hilarious at the same time. We got our cases and bags out of the rental car and carried them up to our room. We were so pleasantly surprised with it! It was super clean, had a spotless bathroom and fridge, a television, free wifi, a coffee dispenser and most importantly two memory foam double beds! Never judge a book by it's cover, hey? It was pure bliss after 11 uncomfortable weeks of sleep at camp.
I went online to check our location to see how far we were from everything and we were only one street away from the actual falls. We just couldn't see how prime the location was when we arrived in the pitch black.           


We decided to have a lie in considering it had been 2 and a half months since we were able to and headed over for somewhere to eat. After a short 10 minute walk we found ourselves at Hard Rock Cafe where we were SO grateful to have a substantial meal over the camp meals we were now used to. I ate the barbecue salmon which was A-mazing. Then just across the road is the Niagara Falls State Park. We wandered around a little slightly lost until we found the falls (honestly it's harder to find than you'd think among the gift shops and tourists). When we saw it, it was all a bit overwhelming.
It was such a bizarre yet incredible sight. We then walked over to the Maid of the Mist boat ride kiosk where a kind lady offered us a voucher she was unable to use which gave us one free ticket and so we split the cost of another at $17 and off we went. Over the observation deck and down the elevator ready to board the boat. We were handed two bright blue ponchos on the way, I probably should have assumed at that point that we were about to get a bit wet. We headed up to the top deck and as soon as it was filled with fellow explorers, we were headed into one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I wish I could put into words how fascinating the view was. It really was unbelievable. It's so much brighter than I thought it would be, at some points of the boat ride the view was entirely white with the speed of the water just, well, falling. We got absolutely soaking wet but it was so worth it! It's almost an ethereal experience.
Being in Niagara Falls has encouraged me to want to see the world. There is far too much to see on Earth to stay cooped up in my British corner of the globe. Let's do it!


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- Raven x



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