I arrived in Niagara Falls with a German guy I met in the Toronto hostel. Niagara Falls is pretty commercialized on the Canada side. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I felt like I was at a theme park with high rise hotels, tourist shops, famous restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe and huge tour buses everywhere. We did the ever-popular boat ride to the falls, Maid of the Mist, dressed in this lovely blue plastic bag to avoid being drenched as you get sprayed by the Falls. On another day, I went across the bridge to the American side which was much greener, a National Park, but unfortunately the view wasn’t so great. (Just have to say that I was very disheartened by the border control on the USA side of Niagara -very rude compared to the nice border control on the Canada side!)
I was kinda ‘stuck’ in Niagara Falls (the name of the town) because the Toronto hostel was booked but I enjoyed being in the slower-paced Niagara Falls Hostelling International. I met a friendly Canadian man named Vivek that comes to the hostel once a year to take a break from life and create his jewelry. We engaged in terrific conversation and he very generously created a set of earrings for me.
I did some exploring during my stay to get away from the tourist mania and saw pretty much all of Niagara Falls, taking walks throughout town and amid the forest by the water’s edge and visiting the little ‘islands’… Dufrin Island and Goat Island, that required no boat in getting there ;P