Ever since I spent time in Olympia, Greece, I've made sure to never spend more than one night in a one day town. The very basic rule is, if the place you're travelling to only has one main attraction, then there is no reason to spend more than one day there.
Olympia is famous for being the birthplace of the Olympics, that's all. Stuck in Olympia for 2 nights I managed to exhaust everything there was to do in the town. I perused both souvenir shops. I discovered the ordinary cuisine in all three restaurants. I saw the hours of nothing that happened in the main street and the tee-intersection.
So when the opportunity to go to Niagara Falls came around I made sure that we spent no more than one night there. In that 24 hour period I had to see the place where Superman 2 was filmed, I had to play some poker at the casino, and I had to eat breakfast at an 80 foot buffet that overlooked the falls.
All of this because, I knew before even getting there, that the falls were the falls and they would be magnificent, but how long can you stare at water falling?
It turns out, a long time.
Niagara, on the Canadian side, is more theme park than town - about a hundred hotels, two casinos, three ghost-trains, two wax museums, a Guiness Book of Records museum and a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, a Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.
There are very few places to escape music piped through from somewhere. As we walked from the main tourist street past a Starbucks playing Beatles songs towards the Hard Rock playing Led Zepplin, there is a moment where the two compete for your attention and if you stand very still your ears will melt from confusion.
Even the parks have music piped into them. Really. Escaping the music we finally discovered what it was covering up. The sound of the falls is remarkable. Megalitres of water dropping onto rocks and ice hundreds of metres below makes quite a noise. This noise just doesn't stop because, of course, the falls don't stop.
They don't. That's the most amazing thing about the falls. They just don't stop. They keep going and going and going and it's difficult to fathom (water pun) where it keeps coming from.
Maybe because I come from drought country, seeing that much water pouring out of anywhere just makes me think "Wasters, you terrible Wasters!" At home I'm showering with buckets and here they just pour their water off cliffs for the amusement of some tourists.
But it's entirely natural and it's massive and it really is amazing to watch.
The only really touristy thing we did while there was the "Behind the Falls" tour, which isn't a tour as much as it is a corridor with a fork in it. The prongs of the fork head down to these two viewing platforms where we got to see the Rainbow Falls (they're the big ones in Superman 2) from a ground view. One prong led to a beautiful view of the falls and the other is full of the ice that forms behind the falls during winter and then takes months to melt.
Just as our time to leave approached we were sick of everything in Niagara Falls and longed for the comfort of New York City. So we made our way to Buffalo airport to fly to Chicago because that's what our tickets said.
I lost $50 (Canadian) at the poker table.