Nature · Travel

Travel Diary: Niagara Falls

This month one more item got checked off my bucket list. It was Niagara Falls and it certainly has added a lot more than a check to my experiences. People say that Canada has a better view of the grandeur of the Falls. But in my opinion American side was no less. The three falls, Horseshoe, American and Bridal Veil constitutes Niagara falls. American and Bridal veil are on American side so it naturally gives a better view from Canadian side. Horseshoe Falls form a natural boundary between United States and Canada. In the snap below, the first fall on the left side is American Falls. A small island known as Luna Island separates Bridal Veil from the American Falls. At the far right end after Goat Island and below the massive clouds of mist, there is the largest fall of Niagara, the Horseshoe Falls.

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Niagara Falls
View from Niagara State Observation Tower

Main tourist attractions of Niagara are Maid of the Mist boat tour and Cave of the Winds. Maid of the mist boat tour starts from a rather calm point near the Rainbow bridge, and takes you all the way to breathtaking Horseshoe Falls through American and Bridal Veil Falls.

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American & Bridal Veil Falls
View from Maid of the Mist boat

As the boat passes Bridal Veil Falls, you will see a colony of gulls near Horseshoe Falls and you will envy them to be that near to this natural wonder. When the boat approaches the Horseshoe Falls, you will be soaking up in the mist and will barely manage to keep open your eyes.

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Horseshoe Falls
View from Maid of the Mist boat

Just when you will think the view can not get better, it will leave you speechless. The water falling down with a tremendous force, the mist rising from the river and you will not be able to have enough of this over-whelming moment.

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Horseshoe Falls

This video is an attempt to seal that moment so I can relive them whenever I want to.

This was not it. Cave of the Winds is a man-made stairs to the Bridal Veil Falls. An elevator will ride you down to the base of the fall and you can see the fall infront of you falling with such of force that it seems to take you down with it. Now you have the option to just enjoy the view or get soaked up in the misty water. Well it took me two attempts to gather my courage to go to the fall. Don’t judge me if I didn’t want to meddle with that force and it was freezing cold there. But one does not go to Niagara often so I went up anyway. And trust me it was every bit of it was worth.

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Cave of the Winds

I will probably visit Niagara from Canada side once just to know why people say what they say.

Travel · Uncategorized

Travel Diary: Washington

Washington, D.C : A city that has been keeping a humongous amount of heritage in a mere area of 68 square mile. One can cover the entire city in a day on foot tirelessly. Of course it excludes the time one spends with architecture, museums and art galleries, and trust me on this when I say that the excluded time is atleast 2 complete days. Six of the top 10 buildings in the American Institute of Architects’ 2007 ranking of “America’s Favorite Architecture” are in the District of Columbia: the White House; the Washington National Cathedral; the Thomas Jefferson Memorial; the United States Capitol; the Lincoln Memorial; and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. These structures are combination of the neoclassical, Georgian, gothic, and modern architectural styles.

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United State Capitol

The most visited museum in Washington is  National Museum of Natural History which covers sea habitants, plants, mammals and geographical evolution. Beautiful seashells, corals, T-rex skeletons, gems, rocks and wildlife portraits are on display.

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Ringed and Purple seashells
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RedFox
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Black Swan

Washington is a treat for art connoisseurs. The National Gallery of Art and its attacked sculpture garden has works of American and European art. The gallery has two building connected by an underground passage. The West Building has an exquisite collection of European paintings and sculptures and American artists. Highlights of the collection include many paintings by Claude Monet, Vincent van GoghLeonardo da VinciJan Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn.  The East Building focuses on modern and contemporary art, with a collection including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. One can spend an entire day in this gallery and it will even not be sufficient to just go through the gallery.

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Ceres (Summer)
oil on canvas by Antoine Watteau
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Venus of the Doves
Marble Sculpture by Etienne-Maurice Falconet

 

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A painter working on imitation A Pastoral Visit by Richard Norris Brooke
oil on canvas

The gallery has been sub-sectioned as per the periods as well as genres which makes the visit easily accessible even for an amateur. Although the museums have multiple scheduled guided tours, the audio-aided guide would have been a good step for more fruitful visit.