Sunday, November 30, 2008

Niagara Falls

Went to Niagara Falls last Saturday, arranged by the office. It's about 130 km from Toronto, but on these highways, you can get there easily in about 1.5 hours. Covered Welland Canal ship locks and a winery on the way too. The bus that was organized was one of those big yellow school busses, made famous by American pop culture. Frankly our Leylands are better than these.

The first stop was at the ships locks at Welland Canal. This canal is used to take ships from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and vice versa. Without the lake it would be impossible because of Nigara Falls. The two lakes are at two different levels, with Lake Erie higher in elevation than Lake Ontario, with a height difference of 99.5 metres between them. The locks are used to raise or lower ships going between these lakes. The present canal was built in 1932, which is the 4th in a series of canals built since 1829, and it covers a distaance of 43.5 km. Unfortunately there were no ships passing at the time we were there, so couldn't see the locks in action.

The visitors center is at lock 3, and it is 14.2 m high and 261.8 m long. It uses 93,000,000 litres of water, to lower or raise ships, but only take 8-10 minutes to fill or empty it.

More info here

Pics of Lock #3

This is a pic of a pic, they had at the visitors centre.

The nest stop was at Hildebrand Winery for a tour of the winery and some wine tasting. Since it's already winter, the harvesting was already finished, and the vineyards were bare. The best is a speciality wine called the Ice Wine, which I believe is unique to Canada. Usually the harvesting is finished by November, but for Ice Wine, the grapes are left on the vines into the middle of winter, and harvesting is done around January. This makes the juice in the grapes more concentrated, which gives the wine it’s unique sweet taste. To make sure that the dew doesn’t dilute the juice, the harvesting is done in the middle of the night. The result is a sweet tasting nectar, yummy to the taste buds :) , Which also makes it more expensive than other wines they have.

More info here

Hilldebrand Winery

Vineyard, after harvesting

Hilldebrand Winery

Wall of bottles in the wine cellar

Barrels for ageing wine

After getting our taste buds wet with tasty wine, we headed over to Niagara falls. I'll let the pictures do the talking for that. The falls in itself is awesome, but the whole area is too developed for my taste. I mean it's like the've put a giant water hole in a middle of a big city. Since it is one of their biggest attractions, I guess it's understandable they want to promote tourism and want to develop an industry around it. For me, nature should be in it's natural from. There's nothing better than trekking through a jungle for a few miles to get to a waterfall and a good place relax he he.

the interesting thing to see here is the Tour behind the falls. They have an underground tunnel which goes behind the falls, which is pretty awesome.

Christmas Tree at Eaton Square Mall

Church in Toronto

Full collection of photos on flickr

1 comment:

Angel said...

Coolness! Love the pics... brought back many memories.... and that icy arch... gorgeous!