Archivo de la etiqueta: Rest of the World

Visit to the Niagara Falls (Canadian Side).

Located in the South East of Canada, the Niagara River drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. At a certain point of the watercourse, which also is the border between United States and Canada, are located the most famous waterfalls in the world.

With a vertical drop of around 62 meters and a flow rate of approximately 2800 m3 per second, Niagara Falls have the highest flow rate in North America. On the American side there are 2 waterfalls: the so-called American Falls and next to them, a smaller one, the Bridal Veil Falls.

In my opinion, the best side to visit Niagara Falls is the Canadian coast. That’s so because there you can enjoy a panoramical view of the American falls, and you will also be almost inside the most impressive fall: The Horseshoes Falls, named so due to their semicircular shape. Just be careful, you don’t want to fall into the water!

An interesting thing about Niagara Falls is the fact that they are right in the middle of the city. You can walk down the avenue and enjoy the view of this natural wonder. You can almost touch them! This is amazing to me because in Argentina, to visit the Iguazú Falls, you need to drive about half an hour from the city into the jungle. Anyway, they are 2 totally different things, I invite you to visit both of them!

The city next to the Niagara Falls is commonly known as «The Canadian Las Vegas». I really didn’t like it too much, because it looks very artificially touristy. So many illuminated signs really clash with the natural beaty of the river and the falls. But of course, again, this is my own opinion.

You can enjoy the falls for free, just from the street. But of course, there are many paid options to live different experiences with them as a center. You can, for example, visit the back fo the falls and see the city through them. Or the option I chose: A boat ride, which is highly recommended because offers you the possibility of being really close to the flow of water.

The ticket price includes the nylon raincoat, which works properly on those bodyparts it covers. But you should know that your pants, and especially your sneakers will end up totally wet. Be very careful with your electronics too! Even when the boat seems to be far from the fall, the force of the falling water and the wind can suddenly wet your camera and damage it.

An interesting detail about the falls and the erosion generated by millions of liters of water every year: They seem to be «traveling» along the river. The average erosion rate during the last decade was about 0.91 meters per year, but due to technical improvements today this rate is at the 30 cm level. Around 10900 years ago, Niagara Falls were actually located near the current town of Queenston, around 10 km from the current position.

Niagara Falls are not only a tourist attraction and a natural beauty, but also an important power source for both countries, United States and Canada. That’s why they join forces to preserve the watercourse, and specially the bottom of the river was the subject of several studies. The most important of them took place in year 1969, when the flow was diverted during several months to avoid the American Falls, and scientists could work there.

A good idea, of course, would be to visit both sides of the Falls. You will need then your passport in order to cross the Rainbow Bridge that links Canada with the United States. You can even walk across it. But no matter how you do it, you will have to go through customs and immigration controls. Just be careful about time as there may be delays at the border. That’s why we chose to have a burger on the Canadian side after the boat ride…

Al least for Americans, Niagara Falls is a very traditional honeymoon destination. But of course, you don’t need to be about to get married to visit and enjoy them!

Berlin Free Walking Tour

When you visit a city for the first time the best way to get to know it, is to walk it. But if you do it alone, you could miss details about the culture, life style, and historical facts that have happened there. Therefore, in my opinion, a free walking tour is an excellent option: you will walk, you will get some interesting data about the most important places of the city, and you will pay just a tip according to what you think of the tour.

In Berlin there are many options and we finally choose the free walking tour offered by Sandeman. But Berlin is big city, with a long and very important history, so it is plenty of alternatives and each one is different to the other, so you should check first and select the one which better fits your interests.

The Branderburger Tor is the symbol of the city.

The meeting point for Sandeman’s tours is the famous Brandenburg Gate, maybe the most iconic and known symbol of the city. It is located at the end of the Unter den Linden Avenue, just in front of the Tiergarten.

The gate was scene of the most important historical facts that happened in the country, and in the entire world. It witnessed the French invasion led by Napoleon, who wanted to take the entire gate to Paris. As he couldn’t, he finally took the quadriga only, which later was recovered by the Germans . In front of the gate the Nazi armies also paraded, and during the Cold War, it became the border between both Germanies, and part of the dark Berlin Wall.

Hundreds of stone blocks form the Memorial to the Jews Murdered in Europe

Just a few blocks away from the gate, the Memorial to the Jews Murdered in Europe is the most solemn point of the tour. We will speak about this memorial later in the blog. All I will say now, is that this is a must-see in the city. Not far way, you will also find the placer where the Führer bunker was located. Now it is just a parking lot, so if you are not accompanied by a guide, you will simply miss it. There’s an important decistion behind it: the government does not want it to become a pilgrimage site for neo-nazis.

The Ministry of Finance is one of the few buildings where you can see the Nazi arquitecture.

One of the peculiarities of Berlin is that, despite having been the center of Nazi power (or rather because of), there is very little construction that refers to National Socialist architecture. The reason: after the World War II the city was completely in ruins, and only a couple of buildings were left standing. The Ministry of Finance is one of them.

En las ruinas del cuartel general de la Gestapo, Pablo nos cuenta la historia del protagonista de la célebre canción que habla sobre la libertad. No voy a decirte cuál es, porque perdería el efecto, pero lo que sí te digo es que si no lo sabías o no te habías percatado antes, escuchar la letra frente a los restos del temible Muro es impactante.

Next to the Wall, the old Gestapo's Headquarter.

Other historically important places to visit in Berlin are the Checkpoint Charlie (border crossing during the Cold War) and the old Gestapo headquarters with the display called «Topography of Terror». You can also visit Trabi World if you want to know more about this nice communist car which was delivered to the people by the East Germany government after long years on a waiting list.

The communist car

The last point of our free walking tour in Berlin was the Humbold University, an important historical site, again. On the square in front of this building, on May 10, 1933, the famous Bebelplatz book burning took place. Thousands of books were burned by students sympathetic to Nazism.

The Humbold University, where the book burning took place in 1933.

From here on, each one is released to continue touring the city on their onw. But now, with a better idea of what happened in each place, so you can also better choose what to do during the rest of your stay. Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy this fabulous city that is Berlin.