Niagara Falls helicopter ride
I am not much into overcrowded touristy places but there are some I just need to check off from my bucket list. I believe Niagara Falls were always one of them. People go there because there is something magical about the falls, no doubt about it.
When I planned to visit Canada for the first time, a few days after TBEX in Toronto meant Niagara Falls were a must. Not just going to the famous Canadian horseshoe, but in addition to it I was always dreaming of the noisy helicopter ride over it. Sun shining, a hot pilot smiling next to me and turning left and right in the air with the impressive energetic river below us.
Yes, that was exactly the dream I had about my Niagara Falls visit. And you know me, I’d do almost anything to fulfil my dreams and thus made the Niagara helicopter my priority and number 1 to-do thing when planning the falls visit.
And here I was, spending 2 days at Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. Sunday was pretty hot and I even complained about the weather being too warm and sweating. But then at night I checked the weather forecast and cursed myself for wishing for colder weather earlier.
”Be careful with what you hope for, it might come true.” was going all around my mind.
No! I was thinking to myself and hoping to wake up in the morning and see the forecast was wrong. But opening the window curtains at 9am on Monday, I could just shake my head for denial. Why didn’t I do the helicopter ride yesterday?!
Well, I could only pray for no low clouds or a thunderstorm to make it even worse. I packed my bag, checked out of the hotel and with a hat, a waterproof jacket and a cup of hot green tea in my hand started walking down to the Queen Victoria Park. Waiting there for the WEGO bus observing the US Niagara Falls with a lot more water running through than the previous day, I forgot about the rain drops on my cheeks.
I didn’t care about anything at that moment but getting to Niagara Helicopters and hopping on being able make one of my biggest dreams to come true.
The bus finally took me to the Whirlpool Aero Car, the closest stop on the Green Line. It started pouring down even more when I got off the bus but I was decided to at least give it a try and make sure what was going on with the helicopters.
I walked along the main road with completely wet socks and my heavy bag trying to cover the camera bag with my hands. Different swear words were on my mind at that moment and I just refused to believe my bad luck was so bad.
”Green light, come on” I said to myself a bit angry when waiting to cross to Victoria Avenue. And then I heard the familiar helicopter noise just above my head. I looked up, wiped the rain drops from around my eyes and smiled. Yes!
I ran into the Niagara Helicopters building smiling like a kid.
”Hey, I’m Alex, from press. Please tell me you are still flying today.” I asked the blonde ticket office lady.
”Sure we are” and just like that she saved my life with a smile.
I was standing there with the last raindrops dropping off my hair and looking at a colorful helicopter through the wet window. It was just landing, surrounded by the heavy rain.
I was ready to embark on my third helicopter ride in the past 10 months after Las Vegas helicopter ride and one in Slovakia. My first one in the rain.
To be honest the rain still bothered me as I knew I was not going to get the best shots. Nothing like what they promote on the photos with sun shining and rainbow over the falls; far away from what I imagined when thinking of finally spotting the Niagara Falls from the above.
But no matter what, rain cannot stop me, right?
ready to board Niagara Falls helicopter
I was grouped with 3 older Chinese guys and was more than happy when I was showed the front seat. And a pretty handsome pilot next to me? You bet! At least something came true
with the cute pilot
I spent the next few minutes filming with my Drift HD Ghost camera in my left hand and taking photos with DSLR in my right hand, sometimes flipping the screen over to shoot me with the pilot who kept smiling and showing a thumb up. Sweet!
The falls were exactly what I always imagined them to be. So close yet so far, with unbelievable amount of water running and a huge steam cloud above them. Just the sun was missing.
However, rain and cold weather added to its dramatic feeling and I found myself thinking … I want to be so energetic every day and no matter what, let all the bad days just make me stronger. Stronger and bigger like the falls were after each bad day with lots of rain. Let me breathe in the energy and pass it on the others.
When on board Niagara Falls helicopter we saw:
The River & Gorge
Queen Victoria Park
The American Falls
The Canadian Horseshoe Falls
on the way
spotted Niagara River and the Gorge for the first time from the helicopter
Niagara river and Gorge from closer
Niagara Falls in the rain
on the horizon
The American Falls on the left and the Canadian Horseshoe further
the Canadian Horseshoe with steam above it
stunning Falls from the helicopter
The Canadian Horseshoe
the Niagara river from behind the Canadian Horseshoe
the Niagara river
the last minute before landing
focusing before landing
almost back to the airport
Check out my video I took with Drift HD Ghost camera:
Many thanks to Niagara Helicopters and Niagara Falls Tourism for organizing my Niagara Falls helicopter ride as part of Adventure and Spa project. I truly enjoyed it despite of bad weather.
***It took me 5 hours to write the post.