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Monday, 20 September 2021

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Address: 6650 Niagara Pkwy.
Date: Dec 2003
Website: www.niagaraparks.com

   Niagara Falls is home to some of the most impressive waterfalls in the world.  The largest waterfall is the Horseshoe Falls.  It is named after the curved shape that was caused by erosion due to the six million cubic feet of water that rush over its edge every minute.  The Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and when it passes over the falls it is a sight to be seen.  We like to visit every chance we get in order to see the power of nature up close.

American, Bridal Veil And Horseshoe Falls.

  The Niagara River divides as it approaches the falls and some of the water goes over the smaller American and Bridal Veil falls (left hand side of picture above) which are located in New York, USA.  The Horseshoe Falls takes on the majority of the water as it plunges over the edge and drops almost 200 feet into the depths below.  It is located almost entirely in Ontario, Canada.

US Edge Of The Horseshoe Falls

  Only a small portion of the falls are considered to be within the United States of America.

Buildings Rise Up Beside Niagara Falls.

    The Canadian side of the falls draws huge amounts of tourists all year long.  There are hotels, casinos and viewing towers like the Skylon that let them stay for a longer look from a higher vantage point.

Incline Railway Niagara Falls.

  There are many ways to get down to the falls for a closer look from the hotels above.  One of the most fun is an incline railway.

The Upper Edge Of Niagara Falls.

    The closest you can get to the falls is at Table Rock.  You can get very close to the water as it rushes over the edge.  Just be prepared to get wet as the mist that comes up as the water crashes down below can make it seem like it is always raining.  

Rainbows Over Nigara Falls.

  On a warm summer day the mist can be refreshing.  On a colder fall day it can make you regret your clothing choices.  On any sunny day, the mist and sun can treat you to a variety of rainbows.

Annie Taylor & Her Barrel.

    Through the years many daredevils have wanted to get an even closer look at the falls.  Annie Taylor (above) was the first person to go over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel.  Annie survived her stunt in 1901.  Since then many others have tried with mixed results.

Rapids At The Top Of The Horseshoe Falls.

   We can't imagine venturing into the rapids of the Niagara River.  

Old Power Plant In Niagara Falls.

    The rapidly flowing water of the Niagara River is diverted to be used for electricity by both the United States and Canada.  Above is an older power station that used to be used for this purpose.  Today over a million people get power by harnessing the force of the water.

Maid Of The Mist.

    While we wouldn't get into the water at the top of the falls, we have ventured into the rapids below.  The Maid Of The Mist boats used to take tourists up as close as they could to the crashing water of the falls.  Today, Hornblower boats have taken over the job.

Niagara Falls From Maid Of The Mist.

   From the boats you can look up at the Horseshoe Falls from a very unique angle.  If you are willing to get completely soaked you can experience the weight of the falls crashing down in front of you.

Journey Behind The Falls.

  If a boat is not your thing, you can also do the Journey Behind The Falls.  Here you can get right down near the bottom of the falls while still staying on dry land.  Well, wet land anyways.   There is also a little hallway with a tiny opening at the end where you are actually behind the falls itself.

The Falls At Night.

    Once the sun goes down, the falls are still entertaining.  In the evenings colourful spotlights bring the falls to life in a whole different way.

Fireworks At Niagara Falls.

       On summer weekends and during special events, fireworks light up the sky over the falls.

Table Rock Frozen In Winter Niagara Falls.

       The falls are still worth seeing in the winter months as the mist rises and freezes wherever it lands.

Niagara Falls In Winter.

      No matter how cold it gets, the falls have never frozen solid.  Even in the coldest winter the water still flows.  There is always something to see at the Horseshoe Falls all year long.  We recommend you visit Niagara Falls at least once in your life.  We try to do it at least once in a year.


Map of Our World
Horseshoe Falls


Post # 303

Friday, 20 August 2021

Clover Hill Park

Primrose The Donkey Clover Hill Park Toronto

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 50 St. Joseph Street,
Date: June 2021

    Primrose the donkey was born prematurely in England in 2012.  She needed to wear casts on her front legs until they grew stronger.  A nice pair of pink casts were made for her.  Now Toronto, Canada has a statue of Primrose in its Clover Hill Park.

Primrose The Donkey With Pink Casts Toronto

   When we saw some photos of the Primrose sculpture, we couldn't resist to go down and say hello for ourselves.

Rabbits And Snails Clover Hill Park

    Primrose is not alone.  There is a group of wooden sculptures sitting on the other side of the park.  There is a small colony of rabbits and a couple of snails.

Wooden Raccoon Clover Hill Park Toronto

  Not that Toronto needs more of them, but there is also a wooden raccoon sculpture.  We were happy to visit all of Primrose's little friends.

Mushroom Seats In Clover Hill Park Toronto

  To add even a little more magic to the park, there is also a cluster of mushroom seats.  You could even perch up on top of one like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland if you wanted.

Primrose Donkey Sculpture Toronto

  The real Primrose is all grown up now and no longer needs her casts.  If you want to see her at her cutest you can visit Clover Hill Park on Bay Street where she will forever remain that little preemie donkey.


Map of Our World
Primrose , Clover Hill Park

Post # 302

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Absolute Condos

Absolute World Condos

Location:
Mississauga, Ontario
Address:  50 Absolute Avenue
Date:  August 2018
Website:  www.50absoluteworld.ca

  As you drive along Highway 403 in Ontario, you can't miss the Absolute World condos twisting up into the sky.  The curvy design stands out and has earned them the nickname of the Marilyn Monroe towers.  There are five towers in Absolute World, but the two that stand out are 50 and 56 storeys tall.
 
Absolute Condos Behind Square One.

   The towers are located just across the road from the popular Square One mall.  The Mississauga skyline is getting more crowded each year but when the towers were completed in 2012 they really stood out.  At the time of writing this they were still the tallest buildings in the city.
 
Absolute Condos Curves.

   When you get right up close to the condos you can really admire the curves.

Absolute World Looking Up.

  By the time you reach the 56th floor, the twist has rotated about 198 degrees.

Buen Amigo At Absolute Condos

  Outside the front entrance are a group of horses made of curved metal.  The sculptures are called Buen Amigo which means good friend.

Buen Amigo in Front of Absolute Condos.

  Hazel Mcallion who turned 100 years old in 2021 was mayor of Mississauga from 1978 to 2014.  She has said she was glad that the artwork in front of the condos included horses as she used to be able to see cows and horses grazing from city hall many years ago.

Contemplating Child

  On the opposite side of Mississauga City Hall sits a large metal sculpture.  This 3,500 pound sculpture is called Contemplating Child and looks like a stick figure child holding its head in its hands.

Contemplating Child And Absolute World.

  Could the child be trying to figure out how the designers and engineers built the Absolute Towers?  In the photo above, the towers can be seen through the sculpture and in the distance.

 
  As the sun starts to set we head on our way.  The Absolute Condos give us something to enjoy and think about as building designs become more and more complex.  Will we be back again to check out the towers and more artwork around Mississauga? Absolutely!


Map of Our World
Absolute Condos
Contemplating Child , Buen Amigo
Post # 301

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Australia Harbour From Airplane.
 
Location: Sydney, Australia
Address:  Bennelong Point
Date:  May 2012
Website:  www.sydneyoperahouse.com

  As our plane made its approach into Sydney airport we caught a glimpse of one of the world's most recognizable buildings.  Sticking out into the harbour is the famous Sydney Opera House.  The opera house has been completed since 1973 and was deemed a UNESCO heritage site in 2007.  While we never did make it inside the building, we had a chance to admire its exterior up close.

Sydney Opera House Australia

  The opera house is designed to look like a group of shells or sails.  It was designed by Jorn Utzon who was the winner of a design competition.  
 
The exterior of the Sydney Opera House Australia

    When we walked up close to the  Opera House we could really appreciate the design and work that was involved in its construction.
 
The exterior of the Sydney Opera House Australia

    You would expect it to be something exceptional since it was only anticipated to take 4 years and 7 million dollars to build but ended up taking 14 years and costing 102 million dollars.

The exterior of the Sydney Opera House Australia

    The building looks different from every angle. 

Sydney Opera House Australia From Across The Harbour

    From across the harbour it appears almost as if the groups of sails can fold down onto each other .

Sydney Opera House Australia At Night

    In the evening, the Opera House is lit to highlight the curves of the sails against the dark Australian night.  We can only imagine what the building looks like inside, but it is definitely worth a visit just to admire its exterior. 


Map of Our World
Sydney Opera House

Post # 300

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Uluru

Uluru Ayers Rock in the Centre of Australia
 
 Location: Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
Address: 3 Yulara Drive
Date: May 2012
Website: parksaustralia.gov.au
 
  Uluru is located right in the red centre of Australia.  The giant sandstone rock is a sacred spot for the aboriginal people of the region.  Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock when it was named after Sir Henry Ayers who was the Chief Secretary of South Australia.  We prefer the original name.  During our Australian trip we spent a couple of days and nights exploring the area around Uluru.

Kata Tjuta Uluru

   We stayed at a place called Emu Walk Apartments.  In the distance we could see Uluru and another important group of rock formations called Kata Tjuta.

Kata Tjuta

  Kata Tjuta is made up of about 36 domed rock formations that jut out of the earth. We took a tour which gave us the opportunity to see some of these formations up close.

One Of Kata Tjuta's Valleys
  
   We walked into one of the valleys that is formed between the domes.  You can see how the sandstone rock is shaped by rainwater running down its walls.  While the mass of rock was impressive we had hoped to see some of the desert's little creatures on our walk.  We would have to wait until we returned to our apartment.
 
Crested Pigeon

  As we entered the property a few crested pigeons ran across the walkway.  These pigeons seemed to prefer running around to get out of our way rather than take flight.

Spider In Uluru Australia

    As we walked through the apartments, a spider was spinning a web right at face level.  We are glad we noticed it in time.  We snapped a photo in case a doctor needed to see it later and carefully passed by making sure we didn't get tangled in the web.  Australia is full of deadly insects and spiders.  We are not the best at identification so we just generally avoid everything that crawls or slithers.  We believe this is an orbweaver spider which, while its bite might be painful, is thankfully not deadly.  If anyone reading this knows otherwise please post in the comments.
 
Caterpillar In Uluru Australia
 
   Outside on the ground we found another fuzzy critter.  Australia is known for having processionary caterpillars that follow each other in long lines across the desert.  This caterpillar was all alone so we don't know if later it would join up with a group for a game of follow the leader.

Uluru Camel Tour Camels Sit On Ground

  The next morning we had our own version of follow the leader.  We had signed up for a sunrise camel tour.  The tour started in the dark so that we could be out on the trail when the sun finally started to rise.

Sunrise In Uluru Australia

   When the sun did rise there was a beautiful orange glow that grew from beyond the horizon.

Wild Camel On Hill Uluru

  We noticed a large animal walking along the top ridge of a hill.  It turned out to be another camel.  This camel wasn't an escapee from a camel tour, it was a feral camel.  Dromedary (single humped) camels were brought to Australia's desert for transportation back in the19th century.  Today, close to a million wild camels roam Australia.

Wild Camel Near Uluru Australia

  We also saw other wild camels walking beside the road when we travelled to Kata Tjuta.

Camel Rides Uluru Australia.

  The camels on our tour we not so wild.  They followed each other slowly and steadily.  Everyone was riding two people per camel. 

Uluru Camel Tours

  Our camel had a bit of an itchy head and took any opportunity to rub against the camel in front of us.

Camel From Uluru Camel Tours

   Our camel was named Chester.  As the guides called him it is pronounced "Chestah!"  It is quite high up sitting on top of a camel. When they sit down they fold their legs underneath them.  This means the riders are tilted way forward as the front legs fold under and then levelled out again as the back legs fold.  The process is the same for when the camel stands up.  Chester did a good job and we remained in our saddles the entire time.

Uluru Sunset

  After an early morning of camel riding, we had plans for a late night too.  We headed to Uluru to watch the sunset.

Sunset BBQ Near Uluru.

  There were some tables set up so we could enjoy a meal and some drinks while the sun went down.  We hate to admit it, but the kangaroo was tasty. After dinner we would look up at the sky and see the stars in the reverse of how we are used to seeing them in the Northern Hemisphere.  

Desert Mouse Near Uluru.

  During dinner we had a few friends scurrying under the table looking for scraps.  Uluru is known for having the cute Spinifex Hopping Mouse.  We are quite sure our visitors were just regular mice.

Uluru From Ayers Rock Airport.

   Our time in Uluru came to an end and we caught one last glimpse of the giant rock formation as our plane started down the runway.  We had seen some creatures big and small and even more reasons why Australia is such an unusual and special place.


Map of Our World
Uluru Camel Tours
Emu Walk Apartments , Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Post # 299