When you are in Niagara, Ontario, one of Canada’s most-visited regions, the Niagara Falls are an inescapable attraction. From the Canadian side you can see, in one sweeping wide-angle frame, three of the waterfalls that comprise this world-famous waterfall system — the American Falls, the twice-as-large Canadian Horseshoe Falls, and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls.
You can walk beside them, drenched in spray, or view them from the walkway beside the Niagara River as it descends the Niagara Gorge, linking the great Lake Erie with Lake Ontario. You can observe the Falls from a funicular railway. Or walk under and behind them, feeling their thunder behind the rocks. You can view the falls from a cruise – from the Canadian side, the Hornblower Cruise takes you to the plunge pool while the American side has the more famous Maid Of The Mist Cruises. Or you can view the Falls from the Niagara Skywheel, which is great… but still not the best view.
The most glorious view of all is from a few thousand feet up in the air. I was fortunate to experience this view from a chopper. The licensed operator is Niagara Helicopters and they run such a splendid, organised operation it’s hard not to go overboard shopping at the Visitor Centre gift shop out of sheer gratitude. And, because I couldn’t keep my hands to myself when I was up there in the sky, I shot this video with my iPhone as we circled over the Niagara Falls in a Bell 407 helicopter. The ride lasted no more than 12 minutes – liftoff and landing included. But it’s an action-packed nine minutes or so in the air. It was my first time in a chopper, and what a way it was to start!
— Bijoy Venugopal (@bijoyv) August 30, 2014
The rides are smooth. The cabins are pressurised, so I didn’t feel much vertigo at all except once when the pilot banked steeply. Even then, the view is to die for. It must be fascinating to live a pilot’s life, measuring your life by hours logged and looking down upon the beautiful earth.
Niagara Helicopters operates every day and flights take off anywhere from every two minutes to ten minutes depending on the visitors in life. Fair weather is preferable and we were lucky to have impeccable visibility. If visibility drops below 3 miles, the choppers won’t fly. An adult ticket costs Canadian $137 (approx. INR 7450) while kids can fly at Canadian $85 (approx. INR 4622).
More info at the Niagara Helicopters website
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