This semester was one of the most tiring periods of my entire academic education. Every single weekend and holidays were like precious diamonds for me. Luckily it passed away like the wind and when winter break was finally upon us, I have decided to visit my brother in Ohio and relax. Of course, it wasn’t just slacking off all day long and playing Skyrim(because that’s what Ece from two years ago would do), I also showed the decency to make small trips to nearby cities. I’ve been to Washington and my favorite city of all time, New York! My final stop of my not-so-productive winter break was Buffalo, NY, with the intentions of seeing Niagara Falls. It kind of falls into the category of `Stupid things to do in the middle of winter` because it gets incredibly cold and windy in Niagara Falls.

One of my first long distance train journeys was this one. It was only for three hours, but still, it included trains for a fair amount of time. Getting to the station was the stressful part because my know-it-all brother thought  he didn’t need any navigation. We ended up in a godforsaken(and wrong, I might add) train station and figured out which train station to go to 10 minutes before the departure. Luckily, I made it to the right station and got to the train. yes, stress had ended but something was wrong. As the sun shined upon my face, I suddenly got the urge to take a photo of the coach I was in along with the outside, and realized my camera lens wasn’t working. The pictures were blurry, shutter wasn’t working and I almost started crying because all my plans were on hold.

Above picture is the small summary of the pain I was in. Luckily for me, I texted my dear friend Hande immediately, and she told me we can go around the town to search for a cheap and compatible lens for me Nikon. As I got off the train, I started walking towards the voice that was calling me. It was coming from a pepper red Audi. Hande and his boyfriend Enver were there to welcome me to Buffalo. They were kind enough to search for a lens with me for my camera after a really nice breakfast that included bacon, eggs, pancakes and unlimited coffee!! We basically tried every single camera store—both local stores and Best Buy to find 18-55 mm lens(because lets face it I have no money). Our last line of defense was the successful one and I got my lens back after driving at least 25 miles around town.  This small adventure took us more than 2 hours, we then decided it was time to go home to relax and then head out for the Niagara Falls.

We took a “lazy break” for about an hour, and this also gave me time to practice my blackjack skills, because we were obviously going to gamble after the falls. Our companions, tea, Oreo and internet didn’t let us go for a while, but then we knew we had to leave soon if we wanted to see the Niagara falls before dusk. So we grabbed our stuff and drove to Niagara Falls with the fire-red Audi! After thirty minutes or so, we saw the Canadian side of the falls with the fancy towers and casinos. We parked the car and started walking and MAN!!! IT WAS COLD AS HELL.

Seriously. If there is a hell, it’s not fiery and hot. It’s FIFTEEN DEGREES BELOW ABSOLUTE ZERO(for those of you lacking-sarcasm-detectors, this is a futurama reference.) and it definitely is Niagara Falls because all the mist coming from the falls turns into small pieces of ice that sprays your skin like small bullets and if you’re not wearing any gloves like I didn’t(I admit this was a stupid thing to do), your hands are going to be the ones that suffer. And this becomes a terrible burden because it feels like small needles are piercing your skin as you’re trying to take some good pictures and have fun with your friends. Try to take a little break. Either put your hands in your pockets or try to warm up in the gift shop.
So remember. If there is a hell, it’s going to be really cold and it’s going to be Niagara Falls. But hell is not always bad! Think of all the awesome things you’ve done to get there… Okay, this was a terrible metaphor so let’s drop all this and let me tell you why Niagara Falls is awesome in Winter:

Because it’s as beautiful and white as heaven could be. All that ice, snow and water just turns this place into somewhere magical because it’s nothing but white there. There are several places you can see the falls and one of them is an observation deck just in the imaginary border between Canada and  United States. The above picture was taken in that observation deck. There is another place I completely fell in love with. It’s the rightmost end of the falls if you look really closely. Yes, as you can imagine, it takes a really long time to get there and road to that place is incredibly painful but beautiful as always. It took me around thirty minutes to walk that half a mile but it was definitely rewarding. This is how it looked like while walking:

As you can see, it’s all ice. Even the grass was covered with a really thick layer of ice because of all the mist coming from the falls. Trying to walk to the end of that road where the people are was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Seriously. I am a terrible ice skater by nature and walking on ice is even worse. Especially if you have a really large backpack and a huge camera with you. But in the end, it was all rewarding and the scene we came up with was this:

Luckily for us, Hande’s boyfriend came to save the day with his fire-red car and picked us up from the beautiful hell that is Niagara Falls. Later in the day we went to the Seneca Casino and guess what? There are shitloads of people in there. I felt so sad because one of the greatest wonders of the world only had 50 people around it because it was really cold but the casino just a couple of hundred meters away from it had all the people inside. Gambling is seriously a problem in everywhere. and believe me when I say this, because I’ve already seen Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Enough of the sadness. We should be enjoying the beauty nature has to offer to us! I, personally, consider myself lucky to have seen this wonder and would definitely recommend you to see it on winter when there aren’t many people around to ruin the joy of seeing the falls and when everything is white and gives you the illusion of purity. Maybe next time, I’ll go to Niagara Falls on summer and take the exact same pictures!

And also, I’d like to thank Hande and her boyfriend Enver for enduring me the whole time I spent there and giving me the quick tour. Your hospitality is very much appreciated! I hope one day I could return the favor!