As you will have read around here, I was born in Canada, and despite having gone to Portugal as a baby, I came back when I was 12 years old.
It was the first time that I realized a dream, to ride a plane, to go to the country I heard so much about, different languages, different flavors, different smells.
That's what struck me when I went to Niagara Falls almost 20 years ago: the smell, not of the falls but of the streets. I was anxious to go back and see if it still held up.
Niagara Falls is on the border with the United States, it is a city that lives mainly on tourism and that has Niagara Falls. Niagara means thunderstorm of water. Despite not being very tall, Niagara Falls is extensive and is the largest waterfall in North America.
When we arrived, we immediately felt that we were in another Canada, that of tourism: where friendliness is shown in exchange for money. We parked our mammoth at 1 or 2 km and went on foot, the streets that took us started to get more and more crowded.
With us, Duna, who glided between people, and gave them a smile when she felt they were trustworthy. Along the way: Hard Rock Caffe, Planet Hollywood, Starbucks, Mac Donald's, Dairy Queen, souvenir shops,... and we're here. Us and a few hundred people. We approach and glimpse awestruck. until we were disturbed by the barking of the Dune, who was terribly frightened by the sound of the falls.
In the surf, we see 2 boats that take visitors, one of the boats brings people from the United States, the other from Canada. We only distinguish them by the waterproof covers they wear: red for Canada, blue for the USA.
We walk among the people near the falls, but the Dune doesn't let us go any further: it's hot, lots of people, lots of smells, and the noise of the water. We have to go back and postpone the visit until the next morning.
But first, I have to pass the street whose scent I still retain since the late 1990s. I say to Ivo, please, let's go up here. We take half a dozen steps and I hear him say: what a wonderful smell. Everything held. The colorful street is a kind of popular fair 365 days a year. There is no shortage of restaurants, next door with haunted houses, game rooms, a wax museum, and shops that fill the street with their scent: American cookie. That sweet smell, on that street, stuck with me again.
Who knows, maybe we won't be back there in 20 years and everything remains the same.