Our trip to St. John, NB was an uneventful 125 mile drive. Our border crossing went without a hitch and we are now in Canada for two to three months. We are staying at Rockwood Park Campground which is part of a large city park complex. We have full hookups with 30 amps, a clear shot to the satellite and good cell coverage. St. Johns is the largest city in New Brunswick but still isn’t very large with a 2006 population of a little over 68,000. It is also the oldest city in New Brunswick and the street design reflects that. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to their one-way streets but I’m sure there is a reason, at least I hope so!!
After getting camp set up, we went into the center of town to get some US dollars changed to Canadian dollars – almost one-to-one. I am having trouble getting used to no one-dollar bills, just a one-dollar “loonie” and a two-dollar “toonie” to supplement the normal coin denominations
we use. Their paper money
is the same denominations as ours, except much more colorful. Just down the street from the bank was the City Market. This market has been in operation since 1876 and covers the width of a city block. The ceiling rafters resemble an inverted ship’s hull. Inside the market there is local produce, fresh seafood, old-fashioned butchers, delightful bakeries and interesting souvenirs and crafts. We looked but didn't purchase anything.
Wednesday we got up bright and early to get to the Reversing Falls
. At high tide, the tide overtakes the output of the St. John River and flows upriver. At low tide, the river flows as usual down river. This creates a set of rapids at one point in the river that reverse direction every time the tide changes. We got there and the fog was so thick you could barely see the river much less any rapids.
So we went to the Carlton Martello Tower
to try to get a view of the city from it. No such luck, the fog was worse here so we went back to the campground to wait on the fog to clear.
We went back to the falls about 11:00 a.m. and we had a clear view but the tide was wrong and there was no current going either direction - the situation called "slack tide." Nothing worth taking a picture there so we went on to the tower again - still socked in by fog (see my picture). Thwarted by both of those we went on downtown to see some of the historic sites, including St. John's Stone Church
, Barbour's General Store and the Loyalist House.
Barbour's General Store was originally located in Sheffield, New Brunswick, 60 miles up the St. John River, Barbour's General Store was brought to Saint John in 1967 to mark both the centennial year of Canada and the G.E. Barbour Company. Set up as an authentic 19th century country store, the museum boasts over 2000 artifacts including china, cooking utensils, farm tools and an interesting pharmacy. It is also staffed by costumed interpreters.
The Loyalist House was built in 1810 and this Georgian-style house is the oldest building in the City of Saint John. Built by a wealthy Loyalist from New York, David Daniel Merrit, six generations of Merrit’s went on to call this Union Street dwelling “home”. Loyalist House contains many impressive features such as eight fireplaces, authentic Georgian antique furnishings and a graceful curving staircase.
Our last stop was the park where the Three Sister's Lamp or The Trinity Lamp is located. This set of lamps has been lighting the way for mariners since 1848. It was placed in direct line with the steeple of Trinity Church so that harbour pilots and sea captains were able to navigate their way safely into the harbour at night. If they could see all three lights, they were coming in at the correct angle, if not they would run aground.
Tomorrow we will take a short drive to St. Martins for a couple of nights.