Saint John

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Oct 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
Century Farms Campground

Flag of Canada  , New Brunswick,
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I was up bright and early as wanted to get to the Reversing Rapids at high tide to see the water flow backwards.  This phenomenon caused by the tremendous tide in the Bay of Fundy - the highest tides in the world.  The bay's tidal action is affected by the funnel shape of the bay and by the moon's phases.

At low tide, the St. John River, empties into the bay through a narrow rocky gorge.  The rising tide slows the river current to a stop and for 20 minutes a rest period , low slack tide, allows boats to navigate the Falls.  Once the tide is higher than the river, the reversal of the current occurs and continues until high tide.  The water rises up to 14 1/2 feet above sea level in the gorge.

It was a bit foggy but I could definitely see the water flowing backwards!

Next I drove downtown and found a parkade under the Market Square Mall.  There are a bunch of pedestrian walkways which connect the mall, city hall, the market, etc.  The mall wasn't quite fully open yet (yes, it was early!) so I wondered around to get my bearings - it's hard to get the layout of the city with all the fog. 

I came across the City Market which has been operating since 1876.  The building has a roof which resembles an inverted ship's keel. Made of wooden trusses, the structure was reportedly built by unemployed ship carpenters.  Also, the floor slopes with the natural grade of the land. Some of the businesses in the market have been operating continuously there for more than 100 years!

I had a brochure for a self guided walking tour so tried to follow that.  Unfortunately, the map didn't show all the street names so I did quite a bit of wandering (code for having no idea where I was or what I was doing!). 

I started downtown and a lot of the building were built immediately after the Great Fire of 1877.  I came across the Loyalist House which was constructed 1811-1817 by a Loyalist from New York.  It is the oldest building in the city, surviving the Great Fire by servants surrounding it with wet towels.  It is now a museum and a good example of the construction style of the early 1800's.

There was a park around the Loyalist Burial Grounds. The earliest gravestone is that of Coonradt Hendricks, dated July 13, 1784.  Having reached a state of disrepair in the late 1990s, the Old Burial Ground was restored by the Irving family in 1995 in memory of the late KC Irving (1899-1992), founder of the Irving empire of companies.   ** you haven't heard the last of the Irving family yet - they own a lot in this province **

I looked everywhere for the oldest gravestone, even had some people helping, but no such luck!  I think the oldest one I found was from 1795.

Headed back towards the mall (where the library is) as needed to find a cottage to stay at for the week of my b-day.  Stopped at an outdoor craft market on the way and met a really nice lady, Tammy, who makes jewellery with sea glass, Serendipity Seaglass. Very generous and it was a pleasure chatting with her. 

Was in the library for a while - the internet was sooo slow.  Stopped for a bit, fish & chips, then back to the library which was closing at 5pm.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to go to the museum.  Que sera. 

Back on the road and drove to St. Martins.  Tomorrow is the sea caves!

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