Saint John is the most populous city in the province of New Brunswick and it is also the place where my father spent his last years as a teenager in the Maritimes before coming to Ontario. When we arrived to this pretty little city, we had the unique opportunity to observe the Reversing Falls for a brief moment. To the untrained eye, it sure doesn’t look like much compared to Niagara Falls or Iguaçú. I suppose the gigantic pulp and paper mill sitting straight across from where I was standing, getting in the way of any natural beauty didn’t do much for me. There is also an unusual – to the untrained nose, of course - urine-like stench that spews out through its smoke stacks. The magic is all in the tide – or as they call it in some places, “the tuh-ide.”
The tide you say? Yes, my trout! The Bay of Fundy is not only known as one of the most fun bays in Canada, but for its amazing tidal changes between the highs and lows. The difference is record breaking, but it seems no one is keeping score on this one. It’s nature’s most impressive rollercoaster ride (check out the video up above). Apparently, should you venture along the coastline during the low tide, once the shift to high tide comes into high gear, not even Poseidon himself would stand a chance at outrunning the awesome forces of nature. Then again, why would the Greek God of the Seas be out for a stroll on land? Maybe he thought he had become a merman. Perhaps the only one able to accomplish such as feat is the one and only Chuck Norris. Did you know that he is so tough, he uses Tabasco sauce for eye drops? – this is based on fact, not fiction, ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any of this up. He could roundhouse kick the ocean back to low tide.
Coming back to the tide, the changes that occur in the ocean play a role on the Saint John River as well. The rapids flow one way during the low tide and then the other way during high tide, hence its name, the Reversing Falls. Another interesting fact for the Myth Busters! You can only truly take in the magnitude of this magical circle of life that moves us all by spending a full day in the city. Otherwise, you just think that it’s a curious name from the local language. It is pretty fantastic and is one of the more visited sites in the city. My father used to walk through that part of town in 10 feet of snow, barefoot and with a crispy 50 below temperature on a daily basis to get from home to school and back. People were so much tougher back then… and so was the weather!
Saint John is also home to one of our national treasures: the Moosehead brewery. Access to high quality, premium beer, is one of the pillars Canada was founded on. We are extremely tolerant and accepting here, but do not knock our holy water. If you do walk down that dark road while on Canadian soil, you’ll soon discover we are not as peaceful and polite as you would think. The brewery is only a stone throw away from the river and the pulp and paper mill. Maybe the mix of the two give that strange brew a unique refreshing taste. We should ask the Moose himself. Another local attraction in the old hood adding to our national pride is the Carleton Martello Tower. This is was a strategic defensive fortification used in the war of 1812 to keep the Americans at bay. Thank you Martello for your great towers!
|Mom posing with the founder of Moosehead|
New Brunswick is by far one of my favourite provinces in Canada – shame it is so far away from where I live – and the people are extremely friendly. It really adds to the experience. I made my way out of Saint John the following morning, aboard a now defunct ferry service that connected this part of the world to the southern tip of Nova Scotia. Now, if you need to make that trip across, the only option is by land (which makes for a really lengthy road trip) or hopping aboard the metal condor (internal air travel is always quite pricey). I was excited to finally set foot in a matter of hours on the newer Scotland, the province that welcomed my father and his band of merry Bickfords from the United Kingdom. To Digby and beyond!