Wednesday July 18th
Saint John is the largest city in New Brunswick, Canada and is located at the mouth of the Saint John River on the Bay of Fundy.
It was founded by the French in 1604 who fortified it, and later occupied by the British in 1758 who renamed the fortification Fort Frederick.
This was destroyed by American revolutionaries in 1775 and the settlement began to develop in 1783 when the United Empire Loyalists established Parr Town and Carleton around the harbour.
In 1785 the two communities amalgamated as Saint John to become Canada`s first incorporated city.
Another [relatively] early start as I was washed and dressed at around 7.00am as we began the approach into Saint John.
We and our friends had booked another “Highlights & City” tour for which we had to meet at 9.00 am in the Buena Vista Theatre, so being the perfect husband :whistle:, after taking a few photos of the approach from deck 10, I called into Topsiders, soon after they opened at 7.30 am and took breakfast on a tray down to our stateroom to avoid any delays.
We met up with Doug, Michelle & Dani at the theatre from where we were escorted of the ship to board a coach which was parked some distance away. En route we had to pass through a large tented area where a local lady dressed in “period” costume was at hand giving each female passenger a rose wrapped in cellophane, and giving a pin to each gentleman….quite a welcoming gesture I thought. :thumbsup:
Our lady tour guide was dressed in period Loyalist costume which added to the atmosphere as she told us about life for the local folk during that period.
The journey began by a short trip through the town where details of some of the older buildings were given to us.
Our first stop was a 20 minute visit to the City Market which is located in the town itself
and was designed buy a guy who was heavily involved in ship building and many techniques of that trade are in evidence in its construction.
Our guide told us to sample some purple “stuff” from one of the stalls that was a local delicacy, and to report back to her our opinion, without her telling us what in fact it was. :unsure:
The market was crammed full of stalls selling all sorts of produce and some hand made table cloths caught my DW`s eye so we bought one for ourselves and another for her Mum.
Near to this stall was where the purple “stuff” was on offer so naturally I had to give it a try. It was actually like chewing baked lettuce and tasted extremely fishy, and I later found out that it was a special type of seaweed that the locals can`t get enough of. [They are welcome to it in my opinion, and even our guide felt the same! :blech:].
Back on the coach we then drove through the residential area and our guide pointed out several “Widow`s Outlooks” on top of many of the houses.
They were so called because of the seafaring nature of the inhabitants in days gone by and the Outlooks gave a good view of the conditions out at sea.
Our next stop was a short distance away to view the “Reversing Falls”.
This is where the ocean tides of the bay reverse the water flow of the Saint John River for several kilometres. A series of underwater ledges at the narrowest point of this gorge also create a series of rapids. In Saint John the height difference from low to high tide is approximately 8 metres (28 ft) due to the funnelling effect of the Bay of Fundy as it narrows. The Reversing Falls is actually an area of strong rapids, providing one example of the power of these tides; at every high tide, ocean water is pushed through a narrow gorge in the middle of the city and forces the St. John River to reverse its flow for several hours.
It was fascinating to see the many birds “riding the rapids” without an apparent care in the world as they quickly floated with the current and catching the occasional fish.
Photographs don`t really do justice to this phenomenon as they don`t convey the turbulence and speed of the water.
Nearby were a couple of zip wires where the more adventurous were allowed to fly over the adjacent terrain under guidance of the instructors at hand…..not for the faint hearted!
The final stop on the excursion was to spend a short while at the Carleton Martello Tower which we drove to after passing by one of the ever present Mc Donalds, although this one offered McLobster on its menu at certain times of the year! :lol:
The Martello Tower was built by the British between 1812-1815 in defence of Saint John and from where you got a good view of the Disney Magic some distance away.
There`s not a lot to actually do here apart from admiring the views that its elevated position offers although we were given tickets to go inside the tower which has been furnished to give it some authenticity.
A small museum at the entrance to the Tower gives all of the historical information for those with more time on their hands to investigate.
We arrived back at the port at around 12.30 pm, and feeling a bit peckish, decided to walk the short distance into town rather than boarding the ship.
We came across a pub called “Britts”, however the name related to it`s first owner rather than my homeland. Nevertheless the current owners didn`t let this bother them as they served several familiar dishes such as Fish and Chips which Doug, Michelle and Dani couldn`t resist!
My DW and I settled for “Beer battered scallops” [me!] and a Lobster roll [DW !], all of which were delicious.
A short stroll around the immediate area of the town followed, browsing at several stores and a small outdoor market along the way.
One store in particular caught my eye which was a very old general stores building that had been preserved, and entering it was like a step back in time with the shop assistants all wearing period costume.
Shortly after arriving back in our stateroom, there was a knock on the door and a crew member was outside who presented me with a basket of fruit…I never did find out who the donor was, but our friends also received the same present. :thumbsup:
Dinner this evening was again at Lumiere`s and we were pleasantly surprised to find out the Pierre had provided my DW and I with a bottle of wine which naturally we shared with our fellow diners….fortunately Dani and Gabrielle are under age and so couldn`t participate! :nono:
As it was Pirates Night, there was the usual hoopin` and hollerin` during dinner as the servers encouraged the diners into some “participation”!
After dinner we headed up to deck 9 for the Pirates Party where again we watched as Captain Mickey arrived to save us, flying in via a high wire before the firework display began.
Tim had come up to join us and he told us that this was the first time that he had watched the show in its entirety.
It was also the first time that he had seem Peter [the Cruise Director] dancing on the stage…a most memorable site it was to boot! :lol:
After chatting to Tim for a while before he said his “Good byes”, Doug went to the buffet to grab a turkey leg, however the “vultures” had already been there and there were none left.
There were loads of nibbled ones on plates though, left by some of the passengers….it seemed like some of the concierge folk from the GF had followed us onto the ship. [The “If it`s free, I gotta have it” brigade!] :frown:
As Tim was obviously not working tonight we instead had a peek inside Rockin Bar D where the adult karaoke was in full swing.
We couldn`t have timed it better because we entered just as Dave [our other dining partner] was on the stage belting out a rendition of a rap song that none of us had heard of! :unsure:
After listening to various cats being skinned alive :lol:, we called it a night and retired to our rooms, content in the knowledge that although it was around midnight, it was actually only around 11.00 pm because tonight we turned back our clocks by one hour, thus giving us an extra hour in bed! :banana:
Another customary towel animal was waiting for us