Several years ago, I flew from the west coast of Canada all the way to the east coast to visit my friend Di, who lives in New Brunswick. It was a fun-filled couple of weeks, catching up on the news in person for a change and doing a bit of touring around this beautiful province. Although Canada is officially a bilingual country, most of the provinces are officially English with the exception of Quebec, which is officially French. However, New Brunswick is the only province that is officially bilingual.
My friends live just outside of the capital city of Fredericton right on the St. John River (above). After a nice relaxing day or so relaxing on their sandy beach, swimming, and boating, we decided to head into the city to see the sights. The downtown area is a mix of old and new and I found it interesting to see the legislative and justice buildings, the university (where I did a bit of geneological research), along with ancient soldiers barracks, the guard house, and the militia arms store. We also watched the changing of the guard outside of the City Hall.
Di and I took a day trip south to Saint Andrews, which is surrounded by Passamaquoddy Bay. After strolling the main street and browsing through the city's quaint boutiques, we took in their famous aquarium. Then we went over to Minister's Island , which is also on the Passamaquoddy Bay. In order to get there, we had to wait for low tide and then followed a lead car across the ocean floor to get to the island. One of the many stories about this island is that in 1890, the visionary railway builder Sir William Van Horne built a summer get-away here. It was extremely interesting looking around and one of the places I found the most fascinating was the circular bathhouse made out of quarried beach stone where everyone would change into their swimming attire before climbing down the steps carved out of the rocks. I climbed down and took this photo of the beach the family and their visitors used over a century ago. Sir William also used this as his painting studio. The house was phenomenal and it was obvious that Van Horne had buckets of money from his years in the railway industry. While we were there, we had to stay with the tour guide. No one was allowed to wander off on their own to explore anyplace other than where the guide took us. To read more about this place, just click on the link above. It's fascinating reading!
Another fascinating place that I toured with my friend was Kings Landing, just a 10-minute drive from their home. It's a world class living history museum that brings to life the story of early pioneers to the St. John River Valley. We spent a whole day here including lunch at "The King's Head," an old-style English pub. The museum consists of over 70 historic buildings (either relocated or restored), more than 100 costumed "residents," and was the first recipient of Canada's "Top International Attraction Award." Places of interest to me were the Agricultural Hall, several farms, the Printing Office, the CB Ross Sash & Door Factory, the Gorman Carpenter Shop, the sawmill and gristmill, St. Mark's and Riverside Presbyterian Churches, the Ingraham Barn Theatre, Grant Store, the parish school, the Prince William Ice Cream Parlour, and the Hoyt House Craft Manufactory. While we were at the store, there was a reenactment going on with "residents" arguing over some "current" political situation. It was quite amusing as they tried to get "non-residents" involved in the heated discussion. While looking through the photos I took with my old Ricoh camera, I noticed that I had an "eye" for photography even then. However, I had to scan the photos so they're not the best and I hope you can appreciate them.
Some of the historic buildings at Kings Landing.
Looking over the St. John River
St. Mark's Church
and the altar inside.
and looking through the trees, you can see this ship, the Brunswick Lion.
We visited one of the national parks in the region, enjoying nature and the views out over the Atlantic Ocean. Then we spent some time on the beach (a day that was wicked hot!), wading in the salt water looking for ocean creatures. I finally had to tell my friend that I'd meet her back at the bath houses where I found some shade!
On the way back to Fredericton, we followed the Miramichi and stopped for lunch at a wonderful place where I got some shots of the river. This place was way out in the "boonies" and we were lucky to stumble upon it as we were starving after driving for hours through the country. I'll leave you with these as I'm sure you've had enough of this virtual trip to New Brunswick.
If you ever get the chance, be sure to tour New Brunswick. It will be worth it in any season - well, maybe not winter!
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