Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 55 - St. John, New Brunswick

(Tempus Fugit)

Today is the last official full day of our caravan.  Where has all that time gone?

Here we are in St John (Irvingville), New Brunswick and we are boarding a bus for a city tour.  What a treat.  The bus’s air conditioning consisted  of slot windows, and the forward motion of the bus to create air circulation.  

Thank goodness it was a beautiful sunny day, with an occasional cloud, as the temperature just nudging the good side of 20c.  The bus was a wee bit ruder than we have grown to appreciate, but was certainly adequate for the task.  In fact, this city tour was one of the best we have had on the entire caravan.  The driver/guide evidently had great pride in his city and environs, was knowledgeable, compliant to our needs, and as someone noted, should have been a radio broadcaster.

Rockwood Park (also our campground) was the beginning of our tour.  The park is huge by urban standards (2200 acres).  There are various areas and activities available for all, that run the gamut from swimming to nature trails.  Interspersed in the well treed park, are various monuments.  One that struck us particularly was a stone sculpture of a maple leaf comprised of stone from each province and territory in Canada

St. John is not a big city, but it certainly has a history and vibrancy that is second to none. There are various squares and parks throughout the city.  One in particular stands out, and that would be King’s Square.  It is in the heart of the city, has a bandstand, huge towering trees, and a large number of statues commemorating past contributors to the city’s rich past.  The park’s pathways are laid out in the pattern of the Union Jack, a note to a strong part of the city’s history.

Also in the core of the city, is the City Market, which houses Canada’s longest running indoor market.  Everything from soup to nuts is available there, and a few things besides.

The Trinity Anglican Church occupies a prominent ‘high ground’ quite near the harbour.

It also has a prominent place in the history of navigation into the city harbour. Seafaring captains used the codfish on the church’s spire and three red lights, further down the hill, as range lights, to safely work their way into the harbour.

Any visit to St. John must include a stop at the reversing falls, where tide, geography, and the St. John River conspire to build tumultuous rapids, during each tide cycle. It was amazing to see the volume of water, crashing through a narrow gap.

Near the end of our tour, we visited a Martello tour, build by the British in the early 1800’s.  It was built to defend the city from American invasion.  Near it the British also constructed a false graveyard (on the perceived weak side), because it would prevent invading troops from crossing ‘sacred’ grounds.

To wrap up the day, and our great caravan experience, we had a farewell dinner.  Everyone had a chance to speak, and give their comments about our shared adventures.  There were some pearls about our adventures. Many pictures of friends, new and old were taken.

Submitted by:  Jim and Mercedes Wilson
Adventure #19

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