Wednesday, August 14, 2013

East Coast

Trip Date: July 2011

After Dan and Nath's beautiful wedding in Banff, they planned on having a second reception in Moncton, because a lot of Nath's family were unable to make the trip out west.  They were leaving a week or so after the wedding and we were invited to join them.  Christine and I jumped at the chance to celebrate with them for a second time and also to see part of our own country neither of us had been to before.  Nath's family were gracious hosts the entire time and the newly weds made for excellent tour guides...even if we were kind of crashing their honeymoon!  We visited three different provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) while we were there and saw a lot of great sites.  It was a wonderful introduction to Canada's east coast and I would absolutely love to visit again!

We started in Moncton, New Brunswick, where Nath's mom and stepdad live.  This is also where Nath grew up, so she has a lot of friends and family in there as well.  Moncton has gained the nickname "Hub City" because it lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime provinces.  Including its metro area, Moncton has a population of just over 138,000 people.  

We made it to Moncton
The Petitcodiac River, known locally as the Chocolate River.  This river has one of the world's largest tidal bores.
An anchor near the river
Fresh lobster dinner at Nath's place in Moncton
A quick bathroom break in Stewiacke on our way to Halifax
We spent a couple of days in Halifax.  Halifax is the provincial capital of Nova Scotia.  The Halifax area has a population of about 390,000 people, making it the largest population centre in Atlantic Canada.  There's also a lot of history in the city and neat places to visit, so we couldn't wait to get started.

The Halifax harbour
Nath and Chris do what they want!
The four of us went on a tour of the Alexander Keith's Brewery
Inside the brewery
The tasting room
Chris and I standing in the harbour with Geroges Island in the background
The Old Town Clock began keeping time in 1803
Fort George is the fortified summit of Citadel Hill and a National Historic Site of Canada that was built in 1749
The wall around the fort
St. Paul's Church was built in 1749, making it the oldest standing Anglican church in Canada
On the morning of December 6, 1917, SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Narrows, a strait connecting the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin.  A fire was ignited on board the French ship, which ultimately lead to the infamous Halifax explosion, devastating the Richmond District of Halifax.  Approximately 2,000 people were killed and another 9,000 were injured by the blast.  The blast was the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons.  

This is a piece of wooden window frame from another building that was lodged in the wall of St. Paul's Church during the explosion
There are a lot of stories surrounding this window and the ghostly silhouette that appears in it.  Some say the silhouette, which is made of broken glass, was created during the explosion and resembles Rev. Jean Baptiste Moreau who was an assistant in the church between 1750 and 1753.  Others believe that the explosion burnt the silhouette of the young priest onto the glass who happened to be walking by the window on that fateful morning.  It does make for interesting conspiracy theories through, doesn't it?
The Dockyard Clock near the Halifax Harbour
Historic properties at Privateer's Wharf
Dan in the pillory.  Nath liked him like this! 
Christine and I
More historic buildings
After Halifax we moved onto Hopewell Rocks
The Hopewell Rocks are rock formations caused by time and tidal erosion.  Located along the coast of the Bay of Fundy, the area is also home to the world's highest tides, making the tops of these rock formations islands when the tide is in.
When the tide is out you can explore 2km of beach.  This rock is known as Lover's Arch. 
Apple Rock is in the foreground of this photo
Christine and I
Standing on the sea floor amongst the rock formations
Flower Pot Rock
Mother-In-Law Rock
I think this is a Woodchuck.  We spotted him munching on some leaves along the shore.
Daniel's Flats of the Bay of Fundy at low tide
Hopewell Rocks at high tide.  We were just walking on the sea floor a couple of hours ago!
Daniel's Flats with the tide coming back in
Fundy National Park
We hiked the 1.5km Dickson Falls loop in the park
The trail drops into a lush valley and winds along Dickson Brook
Dickson Falls
This small cove was near Cape Enrage
The beach was made up of these smooth, flat stones
Dan and I at the reception ceremony in Moncton
Shediac, New Brunswick, home of the world's largest lobster!
Christine and I standing with the lobster
After Shediac we moved onto Bouctouche and the beautiful sand dunes
Dan and Nath walking along the boardwalk
Chris and I in Bouctouche
We spent the last part of the day enjoying Parlee Beach in New Brunswick
We saw some Jellyfish washed up on shore.  Nath showed us that you can touch the tops of them...
...but you don't want to touch their underside.  That's how you'll get stung!
Parlee Beach sand dunes
Our last stop was going to be Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province.  We spent the first part of the day enjoying beautiful Cavendish Beach and then wrapped up in Charlottetown, P.E.I.'s capital city.  There's just under 65,000 people living in Charlottetown's metropolitan area, which is slightly less than half of the entire province's population.  

To get to P.E.I. we had to cross the Confederation Bridge, which spans the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, and is 12.9km in length.
Cavendish Beach with its red soil
The red rocks of P.E.I.
Exploring Cavendish Beach
Looking back towards the beach area
Above the beach is the Cavendish Dunes trail system
Charlottetown's harbour
A Maple Leaf made from red bricks
In 1864, delegates of the Charlottetown Conference arrived in the harbour on board the HMCS Queen Victoria where today, stands Founder's Hall, Canada's Birthplace Pavilion.  The Charlottetown Conference was held for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederation.  Founder's Hall is a heritage attraction that tells Canada's story from its inception in 1864 up until modern day.  

Founder's Hall
St. Dunstan's Basilica was rebuilt in 1916 due to a fire
Providence House National Historic Site of Canada.  This is the birthplace of Confederation in Canada, as mentioned above.  It is also P.E.I's provincial legislature.
We had a spectacular time in the Maritimes.  Nath's family treated us like one of their own and invited us back again!  We will definitely have to take them up on their offer.  As much as we saw and did while we were there, I know there is so much more to discover.  It's almost hard to believe that this is all part of the same country.  So different and yet, very much the same!

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