On the Road to Canada's East Coast - New Brunswick
By James Careless
As one of the world's premier B&B and country inn websites, iLoveInns.com loves to travel! So this time around, my wife and I packed up the trusty minivan on iLoveInns.com's behalf. We then hit the road to explore the Canadian Atlantic Coast's natural wonders and unique accommodations.
The Maritime province of New Brunswick was our first port of call. It is home to some astounding natural sights, such as the Bay of Fundy and its mind-boggling tides. Thanks to its long, narrow shape, this bay has the highest tidal range' in the world. This means that the height difference between low tide and high tide is unrivaled. It also means that you can walk on the beach and literally watch the water level either going up or down.
One place where this tidal action stands out is Cape Enrage (www.capeenrage.ca/en/). This is a long, narrow spit of rocky land that trails off into a deadly underwater reef near Fundy National Park. The combination of rapidly changing tides and jagged rocks has resulted in the Cape being the graveyard of many a ship; hence its name. Within a few hours, an apparent bay of water beside the lighthouse drains into a grassy salt marsh, then returns to sea again. The best part: There are stairs at Cape Enrage that cut through high, treacherous cliffs to take you down to the
rock-strewn shore. Talk about taking your breath away!
Leaving Cape Enrage and heading towards Halifax, Nova Scotia, we stopped by the Hopewell Rocks (also in New Brunswick; www.thehopewellrocks.ca.). Often called the Flowerpot Rocks' for their distinctive shapes, these rocks will literally blow your mind. Whether carved into pillars or arches by Fundy's monstrous tides, the Hopewell Rocks are the remains of a Pangean-era mountain range; one more ancient than the Appalachians and once taller than the Rockies. The Flowerpot Rocks' march down the coastline for a considerable distance, ensuring something new and different every corner you turn. But be aware of the tides: The sea rises fast and high in the Bay of Fundy. You must keep an eye on them, in order not to get trapped!
A third wonder one we witnessed while in the seaside city of Saint John is the famous
Reversing Falls'. This is actually a narrow channel where the Saint John River meets the
Atlantic Ocean. At low tide, the river is higher than the sea, and thus the water roars through in one direction. At high tide, the sea is higher than the river, and thus the falls' really a series of rapids reverses its flow. In the process of all this change, there are whirlpools and wild rapids which you can experience firsthand by crashing through them on a jet boat tour! (You can learn more about the Reversing Falls at new-brunswick.net/Saint_John/reversingfalls/reversing.html. The jet boat tours are available through www.jetboatrides.com.)
We stayed in Saint John, relaxing at the Homeport Historic B&B. This bed and breakfast, made from two 1858 shipbuilders' mansions, have been transformed into an elegant, luxurious and wonderfully warm Maritime oasis. Owners Karen and Ralph Holyoke's restoration and choice of antiques will take you back to a 19th century world of handcrafted, high-ceilinged rooms. Don't miss expertly-cooked breakfasts with home-baked goodies, fresh fruit and local sausages.
We had a unique stay at the Magnetic Hill Winery and B&B in Moncton. This 1867 house has been passed down in co-owner Jeff Everett's family. He and wife Janet have both restored it, and brought it up to modern standards. The Everetts make a number of fruit-based wines that not only win awards on a regular basis, but are good enough for the finest table and I say this with years of experience in the wine bar trade. The winery and wine story/tasting room are in the basement of the bed and breakfast. Chances are you will walk out having bought a case of 13 wines (for the price of 12) to share with family and friends.