Date: Sep 27, 2009
On the second day of the roadtrip, we finally arrived in New Brunswick. It greeted us well with lovely sunny weather, fall colors, and fun driving. The speed limits were on average 10-20km/h higher than in Ontario, and the roads actually had some bends and curves! Driving 120 on a freeway without any fear of a speeding ticket was good.
Our first stopover was at a small town Grand Falls, known for a waterfall which shares the name with the city. Based on the photos from the official tourism page of the Grand Falls, this waterfall is indeed quite impressive. Unfortunately, somebody must have turned off the tap before we got there. We saw a large and impressive gorge which had barely any water at all! As proper tourists, we stumbled around the town a bit and snapped a few photos here and there, but there was really nothing exciting at all. I guess this place is only good to visit in the peak tourist season, when they keep the water volumes high.
Due to the difficultly of finding things to do in Grand Falls, we packed up quickly and headed to the next destination – Kings Landing Historical Settlement near the city of Fredericton. For those of the readers who don’t want to open another website, Kings Landing is a museum which recreates the life of New Brunswickers in 19th century.
In addition to the all-too-standard-in-North-America preserved buildings and period objects, there were costumed interpreters acting out scenes from the daily life. The quality was not consistent across the different displays (I guess “Interpreter in a museum” is not one of those careers that attracts a lot of great fresh talent). In one room, there was a “family” trying to act out a 19th century conversation using a variety of modern slang words and bursting into unscripted laughter now and then. However, a couple of folks did an incredible job with their act and made the experience wonderful and memorable. The interpreter in the old-fashioned water-powered sawmill had the magic power to start up the mill, so we were able to watch a giant jagged saw work its way through a thick log and rend it in half. My favorite though was the man from the print shop, who explained the trade very well and even performed a live demonstration of printing right before our eyes (we got to keep the bookmarks that he printed during the demo!)
With shoulder season closing times being quite early, we had to leave the fabulous Kings Landing and spend the evening elsewhere. We headed for the nearby city of Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick. Things looked well until we actually arrived to the destination. As soon as we got out of the car, it started raining cats and dogs. We tried to make the best of the situation and embarked on a drive-by out-of-the-car-window tour of the city. Fredericton’s historic district turned out to be only 2 or 3 city blocks, so the tour was very brief. The city did look like a sort of place that would be enjoyable to explore on foot in good weather, but, alas, we had other plans for the next day and decided not to wait for the rain to end. We headed to our next destination: bay of Fundy (famous for the highest tides in the world)and city of Saint John. Stay tuned!