When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like.” (Jane Fonda)
Sometimes a wandering mind can render direction or distance guidance virtually useless. For in restraining oneself from scheduling a designated path to a destination, interesting sidetrack discoveries surprisingly appear. So as Ruth and I observed cool, sunny weather, as we reached the most northerly portions of our recent cruise along the Atlantic seaboard, we opted to ignore guided tour temptations and simply walk on our own ashore.
Spontaneous sightings quickly arose then along our itinerary of one day stopovers in maritime Canada. Along the shoreline, a festive, local flavor took place as we ambled short distances from our cruise ship. Further inland, our steep climbs uphill would find immediate rewards of spectacular panoramas of downtown skylines. Wandering around through “Old Town” districts, we savored authentic treasures along narrow streets reminiscent of past British rule. To slow down our pace in the rising heat of summer afternoon, a shaded park bench to rest inspired captivating glimpses of nature’s glory. Heading back to our ship with some time to shop, we feasted our eyes on inexpensive buys at outdoor markets filled with eager local merchants.
In the spirit of these serendipitous cruise memories, then, I thus offer the following photographs for your enjoyment.
SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK
As we exited our cruise ship in Saint John Harbor, I immediately noticed the fresh summer profusion of summer flowers lining streets into downtown on this quiet summer morning.
Taking a short but challenging hike uphill, Trinity Church remains as an impressive landmark of past British Loyalism in St. John.
Nearby the church, we took a short rest surrounded by the eerie sight of the Old Loyalist Burial Ground.
Touring City Market, we noticed an old industrial warehouse now functioned as a bustling shopping corridor for local wares.
We also admired the authentic mercantile artifacts exhibited at historic Barbour’s Country Store.
Returning downhill to our ship, trendy Market Square Convention Center returned our mindset to the gentrified world of modern 21st century design. Why then would I forego my cellphone for a British phone booth in making a call ?
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
Offering a distinctive multicultural “feel”, our walking tour in midweek began with a curious stroll along the the Halifax Harbor “Green” for a taste of the town’ festive summer spirit.
On this cool, sunny morning, an aspiring teenage trombonist played a song for us to accentuate the “electric” Canadian vibes we were feeling then.
Occupying the strategic high ground of the city, Halifax Citadel remains as a symbolic landmark, marking over two hundred years of Canadian military history. The sentry shown in the photo below put on quite a “tourist friendly” show.
Still functioning as a thriving gathering point in Halifax, we ducked into the Public Gardens in midday to escape the busy downtown crowds. A lazy walk through the park revealed an intricately designed ground pleasantly dotted with manicured gardens, Victorian era sculptures, and a slow moving stream.
Returning to our ship along a quiet side street, I attentively noted the pleasing sight of these colorful matching sets in row houses and doors.
SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA
Sailing into remote Glace Bay on Cape Breton Island to Sydney, we did not anticipate such a spirited community welcome for the arrival of cruise passengers.
As we hiked inland along Ferry Street to a Provincial Park on a cool afternoon, we soon realized that this pleasant spot along an inland river had once been the unsightly industrial scene of a iron and steel production yard/facility..
At the Old Town Hall Heritage Museum, historic memorabilia vividly displayed the struggles and triumphs of Sydney’s proud citizens to remain an independent municipality amidst political upheaval resulting from an unfolding environmental crisis.
Through the eyes of a local child, Sydney today, remains a beautifully inviting place to live.