Posted on May 06, 2014 by Janet Steinberg
Canadian Maritimes: Saint John, New Brunswick

If you ever plan to enter a spelling bee, take note: Canada's first incorporated city (1785) is spelled Saint John, not the abbreviated St. John as it is spelled in neighboring Newfoundland. To add to your confusion, the proper way to spell its mighty St. John River is to abbreviate it.

That very St. John River is one-half of a natural phenomenon known as Reversing Falls that takes place twice a day in Mother Nature's own theater. It occurs when there is a head-on collision between two mighty bodies of water…the St. John River and the Bay of Fundy.

reversingfalls
AUTHOR AND HUSBAND AT REVERSING FALLS

When the highest tides in the world flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy through a narrow rocky gorge, they force the St. John River to reverse its flow. Twice daily the Bay of Fundy wins, forcing the St. John River to churn, tumble and flow upstream.

stjohnriver
ST. JOHN RIVER FLOWS UPSTREAM

The above-mentioned narrow (or split) rocky gorge has given a great name to an eatery located on a hilltop overlooking the Reversing Falls. What else could it be but the Split Rock Café? Munch a quick lunch with a view. For a more upscale dining experience, try the Opera Bistro.

splitrock
SPLIT ROCK CAFE LUNCH BOARD

In a city where you can usually expect daily rain or fog, outdoor sculptures brighten the days.

outdoorscultpure
OUTDOOR SCULPTURE BRIGHTENS DREARY DAY

The Saint John City Market is Canada's oldest continuing farmers' market. The ceiling of the City Market resembles the inverted hull of a ship. When it officially opened in 1876, Saint John was one of the world's leading shipbuilding centers. The Market's hand-hewn timbers and dovetailed joints have stood fast for more than a century. Fortunately, the Great Fire of 1877 left the market building undamaged.

market
MARKET CEILING RESEMBLES INVERTED HULL OF A SHIP

Within the market, colorful stalls display local foods and handcrafted items. Dulse, the leafy sea vegetable that grows on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, is considered a maritime delicacy. Handpicked and sun dried, it adds a light salty taste to salad and seafood dishes. Slocum & Ferris, established in 1895, is the reigning merchant at the City Market. They will be happy to give you a sample taste of dulse before you decide to purchase it. I took them up on their offer. My reaction to dulse…UGH!

dulse
MY REACTION TO DULSE...UGH!

JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer, International Travel Consultant, and winner of 38 national Travel Writing Awards.

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