I am at least for one week behind with blogging. Sometimes the lack of internet connection, other times the tiredness after an eventful day or just the need for a few days distance to let the impressions to settle – prevented me from writing. I will try today to catch up with the last week’s journey through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and NB again.
On August 21 we left Quebec behind and looking back at the pictures, here comes the one million dollars question — where did I take these pictures:
This little falls and the “sculpture” next to it is in the centre of a small(er?) city. I remember the French signs on the road leading to it (Le Parc des Chutes), so it must be in Quebec. They didn’t buy into the bilingualism as the rest of Canada did — for their sake, of course. Anyway, our guess is Rivière-du-Loup…
[Update: yes, it was Rivière-du-Loup]
Then, finally, came the historic moment for both of us: on August the 21st at 3:00 pm (EST) or, more exactly, at 4:00pm (Atlantic Time) we entered the Maritime provinces first time in our life.
Our arrival to the beautiful Atlantic provinces was way more peaceful than what happened exactly 40 years ago in Prague (Czechoslovakia, at that time): the invasion by the Soviet troops. I have very vivid memories of those events, perhaps one day I should write about them… I was 17 years old and hitchhiking to the Black Sea in Romania (the only Warsaw Pact country that did not take part in the invasion). But now back to the Maritimes!
New Brunswick: River Valley Scenic Drive
Since we are both coming from hilly, mountainous regions, we started to feel an immediate familiarity with the landscape in New Brunswick: the road goes along the river valley, through villages, the back roads (where the scenic route goes) are not-so-well-maintained… just like at home. Although it wouldn’t be fair not mentioning that the main highway, the Transcanada Hwy in NB is in excellent shape and it is a delight to drive on it, but we chose to drive on what is called the River Valley Scenic Drive – and we didn’t regret it at all. After a few days of travelling I realized what was so different in the Atlantic region. For us, coming from much smaller countries, the immense space from Quebec onward to West, the huge wilderness beyond imagination… is almost irrealistic. In the much smaller Maritime provinces the “scale”, if you wish, is somehow closer to what we got used to in our former life, hence the familiar feeling. Actually, most of the time we had that much “at-home” feeling that we even forgot to take pictures. It seems the “tourist brain” works in the way that you stop the car and jump out of it to take a picture when you see something unusual, unexpected, different. On the other hand, whenever we travel even when seeing the most beautiful places I never have a desire to return or to revisit those places. But in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI to the greatest surprise of my wife I started to say things like “one day we could come back and spend some more time here…”.
OK, I did take some pictures, like in Grand Falls/Grand-Sault with the falls in the middle of the town and in Hartland that has the world’s longest covered bridge.
We spent the night at Fredericton Delta in a very nice room and had a good sea food dinner.
Unfortunately, in the next morning we had a very unpleasant surprise: the windshield of our car cracked without any visible reason. No signs of stone chips or anything. Just an approx. 30 cm long crack starting from the very margin of it in the lower left side. We immediately went to the closest Subaru dealer to have it checked and they told us they have never seen anything like that – it must be a defect from the factory. The bad news: nobody has in stock that kind of parts, it would take at least a week to order and get a new one – so, they advised us to continue our trip because it is not a safety risk. Just unpleasant to have it right in the front of your eyes while driving. The service manager also predicted that the crack will slowly go further and further… and it happened just like that: every day it is a few millimeters longer. We will have to deal with it when we get home. I hope it is included in the manufacturer warranty; the car is quite new, will not have yet 20,000 km when we get home!
Next post will be about the Bay of Fundy, Hopewell Rocks and arriving to Halifax, NS.