Canada, North America, The Maritime Provinces

Wandering Around Saint John, New Brunswick

October 5, 2013

We included Saint John in our itinerary only because we needed to stay somewhere other than Moncton on our last night. In terms of directions, it actually makes no sense to stay there because it is located an hour west of Moncton, complete opposite of where we were supposed to be heading the next evening. That’s okay though, because it means we get to see and explore a new city!

SaintJohn

Exactly like Moncton, I had no expectations of Saint John. Over dinner the night before, Claire had mentioned it’s a very industrialized city with nothing much to see. Throughout the course of my research, I also didn’t find very much to do in Saint John. I mean, my itinerary lists nature hikes/drives that we can do, except they are located an hour away. Oh and yes, have I told you it had been raining? So, hikes and anything outdoorsy are out of the question.

We got into Saint John at around 9 PM and most things have closed for the day, leaving us with an eerie and quiet downtown center with the occasional group of guys walking out of a pub or a restaurant. I was beginning to think Claire is spot-on with her comments on the city.

The next day, as dreary as the previous days, we set out to explore the city center… And what we found was quite surprising.

 

We started at the Market Square, where the public library and the New Brunswick Museum is just a stone-throw away from each other.
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Then we decided to brave the weather and walked outside to the Barbour’s General Store, an authentic 18th-century General Store with some products preserved and displayed for us to see. The over-friendly boy inside told us they moved its location 3-times before settling to be where it is at the moment.

SaintJohn

Inside Barbour's General House

Inside Barbour’s General House

John Hooper's public art installation: "People in Waiting"

John Hooper’s public art installation: “People in Waiting”, outside Barbour’s General Store.

We continued walking to the City Market. Built in 1867, it is the oldest continuing Farmers’ Market in Canada. How impressive is that?

SaintJohn

Java Moose: where I had the  BEST black-currant ice tea (actually, it may also be because I was extremely thirsty then).

Java Moose: where I had the BEST black-currant ice tea (actually, it may also be because I was extremely thirsty then).

Gelato? Check. Cupcake? Check. Why not combine them? GENIUS IDEA!

Gelato? Check. Cupcake? Check. Why not combine them? GENIUS IDEA!

SaintJohn

After exploring the Market to our hearts’ content, we walked back towards our car with the thought of leaving the city to make our way to the airport in Moncton. Alas, serendipity (actually, it was a sign for a cupcake shop) had us turn to a street and led us to this:

SaintJohn

Ya – you read that right! A TASTING BAR. We went in and had a hey-day trying out different flavours of balsamic vinegar (dark chocolate, black currant, and original, anyone?) and olive oil (blood orange – say what?!).

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Just when we thought we were done with the city, we looked across the street and saw the cupcake shop we were suppose to visit in the first place. How can you say no to cupcake?

SaintJohn

Marbled red-velvet with cream cheese icing, peanut butter with coconut icing, and chocolate cupcake.

Marbled red-velvet with cream cheese icing, peanut butter with coconut icing, and chocolate cupcakes.

We weren’t chased by a to-see list, we went wherever we felt like going, and we spent as much (or as little time) at the places we visited. The day was left open for us to wander around and, truly, days like that are the best. Thank you, Saint John.

SaintJohn

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