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