With another unanticipated festival to end the day we enjoyed our first night in Moncton. I started to get the feeling of this east coast culture, it has is own kind of vibe….people really are different here and so is their behavior, in a good way!
We REALLY enjoy the food so far, especially the first restaurant we laid eyes on – Calactus! Ah such a special place, everything is vegetarian or vegan…sigh I wish it was in Toronto! We were staying in a comfy backpackers inn in Moncton for 2 days and it seems nearly every corner has some great restaurant or eclectic architecture, its like the whole city is a fancy version of Streetsville!
The first day turned out to be particularly special as me and Deyana decided to go see Harry Potter, and it was great! They have an amazing mall in this city with big box stores right next to cool local business, with wifi and incredible preserved marshlands to boot! I must say that go to Moncton for this reason alone just to see the amazing saltwater “rivers” (as I call them) – essentially carved streams of salt water that rise and fall (enter and flow out of) in Moncton each day with the tides, it really is something quite amazing (especially when it seems like a raging river before a movie and a drained mud flat after!). Look up “Moncton Tidal Bore” for some neat info too!
The following day was the beginning of what has now been my transit bad luck following me here all the way from Mississauga! 😛
We started off by checking the farmers market in downtown Moncton – a surprisingly large mix of vendors, restaurants, cafes, outdoor vans sellers and carts, plus a live stage – blowing away anything I have ever seen in the GTA! We ended up going there twice, then thrice that day just to get more delicious goods or hunt down that special postcard (or fudge in my case). Ultimately, the core of the day was to do fake beach fun (man-made) and tree-top exploring (search Moncton TreeGO) in the massive and ecologically sound Centennial Park! For some reason however, me and Deyana ended up looking at the bus schedules wrong and so not only missed the bus once, but 4 times! So we wandered the local trails (also a green dream, they have a “TD Green Street”) and did our farmers market trips before finally heading out to the park…
…Little did we know that not only would our TreeGO experience take much longer than we thought (though it was a memory and eco-event of a lifetime!) but that the pool/beach would close sooner, or that terrifying clouds and rain from hell would descend upon us as we ran about trying to figure out how to get home (at this point we also realized he buses stop running after 8pm…yes 8)….so we ended up sheltering in the local tennis club and taxied it back to our one respite – Calactus restaurant (lol the inn is nice too but this food rules!).
Day 4 began with my promise to not create any more transit mishaps…oh why do I utter these words still! So we hopped out of the inn and bussed ourselves out to Cape Jourimain, essentially the New Brunswick edge to the Confederation Bridge. Now when I was buying tickets for this trip I thought, “sure go to the Cape early, stay and explore for some hours and then take a shuttle across the bridge to the town of Borden and catch my same bus route (the one dropping me to the Cape) at its later time (only second route of 2 time slots…) from the next stop across the bridge in Borden! Easy right…so I bought tickets for the second trip right then too.
So Cape Jourimain was well…kind of like everything done right! Educating about the environment, wildlife, habitat, staff that truly care and engage us, a small museum, photography, every green technology done right, an interpretive and tourist center and the vast majority of surrounding forests and wetlands restored and/or pristine, teeming with wildlife and the Atlantic breeze:
Oh and the bridge…AWESOME!
As we rush through exploring here we hop on a shuttle across the bridge rather late (I was too insistent on staying to see more!) at 3pm…our bus to Charlottetown would reach Borden at 3:25pm…and it takes us 25 minutes to get to Borden from the Cape…so I screwed up the math again/
We get there and essentially run/lamely drag our luggage across roads and fields to the gas station where our bus has likely already arrived. Mistake 2: We thought both buses would come at the same location – wrong again Rahul! 😛
Almost comically, the bus rolls right into and out of the gas station just as I get a view of it…Deyana is still catching up and we both get to say goodbye to mucho money spent on a nice bus ride…and hello to something-greater-than-mucho money for a taxi to Charlottetown! Ahhh…choo!!!
Well we are here and loving the new city regardless, it is even more clean, organized, charming and friendly than Montreal and Moncton combined! Maybe because it has so much going for it in such a small place (Capital, rich farmland, happy people, birthplace of Confederation…etc). The city is full of shops and history, I love the shores already! Now its time to sleep and here are some glimpses if you haven’t been yet:
Next stop…still PEI!