After wintering in the USA it always feels good to be back on Canadian soil. On this return to Canada we did not return to Ontario, instead we crossed into New Brunswick from Maine. The border crossing between Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, NB is the most easterly land crossing between our two countries.
Our first week stay was at a beautiful waterfront campsite on the Passamaquody Bay in St. Andrews, this quaint city was founded in 1783 by the United Empire Loyalists and named after St. Andrews, Scotland. By the late 1800s it became known as St. Andrews by the Sea, and with a couple of high-end resorts built there it also became Canada’s first seaside resort town.
The gorgeous Algonquin Hotel that towers over the city was one of the first resort hotels, although it was destroyed by a fire in 1914, it was rebuilt a year later and has been looking over the town ever since.
With it being early May and the temperature not getting above 10C, it was cool!! Luckily the campground was within the city limits so it was a short walk into town.
Most of the buildings were from the early 18th Century which made going into the shops and restaurants downtown very interesting. We even celebrated Larry’s birthday at the historic Algonquin Hotel and had a very nice dinner.
With the town on the tip of a peninsula it did not give us a lot of great cycling options, however we did get the chance to cycle across the ocean floor, at low tide( which was VERY cool!), over to Minister Island.
The first European colonists on the island arrived in 1777, and in 1791 the island was sold to the Town’s minister, the Reverend Samuel Andrews, for whom the island was later named. In 1891 Sir William Van Horne, who was the president and driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railroad bought the property and built his home there. The island as a whole was declared a National Historic Site in 1996 for its Van Horne associations.
After a week in St. Andrews it was time to move further inland to Fredericton. The first stop was to drop of Larry’s Softtail at Chopper Rods to have the transmission fixed.
Our campground was nestled along the St. John River, just outside of town, where there was a bike path running along it, so getting into the centre of town was a nice 20 minute bicycle ride. Since we were early in the season the park was practically empty and our main neighbours were 2 bald eagles that nested up in the pines overlooking the river.
The weather was still cool and wet, but we did get a couple days of drier weather where we were able to explore along the river on our bicycles with a nice ride that took us about 20 km south to the Mactaquac Dam, where we could cross over and then cycle along the river on the other side back into town.
The main reason for spending the week in Fredericton was that our friend Wendy lived just outside of town in a village called Stanley. June had gotten to know her when she lived in Ontario, where she was a frequent visitor at Wendy’s pottery business, Baden Creek Pottery.
We think of Wendy in our new life as we still have a lot of Wendy’s pottery that we use every day. It was nice catching up as we had not seen her for years. She showed us around her city and one night took us back to her place where we had a wonderful evening and Larry got a lesson on her pottery wheel!
With her guiding hands Larry was able to make two good bowls and one small reject dish. No visit to her pottery studio would be complete without purchasing some of her amazing work, so were able to restock some of our plates with some of her seconds. It was a wonderful week where more memories were made with friends!!
It was a quick two weeks in New Brunswick but now Prince Edward Island is calling.