Maritimes, Canada – Moncton, New Brunswick
The first thing we did on arriving in Moncton was hail a cab, load all our luggage into the trunk ( a medium- sized suitcase of mine, and two huge suitcases belonging to my better half) and head straight for the Hotel Beausejour where we crashed out in our room for about two hours.
For slower, laid back travellers, Moncton is a haven, but for the thrill seekers, Moncton can be at the best of times…, slow, it is ideal for family vacations. Here are a few attractions that the city has to offer families. Magnetic Hill is an interesting experience, bring your car to the bottom of the hill, pay a modest fee of $2.00, place the gear of your car in neutral and watch your car be inexplicably pulled uphill! There is no warped magnetism at play here, as the name might lead you to believe, it’s simply an optical illusion. When you’re going uphill, you’re actually going downhill, but having that explained does not make the experience any less mysterious. You can also check out the Magnetic Hill Zoo nearby, you can’t really go wrong with the kids on this one. Another attraction, the Magic Mountain Water Theme Park features water activities, a fantasy mini-golf course, an arcade, gift shops, and picnic sites.
Moncton boasts of having a tidal bore, of which there are apparently only two in the world. A tidal bore is a natural phenomena whereby an empty river bed is filled up twice a day by a single wave rolling back from a larger body of water , in this case from the surging Bay of Fundy tides (the highest in the world).
We arrived along the banks of the Petitcodiac river early in order to set up our photographic equipment. A crowd had begun to form along the bank, with dozens of others setting up cameras and tripods. There seemed to be a tremendous build-up as everyone stared into the empty mud-filled basin of this river, it just seemed unreal that a wave would come crashing through at any moment to fill it up.
Having doubled-checked all my equipment, with Sonia designated as our official look-out, we waited and silently watched off into the head of the river about a quarter of a mile from us. What came in was a wave crawling towards us, at a height of 2 or 3 inches. Needless to say, we were let down by the great tidal bore, we had imagined a great wave crashing and breaking into the bed, and not an overflowing sink. The after-flood was actually more impressive, rising inch by inch to a total elevation of 7.5 metres of water along the bank. At the Hotel, the staff explained that a newly erected bridge over the river affected the bore, causing it to lose some of its’ intensity.
The Beausejour Hotel has received the CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award for the Windjammer Restaurant one of the finest in Atlantic Canada. The Windjammer is modelled to give you the illusion of being at sea. Leading to the main front doors you’ll find a replica of a ship steering wheel similar to what you would find on an old sea vessel. Inside, surrounding the main dining area are refurbished cabins done in finished wood and decorated with parted curtains. Sitting inside the semi-private cabins, on your right are port-holes.., well okay they’re actually aquariums behind a bubble shaped window with goldfish swimming around, but hey it’s a nice touch. The crew in the restaurant is fully decked out in navy outfits.
To commence our dining experience, I had a quail and shittake brochette on a bed of curly endives with a mushroom vinaigrette, and Sonia had spinach linguini with fresh seafood, pesto and tomato cream. These delicious appetizers were followed by a tender roast rack of lamb brushed with honey and mustard served with turnip gratin. Though the meals may be a bit pricy, they are a must and worth every delicious bite.