Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2008/10/02 Digby Ferry (Nova Scotia); Carleton Martello Tower, City Market, Saint John (New Brunswick)

Having arrived late in the evening at the Digby Pines Resort, we woke up early to be first in line for breakfast in the dining room.  After a sumptuous but quick buffet, we made the short drive to catch the ferry from Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick.

DI_20081002 062834 Digby ferry approach

On this rainy morning, Stephen dashed into the ferry office to buy a ticket.  The other vehicles we already boarding the ferry, so we didn’t have to queue up on land.

DI_20081002 063344 Digby ferry onramp

Some flagmen guided our vehicle into place, and we parked.

DI_20081002 063624 Digby ferry car deck forward

Passengers are not permitted to remain down below in the vehicles.  We took the stairs up.

DI_20081002 063710 Digby ferry stairs

I took a walk around the ship as it cast off.  From the aft deck, we pulled away from the gangway.

DI_20081002 063954 Digby ferry top deck aft

I walked around the outer deck.  Just casting off, we had not yet cleared the port walls.

DI_20081002 064032 Digby ferry outer deck at port

A few minutes later, a more natural landscape became visible.

DI_20081002 064144 Digby ferry departure

From the top deck forward, open water was to the west.

DI_20081002 064258 Digby ferry top deck forward w

Looking east, a few minutes later, the Nova Scotia shore gradually fell away.

DI_20081002 064304 Digby ferry top deck forward e

The ferry lounge is spacious.  I sat by the window, and cleared a few e-mail messages over the wireless Internet.  Geovanni, Nancy and Stephen chose to read, instead.

DI_20081002 070220 Digby ferry lounge

About 3 hours later, we arrived at the ferry dock in Saint John (not to be mistaken for St. John’s).

DI_20081002 095408 Digby ferry SaintJohn gangway

Looking off the starboard side, eastward, this ferry harbour isn’t very scenic.

DI_20081002 095426 Digby ferry SaintJohn harbour

Beyond the ferry harbour, the city centre is on another peninsula to the northeast.

DI_20081002 095432 Digby ferry SaintJohn harbour

Our meeting was scheduled a few hours away, in the city centre.  To maximize our sightseeing time, we drove northwest, taking a scenic route uphill.  We found ourselves by the Tower Hill Cemetery, with gravestones dating back to the 1850s.

DI_20081002 102250 SaintJohn Cemetery

Directly across the road from the cemetery is the Carleton Martello Tower.  It’s a National Historic Site of Parks Canada.

DI_20081002 102310 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower sign

We went inside for a quick look of the displays.  After learning about 19th century defensive forts, we went outside to see the real thing.

DI_20081002 102336 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower

We climbed the stairs up outside to the main floor.  From there, we took an internal staircase up to the top.

DI_20081002 103908 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower stairs

The top level of the tower was used as a fire control post.  This was not about controlling flames, but instead the correction of missiles trajectories from the land, targeted at ships at sea.

DI_20081002 103952 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower fire control post

Looking out the windows to the north, the nearby neighbourhood is high ground for residential buildings.  On the other side of the bay is the city centre of Saint John.

DI_20081002 104040 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower view n

To the northeast is the terminal for ferries from Digby, where we had just arrived.

DI_20081002 104050 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower view ne

Looking southeast is Partridge Island, which has a history as a quarantine station back to 1785.

DI_20081002 104334 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower view se PartridgeIsland

We took the stairs back down to the main floor.

DI_20081002 104506 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower stairs down

The main floor housed the barracks, with cots laid out as they would have been in the 1800s.

DI_20081002 104554 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower barracks cots

The cannons would have been loud inside the barracks.

DI_20081002 104608 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower barracks cannon

The soldiers may have been stationed at the tower for months, but mobility would have required each to store kits in the packs put on top the shelves overhead.

DI_20081002 104620 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower barracks cots

The fireplace would have been welcome in the cold Maritime winters.

DI_20081002 104532 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower barracks fireplace

Downstairs on the ground floor, the gunpowder was stored in a magazine.

DI_20081002 105256 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower barracks

The walls had loopholes — slits through which muskets could be shot.  Stephen tried out the defensive position.

DI_20081002 105400 SaintJohn CarletonMartelloTower lower loopholes

Leaving the tower, we took the long route into town, to stop by the world-famous Reversing Falls.  They’re actually shallow rapids that change directions with the tides.  We didn’t take the path from the lookout down to the shore.

DI_20081002 111658 SaintJohn ReversingFalls

We continued to the city centre.  Our hotel was connected to the main shopping centre, Brunswick Square.

DI_20081002 123018 SaintJohn BrunswickSquare

Navigating down a few levels, we walked through the maze of connecting halls to the City Market.

DI_20081002 114210 SaintJohn CityMarket sign

The Saint John City Market is the oldest continuously operating market in North America, first built in 1876.  In addition to food vendors, there are food stalls.

DI_20081002 114232 SaintJohn CityMarket sw

One food that is truly local is dulse:  a seaweed dried and packaged in paper bags for an easy snack.

DI_20081002 114312 SaintJohn CityMarket sw dulse

The market has two aisles with stalls in the centre.  Fruit is in abundance.

DI_20081002 114450 SaintJohn CityMarket se

The floors in the market are gradually inclined.  This view from the northeast side shows the view downward (towards the harbour).

DI_20081002 114630 SaintJohn CityMarket ne

This close to the sea, the fish market couldn’t have had a fresher selection.

DI_20081002 114752 SaintJohn CityMarket n fish

Stephen picked up some gifts for the family from the British shop.

DI_20081002 121410 SaintJohn CityMarket British shop

The towers in the city centre are connected by a network of indoor walkways.  After our meeting, we decided to get a feel for the city outside.  On Germain Street, the brick buildings are typical for the winter cold.

DI_20081002 164148 SaintJohn GermainStreet

Trinity Anglican Church is prominent, and has a history back to the 1791.

DI_20081002 164234 SaintJohn GermainStreet TrinityChurch

We turned down Princess Street, to more brick warehouse-style buildings.

DI_20081002 164428 SaintJohn PrincessStreet

On Prince William Street, we saw the old Bank of New Brunswick building, which is now Le Faubourg, for the Association Régionale de la Communauté francophone de Saint Jean.

DI_20081002 164726 SaintJohn OldBankOfNB Faubourg

We continued walking down towards the waterfront.  The Seaman’s Mission faces the port.

DI_20081002 164918 SaintJohn SeamansMission

There weren’t any ships at the cruise port calling on Saint John that day.

DI_20081002 165040 SaintJohn cruise port

Walking along Water Street, we saw the heritage of warehouses common of a port.

DI_20081002 165258 SaintJohn WaterStreet

Walking away from the waterfront, our return took us along Prince Wales Street, which is mostly now office buildings, with a few restaurants.

DI_20081002 165448 SaintJohn PrinceWalesStreet

The slope up from the waterfront is apparent on Grannan Street.

DI_20081002 165602 SaintJohn GrannanStreet

If we had chosen to take the indoor walkways from Brunswick Square towards the port, we would have gone through the Canada Permanent Building.

DI_20081002 165802 SaintJohn CanadaPermanentBuilding

Market Square is a warehouse structure that has been converted into a community space and shops.

DI_20081002 165818 SaintJohn MarketSquare

As the sun was setting, we decided to choose from the restaurants inside Market Square.

DI_20081002 165838 SaintJohn MarketSquare

Visiting the Maritimes, we agred to sample the local seafood, and chose Grannan’s Seafood.

DI_20081002 195218 SaintJohn GrannansSeafood entry

Stephen chose a dessert that was served with a flambé, so we got got a little show.

DI_20081002 191432 SaintJohn GrannansSeafood flambe

A relaxed dinner, good food, and great conversation.  Business travel has its benefits.

DI_20081002 191622 SaintJohn GrannansSeafood dinner

We had started the day early in another province, and Atlantic Time is one hour earlier than home.  The cool evening led us to wend our way back through the indoor walkways.  We agreed to take a late start the next day, and meet in the morning for hotel checkout.

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