From a few days at Fundy National Park, the travel adventure began! Driving across the countryside on the back roads of New Brunswick was beautiful scenery. We grabbed a few geocaches along the way. We spotted a shoe tree We went into the city of Moncton for groceries and checked out a phenomenon called Magnetic Hill. See our Facebook page for a video of the van rolling backwards, uphill. (and a cute shot of Mango in the window) It is a strange, optical illusion that entertained us for at least 30 minutes. We camped for a night at a place we found on AirBandB (it isn’t just rooms for rent) This was an old farmstead that is being reinvented by a young, college graduate. The barn is terrific, and the calm is fantastic, but the bugs are horrendous.
We left there and headed precisely in the wrong direction! Since we took a wrong turn anyway, we decided to see the Maritime Auto Museum that we had read about in our Speedway Guide (thanks Billy Sheppard). It was a fun little collection of old cars, motorcycles and memorabilia. Then we turned around and went the right way to Nova Scotia.
Halifax became another test of Mike’s city driving skills. Fortunately he is awesome! We found the Maritime Museum and the Greek Festival . The food at the festival was delicious, and bargain priced. But the real treat was a tour of the Greek Orthodox Church, narrated by Father Peter. We were amazed at the intricacies and Geneva even smiled for the camera in this photo! We learned much about the religious traditions of this group, and discussed it for hours afterward.
The Maritime Provinces we are in are considered to be legally bilingual. Most signs, menus and labels are in both English and French. Here is a bottle of pampelmousse . Even the road markers and stop signs are in both French and English. When people greet us at museum counters they open with both “hello” and “bonjour” to see which reply you give. Then they converse in your chosen language. It is exciting to see a country embrace this diversity of language, which also extends to much cultural diversity.
We learned much more about the cultural diversity of Canada at a museum called Pier 21. This was the immigration processing station up until 1971. All persons wishing to immigrate to this country came through this location for a final check of papers, health and political/civil intentions. It was a fascinating story and another illustration of this countries ability to recognize the strengths in diversity. Even today, Canada welcomes immigrants with a relatively simple process to establish citizenship. There seems to be a belief that there are opportunities for the new arrivals to flourish and everyone can contribute to their country in some way. This refreshing look at “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” brings an exciting energy to the streets, the shops and the cities. I am sure it also brings challenges to be managed, but from our glimpse thus far- they seem to be do it effectively!