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Trip Report Maritimes to NYC

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Well, it seems so long ago. Ready to go again! Two single females out on our road trip from Ontario Canada to the Maritime provinces including Newfoundland, then down to New York City & back to Ontario. Here's a very short version...

June 17 4:30 pm departure. Drove straight through to just past Montreal. Stopped at 1:00 a.m. Slept in the car - bucket seats back, sleeping bags!
June 18 continued the drive eastward stopping at Hartland world's longest covered bridge for a photo stop. Arrived at friends in Fredericton early that evening. Went to "see the cows" with their 1 & 2 yr olds.
June 19 visited their church Sunday morning. Spent the afternoon wandering through authentic working pioneer village King's Landing. Neat place. Then to another family of friends & visited their church in the evening.
June 20 to Hopewell Rocks & Fundy National Park. So many say this is "too far out of the way". No! You must see the amazing area where there are the world's highest tides. We saw both with water just after high tide time and returned at low tide for exploring amongst the rocks & beach.
Then drove to Moncton with a stop (as all tourists just have to do!) at Magnetic Hill. Overnight in the car.

June 21 Across Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. What beautiful red soil / sand dunes / beaches, and rich farmland. We drove the lighthouse route to the west & north from the bridge, stopping for photo shots along the way. Continued up to Tignish or thereabouts, then came back down the other side to Cavendish with a visit to "Green Gables".
Back across Confederation Bridge (the toll was cheaper than the ferry) and along the shore / across the bottom of Cape Breton Island area / to North Sydney for the 11:30 p.m. Marine Atlantic Ferry to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Overnight so as to save scenic driving time for daytime on land! Note: Well worth paying the few extra dollars for a dormitory sleeper (bunk bed).
June 22 Newfoundland! Headed up through Cornerbrook to Gros Morne National Park. A low cloud, looking like rain kind of day (same as my previous visit here several years ago). Did the drive & scenic stops enroute to the visitor center. Stopped & enquired whether the Western Brook Pond boat ride would be going on a day like this. Yes, but we'll never make it. Oh. Okay - let's try! We "booted it" (at national park speeds) up there. Rushed our little out-of-shape bodies down the mile-long trail in to the dock... only to miss it by five minutes.
Hmmmm.... well, to look on the bright side. If we had been on time, we would have missed the perfect MOOSE posing briefly right in front of us on the trail for a photo op. Also the next family to arrive down the trail to the dock as it turns out were from Ontario and knew both our families! Chatted / photos, etc. Then started our mile walk balk to the car.
Continued sightseeing through the national park. Overnight in the car at a national park campground.

June 23 finished the sightseeing drive north out of the park to The Arches Provincial Park. Watched the waves, spotted tiny rock flowers, took our photos. Continued north to L'anse aux Meadows taking a guided tour of the archaelogical site of the Vikings settlement. Interesting place. Drove over to St. Anthony's just to see the village and back to L'anse aux Meadows to a LOVELY B & B - "Viking Village". Wonderful view, right along the beach. Our room even had a patio door to a deck. Friendly folk. Good food.

more - see next part

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    June 24 Well the folks last night told us there was ONLY ONE iceberg in all of Newfoundland right now. Our morning whale/iceberg watching tour was booked out of St. Anthony which, although only 30 minutes by car, was too far to catch / find this berg. So at the suggestion of folks at the B&B, we switched to a tour out of L'anse aux Meadows. It was highly likely that the berg might have moved off overnight and be out to sea.
    Well, we took the chance. Paid our dues & off we go! Wow! We found it! Turns out it was hung up in 200 feet deep water (yep - 200' deep stuck on the bottom!) Pretty cool (uh... no pun intended)!!!! Unusually no whales spotted but the iceberg was well worth it. Adventure Boat Tours - great fellows, fun & informative.

    Well, now we did the route back down then across eastward. Stopped at Rattling Brook Falls. 800 ft waterfall - wasn't running strongly that day since the locals said there hadn't been any rain for a few days. However, a nice photo stop & area for a picnic lunch. Don't be fooled by the one-lane rough road getting back there. You really are still on the right road!

    Continued to Gander with a stop at the Arrow memorial (military plane crash).
    Overnight in car.

    June 25 Continued eastward & up to Bonavista. What a friendly town! We stopped to see "The Matthew" (John Cabot's ship) but it was not in the water. We questioned a local as to where it was. She quickly turned us around and took us inside a building marked "Closed". A lunch meeting was going on with the Mayor for celebrations in the town. The Mayor warmly greeted us, gave us a Bonavista brooch pin, and boasted proadly of their town. Several folks came around to chat, and they took us in to the boathouse area where "the Matthew" was pulled in for restoration work.

    Same day, Continued to St. John's. Now some folks will say we're nuts to drive all the way across to St. John's just to say we did.... but, hey! We're nuts! :-)

    Went straight to Signal Hill & Cabot Tower for the great scenic views of the harbour & right out to Cape Spear (easternmost point of Canada). We decided to talk a stroll along the harbour boardwalk & look at the ships rather than drive out to Cape Spear (I'd been before).
    Overnight at the best view in town right on Signal Hill - incredible view of the harbour at appropriately named "Oh What A View B&B". Fancy dining room, lovely breakfast.

    June 26 drove all the way back across to Port aux Basques for the 1:00 a.m. overnight ferry. (In June the Argentia ferry schedule didn't sail on the right days to match up with our timing)

    June 27 North Sydney NS to Halifax Nova Scotia. Strolled along the wide harbour boardwalk stopping to read the plaques at Pier 21 (where all immigrants entered Canada in the past). Went to the Halifax Maritime Museum primarily spending time in the Titanic and Halifax Explosion sections. Also had a below deck tour of the Acadia ship which is docked as part of the museum. Then drove past the three churches that held the funeral/memorials for Titanic victims and walked through the Titanic graveyard.
    Overheard locals mention fireworks in Bedford town nearby - found our way there. Great way to end the night! Overnight in car.

    June 28 to Peggy's Cove. A foggy day so visibility was poor but it made some interesting lighthouse photo shots. Walked across the rocks listening to the sounds of the sea. Drove a few feet down the road to the Swiss Air Flight 111 memorial. Continued through quaint fishing villages to Lunenburg in time to see the arrival of the Bluenose II tall ship. (it was returning from giving a public cruise) Looked at the colourful houses and horse-drawn carriages giving rides to tourists.
    Continued driving the south shore to Yarmouth for the evening Cat ferry to Bar Harbor Maine.
    Overnight in car.

    June 29 Spent the morning in Acadia National Park along the misty beach and walking the rocky shore & trail. We could spend forever listening to waves...
    A beautiful, quiet, scenic park.
    Continued our drive to Litchfield NH for an overnight visit to friends & their church.

    June 30 to New York City, arriving 1:00 p.m. at friend's apartment in upper Manhattan (Park Terrace area). It was so nice to have a place to stay even though our friends were having their holiday in Switzerland. We appreciate the use of their place. Left the car parked in a valet parking garage while in NYC.

    more next part...

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    still June 30 - once our bags were in the apartment, we ventured out by subway to Carnegie Hall for a guided tour. Nope - they didn't let us perform... (hmmm... they don't know what they're missin' )
    Then to Times Square to walk around with our heads tilted back looking up at stuff... like so obviously tourists... Had dinner at Brookly Diner - nice dining, reasonably priced. Took the free shuttle to our "twilight cruise" with NY Waterway. A great way to see the night lights. Very clear-speaking well informed tour guide. Told us about everything we were seeing on shore & of course took us by the Statue of Liberty.

    July 1 (Happy Canada Day!) Took the subway to Lincoln Center (home of the Metropolitan Opera, Juilliard school, & more) for a guided tour. Then on advice of the locals (it's only a stone's throw away!!!), we "hoofed it" to Times Square area to meet our 12:00 bus tour with New York Party Shuttle. I'd debated whether to do the hop on/hop off double-decker bus, but the moment we settled in this small group bus, and met Tom our guide and Levi the driver, we knew we'd made the right choice. Funny, knowledgeable, helpful, patient, great sense of humour. Highly recommend this!!! Took us past more sights than I could possibly mention (see their website for list) including Ground Zero and the church beside it where memorials are still kept inside (so many tourists pass by this church not knowing the items held inside).
    6:00 dropped off from the tour at Empire State Building. Wasn't busy at that time of night. A bit overcast but still had an impressive view.

    July 2 Our day to "see it all" & try to get back to all the things we'd noted on the bus tour. Fifth Avenue stroll with a walk through Tiffany's and a few other shops. Toys R Us at Times Square with its working ferris wheel, floor-to-ceiling Lego displays, life-life life-size moving/blinking/sounding dinosaur, etc. Financial district, Wall Street - NYSE, Trump building, McDonalds... Yes, that's right I said McDonalds - with its grand piano being played on the indoor balcony, fresh cut flowers on the marble tables, wooden padded chairs & bench seats... and the same cheap fast-food menu!!!
    Supper at Olive Garden in Times Square while we watched the streets full of yellow cabs, & saw the night lights.

    Bye Bye NYC! People were so very helpful & friendly, even laughing & making requests with the street musicians in the subway.
    July 3 - the drive home.

    'Til next time....

    Photos at

    Budget trivia:
    9,380 kilometres travelled. $900 Canadian & $300 US funds spent for all fuel costs, one person's food & admissions, and half of the ferry & bed/breakfast costs. My friend says she spent about $600 Canadian & $300 US for her portion.

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    What a refeshing trip report! Your energy and enthusiasm sparkled through.

    Sounds like you and your friend had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing it with us.



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    Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed your trip report. Omigosh, though, so much driving!

    I do want to know, though, why must all tourist have to stop at Magnetic Hill? what's there?

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    Magnetic Hill is an incredible "optical illusion" (I still am not convinced that it is an "optical illusion"!!!). You drive DOWN a small but steep hill. Put your car in neutral at the bottom and take your foot off the brake. It then reverses back up the hill (with you carefully guiding the steering of course).

    When I was there years ago with my parents it was just the hill in the middle of nowhere. Now it is built up as a tourist trap with a small admission fee. We arrived 5 minutes after closing and they let us go through for free. Apparently it is the 2nd or 3rd most visited tourist thing in all of Canada (or it might even have been North America).

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    In my opinion, seeing "Magnetic" Hill is the biggest waste of time in the Maritimes, if not all of Canada. There are countless other more interesting things to see and do in New Brunswick alone.

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    Oh come on ! Seeing Magnetic Hill is a harmless , quirky , touristy thing to do that takes all of 10 minutes !!!! Still lots of time left over to do and see the other stuff !!

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