The Remarkable Hopewell Rocks

Summer in New Brunswick would not be complete without a visit to Hopewell Rocks. Even though I’ve been there at least six times, the Park always offers a little something new with each visit.

I never tire of the view at low tide while descending the winding metal staircase to the ocean floor. The Flower Pot Rocks look just like a postcard. Gorgeous.

THe famous Flower Pot Rocks.

The famous Flower Pot Rocks.

Last week, we visited again with a friend and we were fortunate enough to have perfect weather – not too hot or windy. This makes all the difference as the temperatures are always a little cooler along the Fundy coast. On clear days you can easily see Nova Scotia and may catch a glimpse of a whale or two in the twinkling waters of the Bay (I swear it twinkles)!

For many tourists, the scenery is the attraction. At low tide, the beautiful rock formations are on display with sea and sky in the background.  But upon closer look, the ocean floor is bursting with life. Thousands of tiny snails and a variety of crab species dot the landscape. They’re easy to miss, but once you spot them, it’s hard not to see the entire ocean floor as a moving, living thing.

Hangin' with the seaweed on the ocean floor

Hangin’ with the seaweed on the ocean floor.

Then there’s the seaweed. There are two common types. One has little balloon-like bits on its tips to help it float to the water’s surface. The other has mitten-like formations that contain a thick substance that is commonly used in skin care and other products.

After many visits, I’ve learned that getting dirty is part of the Hopewell experience. There is mud by the water’s edge and it is deep. Throw in some slippery seaweed and you have a recipe for disaster! We usually come back dirtier than when we arrived but luckily there are cleaning stations at the top.

There is a lot more to the Park than just the the Hopewell Flower Pot rocks.  I have not done all the trails in the area, but they lead to a number of other coves, such as Diamond Cove, Castle Cove and Big Cove. I intend to explore them one day as well as visit as the tide is rushing in.

If you have a chance, check out Bay of Fundy’s Hopewell Rocks by Kevin Snair. He is an interpreter at the Park who is passionate about the site.  It contains some great information about the Park, and the photos throughout are simply stunning. You’ll also learn the many quirky names given to the rock formations. “ET” is my favourite!

Once you head back to the entrance, don’t miss the excellent interpretation centre as well as the restaurant and gift shop. The restaurant serves some delicious east coast favorites while the gift shop has every maritime souvenir imaginable.


Moncton, Women’s Soccer and a Gold for Friendliness

Tournament logo

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, Moncton is one of Canada’s best kept secrets. We don’t have a giant tower or an internationally acclaimed museum or a dozen Michelin-rated restaurants, but we do have great people. And according to a reporter for UK-based The Guardian newspaper, this counts for a lot.

Louise Taylor was recently in Canada to cover the FIFA Women’s World Cup Soccer Tournament. Moncton played host to several matches in June and July. It was a big deal here and the City was the consummate host. Taylor’s last report offered The Guardian‘s awards for the World Cup.  This is what she had to say about the Martimes’ Hub City…

Friendliest Venue: Moncton
Vancouver was more beautiful, Montreal more chic, Ottawa more interesting and Edmonton – well Edmonton had more tall buildings – but Moncton in New Brunswick was the most charming venue of Canada 2015. Virtually everyone, everywhere, was friendly but in Moncton people are super friendly. If drivers see you hesitating on the pavement (sorry, sidewalk) and think you might want to cross the road, they stop for you. It also had by far the best newspaper of any read at breakfast in the five cities I visited – so hats off to the Times and Transcript.

Pretty nice I think. Here’s a link to her entire article..