Atlantic Coast Adventures

Beth Johnson has one final piece of advice. The guide says that to fully understand the Bay of Fundy and the forces at work there, just imagine a bathtub: an elongated vessel that rises sharply at the ends. “The water slides from side to side,” Beth’s hands draw an arc, “ending at the ends.” The same is true for the water that flows in and out of the Gulf of Fundy twice a day.

The gulf is located in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, with 240 kilometers of Atlantic coastline. Here, unlike Maine, which heads south toward the United States, you can still walk almost nonstop along cliffs and beaches or browse for souvenirs in port towns like St. Andrews. Above all, Canada’s only bilingual province offers unique natural wonders and a rich history and culture.

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Like the Bay of Fundy. At high tide, the gulf between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick contains so much cold Atlantic water that the numbers alone are staggering. Twice a day, 160 billion tons of water pour into the bay, more than the world’s supply of drinking water, or as much as Niagara Falls in 90 days.

This tidal range of up to 21 meters high is more powerful than anywhere else in the world. For comparison: on the Baltic Sea it is 20 centimeters. In fishing villages like St. Martins, colorful wooden cutters rest on dry land until the tide washes the water under their keels again. Minsters Island, the summer home of Canadian railway pioneer William Van Horn, is only accessible twice a day during a certain time slot – or you can walk when the tide clears a rocky path. If you don’t follow the rhythm of the tides, you run the risk of being hit by a rapidly rising tide.

Caves and arches
What was created by thousands of years of ups and downs might not be a better place to visit than at Cape Hopewell in the Bay of Fundy. Here, the force of the tide has carved out the ground and created a unique sandstone landscape. Flowerpot Rocks, named for their elongated round shape and green flowerpot-like surface, represent the height at which the tide rises horizontally. In short: higher than anywhere else on earth.

At low tide, when the sea recedes half a kilometer from the beach, you can walk two kilometers along the seafront, on red-brown towers, four stories high, with mostly dry feet to s marvel Huh. Hours later, you’re paddling a kayak through the blasted island landscape through caves and archways designed for social media: Hopewell Rocks is one of Canada’s most photographed natural wonders.

One of the flower pots is even listed on the New Brunswick Medicare card – but before the last storm. In the spring, the upper part, which weighed several tons, fell, says Paul Gaudet, who knows each rock formation by name. The guide also knows the best stories of Hopewell. For example about a couple whose only wife had returned to the entrance a few years ago when the beach was closed at the rising tide. Her husband was trapped on one of the rescue towers. He must have stayed six hours.

change direction
The Saint John River flows 670 km from Maine to the Gulf of Fundy. Where two bodies of water meet in a narrow gorge formed millions of years ago, a very peculiar natural phenomenon occurs twice a day: a freshwater river changes direction of flow when the salt tide pushes it back. This is clearly seen in the rapids of the reversing falls, rapids at the mouth of the Saint John River.

The industrialization of the area around the port city of St. John is also evident here: on one side, the Reversing Falls Railway Bridge, a steel bridge dating from 1885, spans the river. Further downstream, a paper mill blurs the scene. The smelly industry is much discussed in this unique venue.

However, as it is owned by one of Canada’s wealthiest men, it is unlikely to close any time soon. Eventually, multi-billionaire James Kenneth Irving created the adjacent Irving Nature Park, which offers sweeping views of the Bay of Fundy and hiking trails along a secluded beach through woods and saltwater marshes. .

fossils millions of years old

The rocks tell the story of the region: for a billion years. How old is the discovery of the rock and the fossil. Katrina Russell, program director at Stonehammer Geopark, speaks enthusiastically about it. Listening to it, you will learn how the Bay of Fundy, 220 km long and 60 km wide, was formed when the continental plates of Africa and South America collided.

Ice ages, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and now climate change have shaped the landscape. “Here are the tracks of the first animals that migrated to the cradle of the Earth and the Atlantic Ocean,” says Russell. The Stonehammer area has been designated the first Geopark in North America by UNESCO. Tourists continue to find fossils on the beach, but Russell warns that they must be handed over – for this, the finders will be noted in the collection.

nine o’clock dolphins

Whale watching can be exhausting and fruitless – certainly not in New Brunswick in August and the first half of September. Canada’s oldest resort established by catamaran from St Andrews, where the Gulf of Maine meets the Gulf of Fundy.

At the top is Mathias Rudy, captain of Quoddy Link Whale Watching, who emigrated from Franconia more than 20 years ago. Almost nothing escapes his gaze, he often directs the attention of his guests in the right direction. “At 1 p.m., a whale, at 9 a.m., a dolphin.” The cool, nutrient-rich waters are home to many animals, including humpback and minke whales, and the occasional rare northern right whale, a species of right whale that can grow up to 18 meters in length. , gives an impression from which it is estimated that there are only 200 to 250 animals left in the world.

historic lighthouse

Of course, historic lighthouses are part of the spirit of New England. In fact more state-of-the-art, many of them have been replaced by much less picturesque buildings. On Grand Manon, the main island of the archipelago of 15 islands of the same name, Ken Ingersoll has been campaigning for its conservation for years. Along with his recently deceased wife, the amateur lighthouse keeper restored and modernized Swallowtail Lighthouse. It warns sailors of the rocky coast – especially when a not-so-rare fog causes reefs and islands to vanish again.

The first thing vacationers will see on the ferry ride from Black Harbor to Grand Manon is the picture-perfect 1860s white lighthouse. After the renovation, the tower is again available for climbing. On the lower floors, Ingersoll has lovingly built a museum commemorating former residents, sunken ships and historical events.

From Swallowtail, a well-maintained hiking trail traverses over 30 kilometers of coastal cliffs and offers spectacular views. It smells of rosemary and pine, wildflowers swaying in the wind. In the west of the island, basalt rocks formed by long-standing volcanic activity drop up to 100 meters.

Travel Tips: Fly to Moncton, St. John’s and Fredericton, New Brunswick. Car rental is available at all three airports. Accommodation, for example, at the Hilton St. John, centrally located on the harbour, double rooms from 110 euros,, or Algonquin Resort St. Andrews By-the-Sea, a historic resort, double rooms from 150 euros, Be sure to check the tides on before heading out on your trip. The trip was funded by Tourism New Brunswick.

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