New England Cruise on Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas: Bar Harbor & New Brunswick
Or: Bah-Haa-Bah and Who Put the Fun in the Bay of Fundy?
Day 4 – Bar Harbor, Maine
Welcome to Bah-Haa-Bah. Or, as we say in the South, BaR HaRberr. Y’all.
First, please get acquainted with Maine according to the Epperly’s. Dad just got a new camera and we put this little gem together from our bloopers:
This is a truly magical little town, exactly what I think of when I imagine a stop on a New England cruise: a quaint, seaside town covered in a (literally) rich history. From the Rockefeller’s to the Pulitzer’s, Bar Harbor boasts tales of grandeur from its prime. We heard tons on our trolley tour, from war-torn love stories to a detailed account of the fire that ravaged one of the nation’s most prosperous vacation towns. The trolley tour was perfect for history junkies, of which I’m not, but our guide managed to capture the allure of Bar Harbor in his recollections. I can only imagine this place in the height of its golden days. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris on the way to Costa Rica last month – 1930s Bar Harbor came alive all too vividly in my mind.
My modern day account of Bar Harbor is that of an antiquated port city, bustling with the last bit of life before closing for the winter. While the weather hasn’t been cold enough to turn every leaf into the blazing ambers, reds, and oranges that we’ve been dying to see, we had the perfect weather to explore the beautiful town. Plus, the further we went inland, all the way up to Cadillac Mountain, the more we saw a change in colors. We also saw a wigwam, complete with a family of spiders, and Thunder Hole, where the ocean creates a giant blowhole…but you already know that if you watched the video above.
I can’t capture it all in words, so I’ll simply let my photos do the talking for me:
Bar Harbor joins the list of towns that I caught a glimpse of, but had to leave too soon. I fell in love too fast, just like in St. Paul de Vence, France, Whistler, British Columbia, and Coronado, California, to name a few. It’s on my list of places to spend more time in, and I’d recommend adding it to yours, as well.
Day 5 – St. John, New Brunswick
Who Put the Fun in the Bay of Fundy?
We’ve enjoyed all of the ports we’ve visited so far, but St. John left much to be desired in terms of sightseeing. My advice to visitors: save your money for other shore excursions.
When we saw signs for the Reversing Tides at the Bay of Fundy, which is currently being considered for one of the new seven wonders of the natural world, we had to see it. Can’t miss a potential wonder of the world! Apparently, the phenomenon occurs when the Bay of Fundy’s tides war against the St. John River in a power struggle that results in the tide pushing the river backwards. The sensation creates rapids and whirlpools, which are all interesting to learn about, but not worth a $120 trolley ride to see a somewhat docile midday river set against a paper mill. It’s a bit of false advertising, if you ask me, because the signs showed images like this:
Whereas we something much more blasé:
I’m not sure what other wonders are being considered for the new seven of the natural world, but I hope they’re a little more picturesque than what we saw.
The town is sleepier than any we’ve seen so far, so it definitely wasn’t our favorite. However, some travelers might enjoy the Old Town Market. My personal highlight of the day was finding a Tim Hortons, the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin’ Donuts that we discovered on our Canadian Rockies tour earlier this year. Lucky for me, Tim Horton’s had its limited time pumpkin spice donuts. I love me some pumpkin treats.