Friday, September 19, 2008


We're back from a very nice relaxing, unplugged trip to Nova Scotia. Here are all our photos.

After spending our first night in Bar Harbor, ME, where we returned to Southwest Harbor to have dinner at the Dry Dock Cafe - the same restaurant we ate at last year on our trip to Acadia National Park - we stayed for 6 days in Nova Scotia, 3 on the south coast and 3 on the Bay of Fundy. The B&B we chose for our first 3 nights, the Atlantic Sojourn in Lunenburg, was wonderful. It is owned by two great ladies, Sebelle and Susan, who know how run a B&B with style. We felt like we were visiting old friends. The house is filled with Sebelle's extensive collection of watercolors and each of the guest rooms is named after a different flower. On our first night, we stayed in the Mayflower room and then moved into the Lady Slipper, which was a little larger. Breakfast each morning was made to order from a menu that included fresh fruit, several styles of eggs, and a variety of cereals and breads. Along with the great food, we had the interesting company of the other guests each morning that caused us to linger in the dining room before heading out each day. By the way, we chose the Atlantic Sojourn not only because it was in Lunenburg, but also because Susan and Sebelle had last worked at Mt. Wachusett Community College, which is very near here. In fact, it turns out we have some friends in common.

Our first day in Nova Scotia was spent traveling - first across the Bay of Fundy on The Cat, a high-speed catamaran - which made me seasick - then driving from Yarmouth, NS to Lunenburg. We had dinner at the Old Fish Factory in Lunenburg that night and hit the hay early. We explored the south coast west of Lunenburg our second day, and went east as far as Halifax on the third. After that we drove north to Grand Pre and then west along the Fundy shore to Digby, where we stayed at the Habourview Inn for our last two nights. This trip encompassed only the southwestern half of the province, so we will have to return another time to see the rest - especially Cape Breton Island - and possibly go on from there to Prince Edward Island.

There's a lot to like about Nova Scotia. Its climate and landscape feels and looks very much like home - although perhaps New England of 40 or 50 years ago - small towns, few shopping malls and franchises, lots of open space. The coastline is rugged and rocky, like Maine's, and there is a lot of wildlife to be seen. One day we came face to face with a porcupine and there are deer everywhere. All sorts of birds are abundant. We enjoyed hiking the trail to The Ovens sea caves and out to see the seals frolicking in the ocean off the Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct. We visited some forts, including the Citadel in Halifax - a long, high climb - and Port Royal and Fort Ann near Annapolis Royal. We visited lighthouses at Peggy's Cove, Fort Point in Liverpool, and Cape Forchu in Yarmouth, and had memorable meals at the LaHave Bakery, Grand Pre winery, and the Seafire restaurant in Marriott's Cove. We saw boats aground at low tide in Hall's Harbor and learned the sad history of the expulsion of the Acadians by the British between 1755 and 1763 at the Grand Pre National Historic Site, where a statue, a church, and lovely gardens commemorate the history of the people Longfellow chronicled in his poem Evangeline. We wandered the paths of the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal in the rain and then warmed up with homemade soup and hearty sandwiches at the German Bakery. We drove back roads through Bear Creek to Greenwood where we spent a fascinating morning at the Military Aviation Museum looking at World War II planes, including a Lancaster, and learning about RAF history.

We loved driving Bugle1 on Crescent Beach and enjoyed many lovely views of boats sailing on the sparkling ocean - particularly the tall ship Caledonia, which we encountered off the coast on two different days. On our last day we meandered along the coast from Digby to Yarmouth, stopping along the way at St. Mary's Catholic church, purported to be the largest wooden church in North America, which contains an exhibit of all kinds of Catholic artifacts and ornate vestments.

Having learned a hard lesson from my first trip on The Cat, I was properly prepared for our return voyage, and even though it was choppy, survived the 5 1/2 hour trip to Portland, ME just fine.

No comments: