Maine Stories and Tips

Digby Scallops, Yum!

Annapolis Royal Photo, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Breakfast was tasty, made by Debby and cheerfully served by Jamie. He made his scones (with candied fruit, as you find in fruitcake) and they were absolutely delicious. And I’m picky about my scones! There were homemade jams of crabapple, peach and strawberry. There was also a croissant sandwich made with herbed scrambled eggs. All in all, it was a very tasty breakfast.

We wandered off to the Hector ship, and I went into the interpretive center to explore. My father-in-law came as well, though I think he was more interested in examining the post-and-beam construction of the building than anything else. They have a nice tableau of things around the voyage, including life before and after the journey. The ship itself was great to explore. There was a blacksmithy and carpenter shop set up, but none of their goods were on sale, pity. There was a gift shop, but it had the usual tourist stuff, very overpriced, and the place was sweltering inside. The outside was a cool 65 degrees, so no excuse for the heat.

I found my mother-in-law shopping in one of the downtown shops, and picked up a replacement wool McKenzie scarf for the one my husband washed and dried several years ago (I had bought the previous one in Scotland). Then we headed out of town towards Digby, tonight’s destination. Pictou was a sweet little town, certainly touristy, but in an understated way. I don’t believe they get the droves of tourists that Halifax gets, but rather the determined travelers – those that are truly searching for a local experience, rather than a tourist feather in their cap. I would certainly enjoy another, longer visit someday – perhaps with some time up in Cape Breton Island.

We had a few things to take care of before getting on the highway – breakfast, gas, and snacks. We found a Shell station by asking one of the locals – he knew we needed a diesel station by the sound of our engine. We picked up some odd snacks, including sweet chili Doritos. We passed on the Ketchup flavored Lay’s (ugh).

We drove down to Truro, and saw the basin of the bay at Walton Lighthouse. Everything was at low tide, so it was red mud flat for as far as you could see. I climbed up to the top of the lighthouse, but it was only about two stories up, not a huge differential. I was less than impressed with the size of the lighthouse. I had always been under the impression they were tall, round structures, not this short, squat, square thing. The only other lighthouse I had seen in person was the one at Cape Florida on Key Biscayne. This seemed rather puny in comparison. Of course, the Cape Florida lighthouse is on sea level land, while the Walton Lighthouse is on the edge of a tall cliff. Makes a bit of a difference, don’t you think?

We found a couple antique stores along the way to Digby, but the items offered were much more expensive than my in-laws could sell in Maine. They asked if there was a dealer’s discount, and were told no. Buh-bye!

Wolfville was our place for lunch, at - you guessed it - Tim Horton’s. It’s a great thing I decided I didn’t want new experiences for each meal on this vacation. Normally I revel in trying new places, pubs, drinks, diners, etc., and stay away from chains, but I wasn’t driving, so the driver chose the food. And perhaps I am occasionally too militant about my desire to not try or do anything I can try or do at home. Ok, perhaps not :P

This city housed Acadia University, and there were some very interesting people who came through while we ate. The guy sitting next to us kept reading a book and drawing strange things – the same thing, over and over, sort of a cartoon with rocks on the bottom of the page, and the word ‘staff’ written across the middle. Very odd.

We drove 101 down to Digby and Annapolis Royal – we had done the coastal route thing from Truro, and just wanted to get to our destination now. Besides, it was getting a bit late, and we needed to make up time. The land along the highway was uninspiring, but pretty nonetheless. As we approached Annapolis Royal, we stopped to explore the town a bit. I went to go into the Gardens, but the price was too dear - $8.50 seemed a little steep for gardens that looked less impressive than the ones in Ireland did. The others weren’t interested anyhow, so we went down to the dock to explore some more. There was a quite, peaceful waterfront walkway under the Cliffside, and a very large tugboat hulking in the harbor. I also found what I am firmly convinced must be the only Celtic Cross in Nova Scotia – it was in a cemetery not far from the wharf. There was also an intricately wrought iron star grave marker right behind it.

We went on to Digby, having explored Annapolis Royal a bit. Digby was an odd place, with a very historic, touristy dockside area, and a very commercial suburban area. We found our B&B on the waterside, and checked into our suite. The B&B was the Harmony Inn Suites (, and we had our own room in behind the main house. Breakfast was evidently just some pastries in a bowl left for us for the morning, but the beds were somewhat comfortable.

We settled in and I signed onto the internet to get our ferry tickets for the next day. We went down to the recommend ‘Fisher’s Galley’ for dinner. Digby scallops were supposedly world famous – I was looking forward to trying them. The wharf was great – very much the typical fishing village. The tide came in and rocked the boats, the sun set, and the gulls cried.

We went upstairs and had dinner on a deck overlooking the harbor. There was a band called B-Town Boys playing bluesy rock music (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Green Onions) down below, and the wharf was very pretty. The gulls were playing in the harbor.

The chowder had been highly recommended by our B&B host, Heather, and she was not lying, it was absolutely delicious! It was stuffed full of succulent seafood, creamy and good. I don’t think I had one bowl of chowder this vacation that was anything but wonderful. For dinner I got lobster and Digby scallops in garlic butter, and they were incredibly good. The lobster was a little tough, but the scallops lived up to their reputation. Lobster isn’t my favorite seafood – I think shrimp and crap hold that title, though great scallops will give them a run for their money.

We closed the place down, evidently, the last to leave. We went back home because it was getting rather chilly, and quickly! We watched some television, and went to sleep.

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