Written by tvordj on 01 Oct, 2008
Alexander Graham Bell did most of his famous telephone inventing in the US but he had a summer home in Baddeck where he lived most of the last part of his life, continuing his research and inventing, with the help of a team, loads of…Read More
Alexander Graham Bell did most of his famous telephone inventing in the US but he had a summer home in Baddeck where he lived most of the last part of his life, continuing his research and inventing, with the help of a team, loads of other things. We already knew he had done a lot of work with the deaf earlier in life. His father did as well. He invented a sort of written language for the deaf and there's even a typewriter that types the symbols. The museum has several sections, dealing with various aspects of his life and work. There are loads of photographs including one of him and his wife with Helen Keller and a touching one of him and his wife walking on the beach. There are examples of some of the aircraft and hydrofoil craft he worked on and there's a film that you can watch about the evolution of these inventions as well as other details about his life. There are lots of items on display from other of his inventions including an early camera and a phone that could work on light rays. The first cordless phone! The site is wheelchair accessible with ramps and a lift. There's a children's play and experiement section in the lower level and of course a gift shop. Fees are $7.80 per adult with discounts for seniors, children and groups. Lots of free parking. There's a cafe on the site as well, near one of the car parks. Close
Yet another sunny day! We had a continental breakfast and checked out. We stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic site first, before heading to Louisbourg. This is a really interesting site and we spent an hour or two looking at all the exhibits…Read More
Yet another sunny day! We had a continental breakfast and checked out. We stopped at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic site first, before heading to Louisbourg. This is a really interesting site and we spent an hour or two looking at all the exhibits and photos. He did a lot of research and came up with a lot of inventions, a lot more than we realized. (see separate review). It was well worth the entrance fee and the time. Apparently you can drive somewhere handy and at least see where his house is but we didn't realize that.We left there, gassed up the gar, and then drove straight through to Louisbourg, mainly highway driving until just past Sydney where you turn off for Route 22. It's well marked so you can't miss it. Since it was not quite noon, we decided to drive straight to the Fortress rather than check in to the Bed and Breakfast. I've written about the Fortress in another review "Visiting the 18th century" so some details are there. We had a great time, chatting to the interpretors, walking around and looking in the buildings. We went up to the fort, or Bastion, to watch a rifle drill and cannon firing, all done to the beat of the drummer. I was surprised to see a couple of women dressed as soldiers. I know in this day and age, everything is open to anyone but to be truly representative of the 18th century, you would have to have all male soldiers. Still, it doesn't matter. I have to say, though the soldiers were fine, they weren't a crack drill team like the summer students in the Halifax Citadel, the 78th Highlanders. Their marching lines were a bit straggly and they didn't snap the rifles around sharply like real soldiers would. I know. Picky. I shouldn't be. The whole experience was wonderful, really. We talked to one woman at the Bastion who directed us upstairs to check out the Governor's quarters. Very posh! The jail cell was a bench with a mattress at one end. I expect several prisoners could be bedded on the long bench and there would be more then just the one thin mattress but there were also shackles on the bed platform too! We also witnessed a public punishment where a citizen was purported to have stolen a bottle of wine. This was proclaimed and he, with his hands roped together and a wooden sign around his neck stating he was a thief (in French, "Voleur") and he was marched through the town to the post where he would be placed in an iron collar for several hours. There is so much attention to detail here, with the costumes and items in the buildings. The actors know their history as well and enjoy playing the parts. One woman, who was weaving a basket, has worked there for 20 years. She grew up there and the Fortress was part of her history. The main thing we did miss was an on site museum that we didn't realize was there. I wouldn't mind at all going back again and taking one of the free tours as well. There are picnic tables available too if you don't want to eat at one of the restaurants. After four hours in the sun, we were ready to head to the Bed and Breakfast. This one, the Stacey House, is filled with antiques and floral prints and dark wood. Our room upstairs was mostly white and lace though, so it was brighter. Turned out to be not that great a choice because we found the bed quite uncomfortable. We ate our evening meal at Grubstake, a few blocks away. They don't serve any fried food there, everything is baked, broiled or poached. The food was quite nice, too, and the chowder i had was perfect! They also have a playhouse that was built by a movie company and left for the town. They offer entertainment, plays and music all summer long but the folk music on offer tonight didn't really appeal to us. After a restless night, we had a nice breakfast, at least. We're heading home today. Not quite as clear and sunny today but it's ok, for driving. we drove a scenic route, first along the Mira River and then along the lovely Bras D'Or lake, passing through Big Pond where we stopped at Rita MacNeil's famous tea room. Rita is a singer and while her music isn't my taste, she's quite well known in Canada and we thought we might as well stop there for our elevenses, tea and a scone. Lunch was at a pub in the town of St. Peter's. Food was good but the service was slow.From there, the drive was mainly unremarkable, hitting the highway when we got off Cape Breton Island and straight through to Halifax, other than a stop for the loo at a petrol station near New Glasgow. We had a lovely road trip but we were definitely glad to get out of the car!!! Close
We weren't lucky with the whale watching cruise so we took a little time and drove back to Joe's Scarecrow Village (see separate review). What an amazing and quirky attraction! Kind of creepy too. The one that really made the hair on my neck stand…Read More
We weren't lucky with the whale watching cruise so we took a little time and drove back to Joe's Scarecrow Village (see separate review). What an amazing and quirky attraction! Kind of creepy too. The one that really made the hair on my neck stand up was the one with the alien mask. The face with the over-sized open mouthed smile was unsettling as well. Definitely worth a stop if you are going by there anyway. We bought sandwiches at Tim Horton's to have for our lunch later and hit the trail. Another clear blue sky today! We're a couple of weeks too early to see the changing fall colours, unfortunately. There's a charge for entering the Cape Breton Highlands National Park that encompases the Cabot Trail but it's not that much and there are family/group rates if you've got a car full. We paid our dues and got a good map of just the park routes, lookoff spots, attractions and hiking trails which we found useful. The scenery was truly jaw dropping!! The road was at times twisty but almost always in decent condition. there were a couple of spots where the shoulder was narrow or the road at the shoulder was a bit rough but mainly it was in decent shape unless you went off the Trail. We made stopped at some lookoff points, a couple of gift shops, a cafe, and went off the main route to see a couple of little fishing villages, Bay St. Lawrence at the northern tip of Cape Breton and Neil's Harbour where there is a lighthouse on a very windy hill. We had our sandwiches in the car there as it was far too windy to sit at a picnic table and had a coffee at the little cafe beside the lighthouse. Places we could have stopped but decided against this time were the Lone Sheiling (a replica of a Scottish crofter's cottage) and the Giant MacAskill museum. Apparently we went right by it but the signage is pretty bad.We ended the day in Baddeck, a pretty town on the water, on the Bras D'or lakes. There's a lighthouse here too (how many did we see? I lost count!) Our bed and breakfast is just up from the main and only intersection by the visitor information centre. We got checked in then went out to walk around the village, down by the waterfront and up main street. Not much open past 5 o'clock on a Saturday! We did stop into the library and signed up to use the public internet computers but barely got logged in when the library closed! Fail! Where to go for our dinner? We asked the landlady at the B&B and she'd recommended a couple of places. One was in a hotel and was too full and too posh for our casual attire. The one we chose was called Yellow Cello. Food was good but we didn't have very good luck with the service. The young man didn't seem to be very experienced.The B&B was quiet, didn't have a television so we occupied our evening with games of cards and checking out the jacuzzi tub! Close
Up early today. Peter is cooking breakfast but has invited us to the restaurant where he's using the facilities there. It's not open for breakfast, so it's just us for a private dining experience with our eggs and bac'. I was sure the eggs were…Read More
Up early today. Peter is cooking breakfast but has invited us to the restaurant where he's using the facilities there. It's not open for breakfast, so it's just us for a private dining experience with our eggs and bac'. I was sure the eggs were different somehow, they tasted so good but I guess it's just like that when someone else cooks it for you. In butter. The sunrise was beautiful and the day was going to be sunny and clear with a little cool breeze. Perfect for traveling. Put in the tunes and away we go, taking the direct route back to the ferry which takes about 30 or 40 minutes tops. We made it with 13 mintues to spare, or so we thought. The boat was 9:30 not 9:00. Misread the brochure. Well it's better than missing it by a half hour! We paid our fare to return to the mainland and then headed left for Cape Breton up the Trans Canada Highway. We crossed the Canso Causeway but took the wrong turn off the rotary. We'd wanted to take the 19 all up the western shore but instead found ourselves on the 105 Highway. There didn't seem to be a way to cross over so we stayed there until Whycogomah where we stopped for gas and had lunch. We bought fresh made sandwiches at a Farmer's market (bakery and deli) which were the size of doorstops! From there we sorted out the correct turn off to go over to the scenic route.Mistake. There was construction in two separate sections and the road was a bit rough otherwise, too. The construction spots had us stopping to wait for a pickup truck that would escort us down the road to the other end of the sections. That was different! We finally got on our way and out of the worst of the roads, heading through the beautiful Margaree Valley and around the coast into the Cheticamp area. We spotted Joe's Scarecrow Village and Flora's, noted for later visits. We found our motel, the Ocean View Motel and Chalets, at the other end of the village, checked in and headed for the wharf. We were hoping to catch a whale watching cruise, you see, and were told there was a 5 o'clock cruise going out. Unfortunately we were out of luck, because it's off season and if they don't have 6 people, they don't go out. They didn't. We didn't. Instead, we drove back out of town to Flora's for a gander through the craft shop. There's all manner of hooked rugs, a local specialty, available in the shop from small things the size of bookmarks or coasters to large area rugs for the floor or to hang on a wall. There are lots of other nice things there too and we gathered up some items for gifts and souvenirs. We headed back into the busy town of Cheticamp and stopped at the 100+ year old stone church, Saint-Pierre. It was open so we went inside to looke at the sunny interior. The walls and ceilings are all white and the light through the stained glass makes it glow. Very pretty church and it's spire can be seen for miles around. Food was our next priority. There are quite a few places to eat and we chose what was probably a bit of a tourist trap, a restaurant (and pub) with a big lighthouse out front. They're large enough to cater to a bus group though it was mercifully quiet when we were there. The food was good, though our waitress had us a bit worried whether she would manage. She used a catering tray to hold on to as she walked around, with the drinks or the food on the tray. She was clearly a little unsteady but she was game to go! The service was, in fact, quite good! We had no room for dessert and headed back to the motel room. The motel offers dvds to borrow and play on the television so we looked through the list of titles and chose one. we had some snacks and settled in to relax and enjoy the movie. Tomorrow will be a long driving day around the Cabot Trail! Close
I've been trying to get to Cape Breton for years and never seem to manage to make plans that work out so this year, I was determined. Graham was visiting for two weeks in September so we went ahead and booked. It would have been…Read More
I've been trying to get to Cape Breton for years and never seem to manage to make plans that work out so this year, I was determined. Graham was visiting for two weeks in September so we went ahead and booked. It would have been better to go in October when the fall colours were blazing but I had work committments so we made do with a beautiful sunny weekend instead. Our trip to Cape Breton included an overnight stop in Georgetown, Prince Edward Island to visit my cousin. We left on a Thursday in grey, overcast weather. We decided to take the ferry to PEI since Georgetown is on the east end of the island and not that far from Caribou where the ferry lands. First, though, a stop in the pretty town of Pictou. We were early for the 1 p.m. boat so we drove into the town centre to have a look around and a coffee. Pictou is known as the landing spot for the Hector, a sailing ship that brough a boat load of Scottish highlander immigrants in 1773. More and more Scots arrived as the Highlands were cleared out by the British after the Rising and thus, Nova Scotia's strong Scottish (and also Irish, many of whom arrived during the famines in Ireland in the 1800s) heritage was born. (There are more names that start with Mac and Mc in the telephone books here than the name Smith!)On the Pictou waterfront is a replica of the Hector and you can go on board but only if you pay $7 at the museum there, the Hector Heritage Quay Interpretive centre which isn't large but there are several other buildings and things to see such as a working blacksmith shop. We didn't actually go through the museum because of time constraints and just took pictures of the ship from the boardwalks along the waterfront but it would be quite interesting and worth a look. We did have a look into the gift shop where they had a lot of nice things. I bought myself a silver ring with a Celtic design and it looks like a miniature locket, that is, a little compartment that opens up. Too small for a photo but apparently it's modeled on rings that could hold a poison pellet! Hmmmm....The weather was getting a bit misty and we decided we might be ready for that hot drink now. Across the road from the Quay is a lovely little cafe and art studio called Carvers. Keith Matheson, the owner, has a studio in the back where he produces wonderful wood carvings and they even hold classes! The cafe has light lunches available and yummy desserts and the pub has a hearty menu. From there, we headed to the ferry, only we seemed to have got out of the town on the wrong road and took the back road all the way to the ferry. Luckily, we weren't late for the boat! You can travel to PEI on the ferry or by the bridge in New Brunswick for free but they make you pay on the way out and let's face it, it's an island, they've got a captive audience! On the PEI side, we took the East Coastal Route, the scenic drive around the shore. We made a couple of stops along the way, one to Cape Bear where there's a lighthouse. It wasn't open but we took pics and had our lunch sitting in the car. It was a bit too wet to sit at the picnic table there. Cape Bear lighthouse was the first one in Canada to receive a distress signal from the Titanic! Our other stop was Panmuir Island, accessed by a narrow causway. It's on the mouth of Georgetown bay and the lighthouse there is the oldest wooden one on the Island. We could see a few horses grazing in a field in front of it as we drove up. Makes for a nice photo! You can pay a small fee to go up in the lighthouse but we didn't. We did have a little chat with the woman working in the lighthouse which is a tiny gift shop and we walked around taking photos of the views, the lighthouse and the horses. By now, the weather gods were with us and it was clearing up. Another 20 minutes or so and we arrived in Georgetown, just before 5 o'clock. Gayle was still in her shop Shoreline Designs a few doors down the road from their house so we walked down to see her there and investigate the shop. This is the first summer it's been open. There's lots of lovely hand made crafts for sale, some of which are made by Gayle's husband, Peter (jewelry, sandstone carvings). They have also opened up a restaurant with a partner, called Clam Diggers. That's down at the other end of their street, overlooking the water. We had our dinner there later on and it was really *really* good! ! Peter doesn't do most of the cooking but he does do some of it when he has the time. He's not only busy crafting his silver jewelry and carving his sandstone, he's also the mayor of Georgetown! The sun has set and we're heading for bed after an impromptu Japanese karaoke session (Um, probably best not to ask!). Our visit this time is short but we'll come back again and spend more time on the Island and with Gayle and Peter. Close
Written by artslover on 12 May, 2006
We decided on a Friday night to rent a car and drive to Lunenburg the next day, stopping along the way as time permitted. I was to get the car and be ready to leave when my husband was finished with his business. Saturday morning,…Read More
We decided on a Friday night to rent a car and drive to Lunenburg the next day, stopping along the way as time permitted. I was to get the car and be ready to leave when my husband was finished with his business. Saturday morning, I visited two rental spots but they didn’t have any cars available that day. Luckily, Halifax has a lot of car rental places. I ended up on the telephone calling six places before I found a car which I could pick up just after noon. Next time, we’ll have to make these decisions to rent a car a little earlier.We drove away from the hotel by 1pm. We drove past the Halifax Public Gardens, which are closed in the winter months, and along Quinpool Road which has a number of stores and restaurants. We did not have a lot of time so we could not drive as far as Peggy’s Cove which claims to have the world's most photographed lighthouse. Following the map and directions I got from the car rental place, we headed to Mahone Bay along route 3 leaving Halifax. We passed by some very small villages and quickly found ourselves in the country with few houses to be seen. Somehow we failed to make the turn to highway 103 and ended up at a water treatment facility. The road to the water treatment facility was as big as the highway and newer. How were we to know it wasn't the highway?We eventually got ourselves onto 103 and were in Mahone Bay about 2:00 in the afternoon. The highway signs are frequent making the journey easy to navigate. The small village and bay at Mahone are very picturesque. We stopped for fish and chips at a pub called the Mug and Anchor and looked out the windows to admire the picturesque bay with the three churches sitting in a row. After a quick walk around, we drove to Lunenburg. When we got to Lunenburg, I was surprised to see a tour bus there since everything I read said the tours ended after October 31. Lunenburg is a very charming village and must be lively during tourist season. There are a lot of art galleries, craft shops and antiques stores. The light poles all have colourful handicraft sea creatures hanging from them. The harbour has a small boardwalk and quite a number of restaurants. The Bluenose is sometimes docked at Lunenburg, but not when we were there. We looked at some of the old houses, which have plaques explaining their historical significance, but we were getting cold and time was running out if we wanted to get back to Halifax for dinner. We were back to Halifax shortly after 5:00pm when it is getting dark.Our afternoon jaunt was a pleasant way to see the ocean and the villages outside of Halifax and despite the limited time we had, we were certainly glad we made the effort. Close
Written by Jim Rosenberg on 29 Sep, 2000
With a population of around a million combined, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island offer striking natural beauty and Maritime flavor filled with picturesque seascapes, wild salmon rivers and fresh lobsters boiling in the pots of quaint seaside restaurants in fishing villages…Read More
With a population of around a million combined, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island offer striking natural beauty and Maritime flavor filled with picturesque seascapes, wild salmon rivers and fresh lobsters boiling in the pots of quaint seaside restaurants in fishing villages up and down their coastlines.
Around a quarter of the population of the Maritimes resides in the greater Halifax area, the economic, political and cultural center of Atlantic Canada. Paired with Dartmouth along either side of a magnificent natural harbor, Halifax cuts an impressive skyline and features an inviting waterfront. Its strategic location on the North Atlantic makes it an attractive destination for visitors from all over the world by land and by sea. Halifax is the northern-most ice-free port on the western Atlantic and the city is pleased to roll out the red carpet with a wide variety of entertainment, dining, lodging and sight-seeing options. With a rich tradition stretching back more than 250 years, historic Halifax makes a fitting front door to Canada.
Seafood lovers won't be disappointed with the fabulous array, with cold-water lobster heading the long list. For a low-cost, stick-to-your-ribs kind of food, try poutine -- a dish that is so popular that you will even find it in some the McDonald's of eastern Canada. Poutine consists of french fries topped with melted cheese and beef gravy; a cardiologist's nightmare perhaps, but it's very good, very filling and VERY Canadian.
History buffs will enjoy the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Included in the collection is an authentic deck chair from the Titanic. Around 150 victims of the disaster are buried in three Halifax cemeteries.
For those looking to range a bit beyond the region of the provincial capital, consider devoting a day and a night or two toward seeing the Cape Breton Highlands, an impressive national park with breaktaking views. Whale-watching tours are available and there are plenty of places to stay, particularly for those who enjoy the 'bed & breakfast' type of experience.
One of my regular stops is the Town of Truro, past the airport exit and about an hour from Halifax. It's probably nothing special to most; one never knows exactly what causes that special familiarity to develop with a place. In May, there is an annual tulip festival (and weather permitting, it will even feature tulips). But the real treat is the 1,000 acre Victoria Park which is right in town and features beautiful walking trails, long staircases up steep embankments and picturesque waterfalls.
For a travel value with plenty to do, plenty of charm and a lot to see that is north of the tourist crushes and high prices of popular U.S. destinations, Halifax and the Maritimes are well worth investigating. Close
Written by smmmarti guide on 29 Nov, 2004
Earlier this year I met a fellow hailing from Nova Scotia."I‘ve always wanted to go there!" I exclaimed."Heavens, why?" he retorted. "I don’t know?" I muttered, suddenly embarrassed. Undaunted by the local’s lack of enthusiasm for his homeland, I decided this would be the…Read More
Earlier this year I met a fellow hailing from Nova Scotia."I‘ve always wanted to go there!" I exclaimed."Heavens, why?" he retorted. "I don’t know?" I muttered, suddenly embarrassed.
Undaunted by the local’s lack of enthusiasm for his homeland, I decided this would be the year I tramped the Acadian and Mi’Mi’kmaq native soil at long last. I was determined to uncover the irresistible pull to the lovely little maritime province.
"Into the mist my guardian prows put forth, Behind the mist, my virgin ramparts lie, The Warden of the Honour of the North, Sleepless and veiled am I." - Rudyard Kipling, Imperial Halifax
I could relate, having awakened prematurely the morning Halifax dawned. After all, this stop would be the pinnacle of the cruise, both in latitude and anticipation.
I’d thrown on a tracksuit and bounded up the stairs to the top deck into a soupy mist that disguised the ship’s coordinates. I trained an eye on something in the distance, but could see no further than a sloshy hot tub, the sole reminder I wasn‘t on an ancient fishing boat or privateers rig. Someone strode toward me, emerging from the fog barely in time for me to step aside. A crew member, in a terrible hurry. Then a loud clank rang out portside.
There. A docking crane presented mere meters from the hull. The anchor chains began their aching descent We were here already, and I hadn’t ever seen it coming.Halifax, so far, proved exactly as I’d imagined her.
Socked InThe weather put an end to the notion that we’d rent a car and tour around the island guided only by the sea birds and our instinct. Instead, we hailed the cruise line shuttle into downtown Halifax, where we were dropped at the entrance to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic . We decided to explore the museum later, as we were still in need of our morning exercise and eager to look around.
Tramping up the steep hill in the pouring rain to the Citadel satisfied the need for speed! There is a glorious harbor view from the 1749 historic hilltop site where the British empire built their first naval defenses in the new world. Today fog blanketed the star-shaped fortress, which took 28 years to build in 1856 and served primarily as naval barracks after the invention of long-range rifles, which rendered the armaments obsolete. We were a bit too early for the living-history presentation, reenactments, and audio-visual tours offered through the park service.
Slipping back down the hill, I decided to peruse the tourist area near the wharf so we could board the cruise ship shuttle at any given moment-in case the skies reopened and gales force winds roared across the world’s second largest natural harbor (only Sydney is larger).
I was captivated watching a ghost ship sail into port, disappearing in and out of the dense fog. On second glance, it was the ferry taking people to Dartmouth just across the harbor, a mere 12-minute ride and Prince of Fundy cruises carrying passengers from Portland, Maine to Halifax. Far less ominous was the sight of Thomas the Tugboat’s happy face brightening the harbor side on the rainy day, a welcome sight for visiting families.
I stumbled easily unto the Historic Properties encompassing a three-block area with a collection of restored buildings, former warehouses where privateers stockpiled their booty. The distinction between privateers and mere pirates was a marginal gentlemanly code of conduct.
Whereas pirates attacked and plundered anyone in their path, privateers were sanctioned marauders with legal documents verifying their objectives and activities. This system provided private-sponsored protection against foreign invasions in the remote outposts of the empire, where the naval resources were minimal. Call them mercenaries, if you will. The privateers split their bounty with the crown and investors.
This national protected landmark is only one of many in Canada’s colonial port, where the earliest settlers put down roots and left their legacy. Nearby, and somehow befitting the heritage of the privateers, the Nova Scotia Casino offers considerable bling to the otherwise quaint, romantic seaport.
The entire harbor front is as you’d expect it to be: cute little shops, slow food outlets, gimmicks, gimcracks, and a surprisingly well-stocked and helpful tourist information shack. After soaking in plenty of charm for the day, Sweetie decided he’d do something historical and politically correct by taking the brewery tour of the oldest working brewery in North America while I wandered out of the rain and into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Inside is an impressive collection of both permanent and temporary exhibits. From Tall Ships, Masters of the High Seas to startling, provocative, contemporary shows, the museum’s sophistication belies the small population (under one million) of the province. Stretching outside the box while honoring the woodsy, folksy crafts of the native populations and multi-ethnic cultures, it’s obvious the founding of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design by Anna Leonowns (who wrote Anna and the King of Siam based on her own experiences) has influenced the artistic sensibilities of this remote area. The relocated house of Maud Lewis is alone worth the price of admission.
Sweetie and I literally bumped into each other again at the Maritime Museum. Highlights of our tour included learning about the infamous Halifax Explosion, an event that registered the world’s largest pre-atomic age explosion, and viewing relics of the Titanic.
Right across the street McKelvie’s beckoned us from behind the restaurant’s perfectly manicured window boxes. Inside, the scent of chowder, steamed lobsters, and homemade bannock (scone-type bread) excited our chilly bones. Our spirits needed revitalization following the harrowing reminders of disaster at the Maritime museum. We sunk easily into the cozy booth and indulged in local specialties, expertly prepared.
During lunch we learned from our waitress, observing our water-logged clothing, that we might have tried instead the Downtown Link, a clever arrangement of subterranean mazes that delivers pedestrians safe and dry to their destinations. Why does no one tell you these things?
After lunch the fog lifted and the sun threatened to peak through a remote blue corner of the sky. We strolled through lovely public gardens and bumped into Sir Winston just round the corner from the cigar shop that borders the hip shopping district known as Spring Garden.
Sipping a coffee from Timothy’s, I eyed boots from an ultra-hip boutique, stared at protesters opposing the inhumane treatment of animals outside St. Mary’s Church and square, and wandered through the remnants of the morning’s farmer’s market. Don’t miss this vibrant section of a charming city.
St. Mary’s - the tallest polished spire in North America
We browsed through Pier 21 and only wished we’d allowed even more time for this fascinating glimpse into Canada’s gateway. Here, millions of immigrants first stepped on Canadians soil, British children sent for safety during WWII, and the sad tale of the Acadians is illuminated.
Reading the stories of the displaced French settlers, driven from their home when the British conquered the area and left to wander down the coast, across the great rivers of America following LaSalle, and finally coming to light in New Orleans where the word "Cajun" was a bastardized version of "Acadian," I realized my personal connection to this history.
Perhaps I'd been influenced by the French nuns; my grammar school teachers; by my old playmates, Benoit and Boudreau; or the Kankakee River town of Bourbonnais leading to the Illinois and on to the Mississippi. Maybe I'd known the ancestors of the stalwart and dedicated Acadians. They obviously left quite an impression.
We'd had only one damp day in Halifax but it was clear that Nova Scotia's beautiful coastline, immense tidal flow, quirky and artistic environment, and rugged landscapes would call us back again.
Over the pallid sea and the silvery mist of the meadows. Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline
Written by Re Carroll on 30 May, 2002
Fishermens Cove is located in Eastern Passage, about 15 minutes from downtown
Dartmouth. At one time, fishermen (including my uncles) had their boat houses here and stored bait, tools, etc. There are still some private boat houses but most of the…Read More
Fishermens Cove is located in Eastern Passage, about 15 minutes from downtown
Dartmouth. At one time, fishermen (including my uncles) had their boat houses here and stored bait, tools, etc. There are still some private boat houses but most of the area is now filled with small replica buildings that house shops and restaurants.
There are picnic tables throughout the site and a wooden boardwalk that allows for a
waterside stroll. As well as a large restaurant called "Boondocks", there is a Subway and an Irish tea room. The stores carry typical tourist merchandise - souvenirs of Nova Scotia, post cards,
Saltwater taffy, books, etc. but it’s fun to wander through the small shops and stop for a
snack or meal.
Some of the boat houses are still used to store fishing equipment and there are lobster pots stacked along the wharf.
At the end of the wharf, Mike Tilley operates Harbour Island ferries and offers
transportation to Lawlors, McNabs or Devil’s Islands.
Mike is easy to spot with his red beard, fisherman’s cap and white rubber boats and he is a wealth of information on the area.
McNabs is the most popular destination and will be designated as a provincial park before the end of the year. Some people have summer cottages here and there are camping facilities and lots of hiking trails. Lawlors is home to wildlife including deer and osprey.
My sister and I visited Devil’s Island which is the farthest away but holds a special significance. Our mother’s family lived here in the early 1900s and she was born on the island. It’s very small - only about 1 mile in length but at one time, over 100 people lived here, mostly fishermen and their families. It is now totally deserted, except for a coast guard operated lighthouse that has seen better days. It’s now home to gulls and brown ducks who have their nests here and we came across lots of eggs that were getting ready to hatch.
The island’s name is attributed to a number of stories. Some say it is named after one of the first settlers, a Frenchman named Deval. Others say it is because people who came here said "why the devil would anyone want to live here?" and another version talks about a card game with the devil. I think the first option is the most likely but the others make for an interesting story.
Continual ferry service to McNabs is $12.00 return. Devil’s is $20.00 return but must be
booked in advance and is contingent on weather and tides since there is no wharf and
Mike has to land in a small cove.
Fisherman’s Cove is open 7 days a week and there is plenty of free parking.
Fisherman's Cove - 200 Government Wharf Road, Eastern Passage (902) 465 6093 FAX (902) 465 6899
Written by Re Carroll on 08 Jun, 2002
We were taking our time traveling from Halifax to Shelburne, so we stopped in Lunenburg for lunch and a bit of sightseeing. The village was settled in the mid 1700s and quickly became known as a first-class fishing and shipbuilding town. As…Read More
We were taking our time traveling from Halifax to Shelburne, so we stopped in Lunenburg for lunch and a bit of sightseeing. The village was settled in the mid 1700s and quickly became known as a first-class fishing and shipbuilding town. As well as small two man dories, large schooners were built to sail the Grand Banks in search of cod. In 1921 The Bluenose schooner was built. It became such a symbol of Canada that its silhouette is engraved on the back of the Canadian dime. In 1963 the Bluenose II was also built here and it is sometimes available for harbour cruises when in port. During our stay there was a full crew working to get it ready for racing competitions.
In 1995, Old Town was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and many of the buildings along the waterfront have been restored and now house restaurants, gift shops and galleries. Large homes, some dating from the late 1700s, have been lovingly preserved and a drive through the residential areas is a treat for the eyes if you like Victorian architecture.
One of Lunenburg’s most popular attractions is The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic located at the water’s edge. This large red wooden building is filled with displays and exhibits on the history of the Maritime fishing industry. There are touch tanks filled with marine life, information on the history of the Bluenose, and lots of interactive displays and activities to keep kids of all ages happy and busy. Entrance is through the large gift shop which stocks a good variety of souvenirs and Nova Scotian made gifts. Nearby, the Fishermens’ Memorial pays tribute to all who died in the sea.
Tip: Many of Lunenburg’s streets are one way so it’s easiest to just park and wander through town. There is a large lot beside the Fisheries Museum but it’s just for museum patrons and those going on boat