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Nova Scotia: The Old World in North America
I wanted to go to some place that was exotic, far away and we didn't have any money. Hmmm... how about Canada?
I don't know why we choose Nova Scotia, but I am so glad that we did. We kind of blundered around, but its almost impossible to not stumble upon wonderful things in Canada.
Before I went to Europe, Canada was my substitute. The Canadians have retained their connections to Europe more than Americans have. Nova Scotia means, New Scotland. There are many people there who have thick Scottish accents. I thought they must be new, but then discovered that their ancestors arrived generations ago. They called it New Scotland because the landscape reminded them so much of their homeland. They kept much of what they left from the traditions to the very accent.
My hope is that this lens will encourage you to make the trip and that I can give you some tips to enhance your adventure.
Ways to Nova Scotia: Drive or Ferry
We drove the whole way. We started along the scenic coastal highway, once we got past Connecticut it was indeed scenic. Maine was beautiful, don't miss Acadia National Park, the coastline is breathtaking. And of course, we found lobster every night. It was a splurge for us, but actually reasonably priced for lobster. But remember it is a long drive up the coast of Maine.
We then continued all the way up through New Brunswick. It was about 160 miles or just over 3 and a half hours. That may not seem like much, but we had just driven through Maine. The important thing to know is that I hate driving. I don't like riding very much. Yet it was so beautiful that I didn't much mind the trip.
Of course, you can skip New Brunswick by using one of two ferries to take you over the Bay of Fundi. The fairs average around $55 to $60, with discounts for children. The vehicle is from $120 for a motorcycle to many hundreds for a car. They charge by the foot. Me? I thought the drive was really nice.
Ode to Nova Scotia
White Point, Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
We got into New Glasgow fairly late and found a wonderful Bed and Breakfast, lots of antiques and atmosphere. We planned to go to Prince Edward Island the next day, and paid for two nights. I wouldn't have done that again as I would have liked to have stayed the night on Prince Edward Island, but not much more.
You take a short ferry to the island. It is like old England. Gentle rolling hills and quaint houses. There is a nice museum in the town and we had lunch at a church that funds itself by feeding tourists. The house that inspired Anne of Green Gables is there and there was a beautiful beach, with the warmest waters. Unfortunately we didn't take suits. Take one if you go.
There wasn't a lot to do, but it was just so pretty and so different. I would suggest taking the ferry, but plan to stay in a bed and breakfast there so you don't have to rush. Then come back in the morning.
Visualized Prince Edward Island
Cape Breton Island
You can't go to Nova Scotia without seeing Cape Breton Island. It is actually part of the main island, separated by a causeway.
And then you have gone even further into the past. It has been many years since I have been there, but there wasn't so much as a movie theater, or a super market. There were many great restaurants. And lovely Bed and Breakfasts.
The camping was great, but you have to have reservations. You can get a Bed and Breakfast, nice ones, by just driving up. But you should have reservations for camping. We did find one for one night. It was so beautiful. We camped next to a cliff, literally looking over the cliff. And there were real showers, clean real showers. Just be sure to get reservations if that is what you want to do.
The B and B's varied from the divine to the mundane, but they were all clean with good food and friendly people. I recommend that to anyone. There was one hotel, but it was very expensive.
The best thing to do on that island is to hike. There are miles and miles of hiking trails. The trails meandered from cool interior forests, that were virtually primeval in feeling and turned until they came out to cliffs over the pounding ocean surf.
One day we were deep inside and saw an old mattress that someone had abandoned. I didn't know what to think. Usually I would have been aghast that anyone would have ruined the pristine area, but I wasn't. I wondered how it got there and almost a triumph. And soon enough it would be eaten away by the forest around it.
You Must See Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
Lobster VS Queen Crab
As I said earlier, we splurged on lobster while driving up through Maine. We expected to do the same while in Canada. I vowed to have lobster every day. Thinking about it makes my mouth water as I type.
I was very upset when I learned that the minute we crossed the international border, lobster was out of season. We were there the week before and after Labor Day for you sticklers.
A waitress talked us into getting Queen Crab, I can't believe I had to be talked into it. WOW! Think of the King Crab that you have eaten, only, especially if you don't live in the west, it was probably frozen. Now, picture it fresh, and even more succulent and juicer than you can imagine.
I didn't even eat lobster in Maine on the trip home. Its worth the trip.
The Coal Mines of Nova Scotia
The sign said that this was an actual working coal mine that was open for tourists. We found out that it had actually closed. The tour guide blamed the unions. You see the mine was next to the ocean. The near by coal had been mined out, so they had to start going under the ocean, at first a little way and then farther and farther. The men had to lay down, flat and travel to the spot where they could crouch all day to gather coal. It got to the point where it took 4 or 5 hours, each way for the men to get to the work site. The union insisted that they be paid from the minute the hit the mine entrance to when they left. The company didn't want to pay them until they started working. I am guessing that the tour guide was someone who opposed the union, which was why he was the one that got this job. I was for the union, but who was I to judge? I wasn't without a job.
I will tell you that we were only there for an hour, but the trip down the shaft that you see here, but once the doors closed and I knew I was committed to going to the bottom, I felt trapped. I am only mildly claustrophobic, but I wondered if I were a man who lived there and had no other choice, how I would get over it, as I would have to do just that.
I always felt for the miners and their families, but that brief trip to the bottom, was like no other. I couldn't even think of laying down and traveling under the ocean, I just couldn't let myself think of it.
The Mine Shaft: This Was Only The Beginning of Going to Work
A Tribute to the Coal Miners
Nova Scotia Sunset
Nova Scotia in Music!
Any Purchase Here Will Contribute to Heifer International: The Pay It Forward Entrepreneurial Charity
The Camera I Wish I Had Had in Nova Scotia
I wish I could give you my own videos here. If I had had this camera I would be able to.
Be sure to look at the accessories and get the soft case, that way the camera can go into any pocket or purse with no worry.
A compilation featuring original songs performed by some of Atlantic Canada's best known recording artists. This collection has been certified Gold in Canada.
Master 18th-century cooking techniques while soaking up music and mutiny at Louisbourg, p. 131. Discover what festival-going Scots really wear under those kilts in Halifax and Antigonish, p. 71, p. 119. Slap on a bib and loosen your belt at a PEI lobster supper, p. 205. Shore up your sea legs while spotting humpbacks and dodging icebergs on Newfoundland's waters, p. 229. Dedicated Newfoundland & Labrador chapter. Two fearless authors, 800+ hours and 8830km on the road. Oodles of itineraries to please road-trippers, foodies, history buffs and Anne maniacs alike. Evocative insights from a host of Atlantic Canadians.
Host Saskia van der Spuy tours Nova Scotia, a small but picturesque Canadian Province. She takes in the annual street festival in Halifax, stops by the old British Citadel, and then tours the Lighthouse Trail stopping by the fishing villages of Peggys Cove and Lunenburg. In Yarmouth, Saskia meets some working class fishermen and samples steamed lobsters before heading to Annapolis Royal. She finishes her tour at a traditional bluegrass festival and explores a 17th Century Acadian fur trading settlement.
Everything you wanted to know about Nova Scotia and were going to ask anyway. From the number of kilometers of coastlines to the stories behind those weird place names (hello Ecum Secum) to profiles of Joe Howe and Thomas Chandler Haliburton, there is no book as comprehensive as the Nova Scotia Book of Everything. There is also no book more fun. If you love Nova Scotia, you ll love the Nova Scotia Book of Everything.
The Flag of Nova Scotia
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