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Nova Scotia

Updated on April 1, 2011

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.

Check Out the Ferries

Ode to Nova Scotia

White Point, Nova Scotia

White Point, 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

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

The Mine Shaft: This Was Only The Beginning of Going to Work
The Mine Shaft: This Was Only The Beginning of Going to Work

A Tribute to the Coal Miners

Nova Scotia Sunset

Nova Scotia Sunset
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.

The Sounds of Nova Scotia Volume 1
The Sounds of Nova Scotia Volume 1

A compilation featuring original songs performed by some of Atlantic Canada's best known recording artists. This collection has been certified Gold in Canada.

Lonely Planet Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island (Regional Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island (Regional Travel Guide)

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.


The Flag of Nova Scotia

The Flag of Nova Scotia
The Flag of Nova Scotia

I would love to hear from you. And your stars are always welcome.

Let Me Know If I Have Interested You in Canada.

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    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      I live in Canada, and Nova Scotia has always been a place I want to visit.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I have stopped by here in the past but am just peeking back to wish you a Happy Halloween. Have a yummy one. (And I am Canadian so I am always interested in the workings of Canada.) Best of wishes.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 6 years ago

      Beautiful scenaries, music, lyrics and lens bringing must-see Nova Scotia to our eyes! Thanks for the virtual tour and I truly look forward to visiting there in person.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Canada looks very interesting to me. Maybe because I always crave for more space and Canada is such a large territory... Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      I always liked Canada, and yes you always make thing's interesting:) Nice work!!!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Interesting lens...stopped by to leave a blessing.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Well..... having lived in Canada since the day of my birth, I guess I was already interested. LOL You have done a great lens about Nova Scotia, truly one of our most beautiful provinces.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      Happy April Fool's Day! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Came back to give this my April Fools Blessing!

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 6 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      Definitely! My kids all are fascinated with Titanic and would love to visit this place. Canada, even the East Coast of the US, is somewhere that I've never visited. A friend of mine LOVES Nova Scotia. I think your lens has cemented the deal. Now I just need to find the time and the money!

    • kguru1979 lm profile image

      kguru1979 lm 6 years ago

      What a cool lens about this place ... thanks for this great info .. this information is new for me and I am happy to know about this place...!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tour! I'm leaving you a Lucky Leprechaun Blessing.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Hey, congrats on that purple star! I just added this as your 3rd featured lens on my 'Squidoo people with a good heart.' Sure hope it helps! Rose

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      What a beautiful place .It would be nice to go there Nice lens

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Oh, twenty years ago I went to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island with my sister. You brought back some great memories with this and showed me some parts that I missed. I must plan a return trip. Wonderful travel information!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      i would so love to visit ns. lovely lens.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      Great lens on a very beautiful area of Canada.

    • DogToys LM profile image

      DogToys LM 6 years ago

      What a beautiful place.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens and belated congratulations to you on that Purple Star

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Visiting Nova Scotia has been on my 'Bucket List' awhile. Perhaps this year.

      Enjoyed your lens immensely.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      Nova Scotia seems to be a beautiful place to go! I love United Kingdom and, indeed, I noticed on some pictures that Nova Scotia looks like Scotland; which is pretty amazing. Sadly, I can't fly neither wish to take a trip on the ocean for a long time, otherwise I'd have gone to Canada, as I'd really like to discover this country.

      At least, I can go to Scotland, which isn't far from my home town.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      ~ Blessed by a Squidoo Angel of the Travel Canada neighbourhood ~

    • profile image

      exit9to5pro 6 years ago

      Thanks for the lens. Good info. Planning a trip there this year.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 6 years ago

      Thank you for this fun and informative lens on Nova Scotia

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      You did a great job here; a beautiful representation -

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I love the Celtic music from Nova Scotia - beautiful.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Lensrolled to my: Squidoo people with a good heart

      Great Big Sea

      Life Changing Quotes (that you never heard before)

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Oh you did a gorgeous job on this one Margo. Love the photographs! I am so glad you enjoyed Nova Scotia. There are many places in Canada that have retained much of their European roots (Quebec city is another). Take Good Care, Rose

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 7 years ago

      We visited Lubec, Maine in 2005 and loved it. We visited Campobello Island, Bay of Fundy. I loved it. We stayed in a cabin about a mile away from West Quoddy Lighthouse. I have a lens on it. Best time! I love Canada and wish we could go back. Maybe someday. It was a 21 hour drive.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      You have my interest. I can see there are many more places that I must visit! Love the images and photos you have added to your lens.

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 7 years ago from Detroit

      Wow, I've always wanted to go to Nova Scotia, and you've reminded me of that, thanks! Gorgeous pics... fantastic way to tell the story. Well done!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 7 years ago

      Great lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 7 years ago

      Lovely insight and beautiful images but I may never go - don't fly.

    • profile image

      ezpostcard 7 years ago

      Beautiful place and lens Margo. My type of place for vacation, green valleys and romantic sunrise/sunset.

    • BuildABetterMouse profile image

      Steve and Annette 7 years ago

      My wife's "plan A" in life was to marry a Nova Scotian fisherman and live in a lighthouse - an interesting plan since she doesn't like seafood. I guess I was "Plan B" - we do hope to visit Nova Scotia some day.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 7 years ago

      My dad was born in Nova Scotia and I love the Prince Edward Island scenes in the Anne of Green Gables shows.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 7 years ago

      My dad was born in Nova Scotia and I love the Prince Edward Island scenes in the Anne of Green Gables movies!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      I love my country! Canada's geography is incredibly beautiful and the people are full of rich culture. Would love to visit Nova Scotia sometime.

    • javr profile image

      javr 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There was news of a couple who arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia instead of in Australia. They had a great time and vowed to come back. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      The People are very friendly and helpful, too. We love going there especially because we have friends there, too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My cousin and her husband bought a house up there and I thought, "Why?" I see now, why they bought up there. It looks beautiful, I am glad I found your lens.

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 7 years ago

      I hasve visited much of central and western Canada, and I would love to head east to visit the maritimes. Your lens provided a short trip with exceptional photos and fun information. Thanks.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      What a great lens. Thank you for showing us all about this wonderful Island.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      Very beautiful lens! I hope to visit there one of these days. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful lens on Nova Scotia ~ I had the opportunity to visit Halifax and Stellertan on business a few years ago, but it was during the winter time. I would love to visit there during the summer. I'm reciprocating your lensroll to my Canadian Quiz lens...thanks! :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      lovely place. thanks for introducing this beautiful place. i enjoyed that fiddle-dance vid. really great.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      I agree that Canadians seem to have retained their connections to Europe more than Americans, at least some parts of the country. I've been to Vancouver and don't get that sense, but we visited Montreal a few years ago and it definitely has an Old World European flavor that I've never found in any American city I've visited.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My mother always told me how she loved it here. I have yet to go, but it is on my list. Novia Scotia is too beautiful to miss.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing about Nova Scotia, one of the hidden treasures of Canada!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I just discovered Nova Scotia this fall and loved it! Lensrolled to my Peggys Cove and Quebec City lenses. Blessed and added to December Blessings.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      All Canada is beautiful, but if you really want a taste of Europe on "a budget" you should visit

      la belle province of Quebec.

      I made a lens about it:

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      I grew up in Nova Scotia and don't live there anymore but still love it.

      I love Prince Edward Island, too, and could easily spend a week there.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 7 years ago

      Since I live in the West - I go to Victoria and Vancouver, but yes I do love Canadians and Canada. BTW there is a broken link to youtube just thought you might want to change it. When I lived in Alaska I loved the crab there.

    • Craftyville profile image

      Craftyville 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens, I've always wanted to go to prince edward island, maybe one day.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Love this lens, I "favorited" it, may plan to go there!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Love this lens! Wonderful photos...I "favorited" it, may plan to go there!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Margo, when you travel you do get every bit out of the trip and share it so well! I would like to volunteer to stow away in your suit case! Nova Scotia is beautiful through your eyes. Now you have my mouth watering for Queen Crab and I never heard of it before. My family had King crab for Christmas dinner for years and I loved it. I guess where there is a King there must be a Queen!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      I have always wanted to go Nova Scotia. Then when I saw Anne of Green Gables I knew for sure that I wanted to go. I have been to Canada on both the East and West coasts (just over the border) and spent a day on each entry.

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 7 years ago

      This is definitely on the list of places to go! You know, that list just keeps getting longer and longer....

    • profile image

      MobyD 7 years ago

      I visited Nova Scotia, especially Cape Breton Island, in 1994 and again in 1999. The '94 trip included Prince Edward Island. On that trip I took the ferry from Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, NS for around $100 for me and the car. I went all the way up the eastern coast to Sherbrooke, Canso then on to Cape Breton Island, which was beautiful. I spent three nights on PEI, another wonderful place. I went back to Nova Scotia in '99 by taking a ferry from St. John, NB across to Digby, NS and saw a few different parts of the mainland before heading to Cape Breton once again. I'm over 3,000 miles away now, but I'll never forget those trips.

      This is a beautiful lens!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 7 years ago

      Lenrolled to my "Visiting Atlantic Canada" lens...we went in 1999 and I loved time you're in Canada drop by ;o) We want to go again and take the kids this time (there were no kids last time...literally) ;o)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      If I were going to move from BC within Canada, it would probably be Nova Scotia. Lovely lens about a great travel destination.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      I have been to Canada several times but never Nova Scotia. I need to add it to my list.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      I have been to Canada several times but never Nova Scotia. I need to add it to my list.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 7 years ago from London, England

      I have been to Canada a couple of times, but not yet to Nova Scotia. I am certainly interested in visiting soon.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I'm glad you had a good time visiting Canada! I have traveled across Canada twice from BC. We especially enjoyed Peggy's Cove and Prince Edward Island. Oh, yes, and Louisbourg Fortress. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I've been in NS twice, I think it is the most beautiful place on earth, 5*


    • profile image

      AuthenticSeacoast 8 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed your trip to Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritimes! A world of caution regarding B & B reservations: our bed & breakfast inn DesBarres Manor Inn is full many nights throughout July & August so we highly recommend that people make reservations to avoid disappointment. We hope you'll come back to Nova Scotia again and discover Chedabucto Bay, the largest bay on the Nova Scotia Atlantic coast.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Gosh, I didn't realize that there would be coal mines in Nova Scotia! Great job on the lens my dear.

    • profile image

      MobyD 8 years ago

      I visited Nova Scotia twice before I moved to Oregon. I especially liked Cape Breton Island. Prince Edward Island is beautiful. I wonder how the new bridge is affecting it, though. It was so peaceful when I was there in the mid-90s. I'd highly recommend a visit to Fortress Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island. It has been reconstructed from foundations into a great historical site.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      I've always wanted to go here and hope to get there soon. We've been planning a trip to Nova Scotia for years. Congratulations on Giant Squid!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 9 years ago

      Great pics Margo...have been there myself...we loved it...DH is from Nfld.

      We reside in Ontario. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Canada. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my banana bread lens...I appreciate it! :o)

    • lynnasafriend profile image

      lynnasafriend 9 years ago

      My step dad is from Nova Scotia, I just love it and the music.. OMG! I would love to see a good video on this lens about music if you have a good one laying around?

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Another great travel lens! Nova Scotia looks beautiful. Welcome to All Things Travel.

    • profile image

      EulogyHelp 9 years ago

      Nova Scotia is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. =) Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I've been to Canada a couple of times but I've never explored it. I would like to.

      Great lens