Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nova Scotia Ramblings Day 1-3

August 2013 - Nova Scotia

We arrived home last night and I will recap our trip. I will highlight some items of interest in future posts.

Map shows our highlighted itinerary for the first three days.
Friday August 23, 2013

We set our (newish never used) alarm clock for 4AM but it went off at 3AM so we only had a few hours sleep in preparation for our 6:30 AM flight into Halifax on Friday morning (August 23). The pilot wasn't sure if we could land due to fog but we did, in fact, we were on the ground before we even knew it.

We picked up our rental car and headed out, it wasn't raining but was overcast.


Our plan was to head towards Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg.

We stopped at the Swissair memorial for flight 111 which had left JFK airport in New York headed for Geneva Switzerland on September 2, 1998 when it crashed off the shores of Nova Scotia killing all 229 people aboard.

Unfortunately it started to absolutely pour as we headed out.

We drove on to Peggy's Cove where we had been in 1990 after a couple of photo stops.

Time for lunch...after getting up at 4AM for our flight, hubby decided to have breakfast and I had seafood chowder with a biscuit.

Back on the road...

Mahone Bay - the image of the three churches is famous. I will highlight the churches in an inSPIREd Sunday post.


Time to get back on the road and find a place to spend the night. Our first choice was possibly Liverpool but after driving through we decided to keep going to Shelbourne. Shelbourne had their Pirate Rendezvous so most rooms were taken.

Back on the road and made Yarmouth our evening stop at the Rodd Grand Yarmouth, a local hotel chain. The hotel is dated and very tired but service was very hospitable. You won't find the typical national chains as you tour the small towns of Nova Scotia.

We decided to eat in the hotel as there didn't seem to be many places in town, a trend that continued all week.

The restaurant, labelled as Gale's Eatery Restaurant looked more like a cafe, was too well lit and the tables were already set for breakfast complete with coffee mugs.

Our server was delightful if inexperienced. I ordered the hot lobster roll and was appalled when I received it. I have never sent something back as inedible but it was a few pieces of lobster in a thick gooey gluey cheese sauce. I then ordered the scallops and baked potato which was good.

Don't worry our food after this was all great.

Saturday August 24

Awoke to a sunny bright morning and headed to the local "Timmies" for breakfast located in an old railway station.


When the old Dominion Atlantic Railway station was torn down a replica of the building was erected and now houses a Wendy’s and a Tim Horton’s. There are replicas of the old lamps hanging on the wall as well.

We then took a tour of the town.

At the Lost to the Sea memorial.

The year 1879 was a disastrous one for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, with no fewer than 31 vessels lost along with 106 persons. The ships lost were among the best of the Yarmouth fleet, some carrying valuable cargoes, while the loss of life left 26 widows and 99 children to mourn husbands and fathers.

One instance alone was that of the schooner Boadicea, 79 tons; she sailed from Yarmouth for Martinique with a general cargo, but was not heard of afterwards. Her crew, consisting of six men, left five widows and sixteen fatherless children.

Both before and after 1879, numerous courageous Yarmouth men and women have died at sea. It is the intention of the Yarmouth Waterfront Development Committee to construct a monument to all those "Lost to the Sea".

Of particular importance in the names listed on the monument will be those citizens of Yarmouth County who have been lost at sea as a result of the fishing industry, Yarmouth's longest and continuing seafaring industry. An example of losses in this sector was the tragic loss of life when the herring seiner Silver King was run down by tugboat Ocean Rockswift in August 1967.

We stopped at the Gilbert Lighthouse.

Time for Digby established in 1783 under the leadership of Rear Admiral Robert Digby, the town was first settled by the United Empire Loyalists who built the town as a fishing and lumbering centre. With a long, sea faring history, Digby was an important regional transportation centre in the 1890’s where trains connected with steamships. Today, the picturesque town of Digby has a population of 2,092 and hosts a large scallop fishing fleet.

So naturally scallops were on our mind for lunch.

Our next stop was the charming town of Wolfville, home to Acadia University. University towns are always teeming with energy.

Our evening stop was in Truro at the Holiday Inn.

On our way into town I snapped this photo of Glooscap, more on him later.

Truro is known as the “Hub of Nova Scotia”, because of its geographical position and historical significance. In the mid 19th century Truro had become a manufacturing centre and – thanks in large part to the railroad facilities - a natural distribution centre for the province; thereby earning the Town of Truro the nickname, “Hubtown.” And today, with all major highways intersecting through Truro, the town truly is the Hub of Nova Scotia!

We again ate at the hotel and had an amazing meal with a fun server. Food photos to come...

Sunday August 25

After another breakfast at Tim's, we decided to head back to check out the Glooscap Heritage Centre.

According to legend Glooscap, the first human, was created out of a bolt of lightening in the sand and remains a figure that appears in many of the Mi’kmaw legends. These legends are stories that are passed down from generation to generation and tell of the Mi’kmaw culture.
We made a decision to drive the coastal highway to Springhill which turned out to be not a great idea. It wasted a lot of time with nothing to really see. There are scenic loops on the Trans Canada highway that would have reduced the driving time. The other problem was the lack of places to eat along this drive which amazed us.

We did stop at Five Islands which was certainly worth it. Five Islands is a rural community in Colchester County Nova Scotia with a population of 300 located on the north shore of the Minas Basin, home of the highest tides in the world. It is named after five small islands - Moose, Diamond, Long, Egg, and Pinnacle - located just off the coast. As you can see the tide was way out at noon.
Native Mi'kmaq legend has it that the Five Islands were created when their god Glooscap threw the mud, sticks and stones at the giant beaver who dammed his medicine garden in Advocate. The mud, sticks and stones that formed the islands are said to have trapped the beaver in one of the islands and turned it into gold.

We went to Advocate Harbour as it was supposed to have a great view of the Bay of Fundy.


We ended up in Joggins and having a hot dog at the Bayview Restaurant or Margie's. The owner had gone to deliver pizzas and therefore picked up her supplies while she left a teenager in charge on a Sunday afternoon. Hot dogs just seemed the fastest idea.

We went on to Springhill the home of Anne Murray and more importantly known for the miners'

This version of Working Man sung by Rita MacNeil has stunning photo clips of the miners. There are many versions of this song but the version sung by a native Nova Scotian is my favourite.

Onto the Trans Canada to Antigonish for the evening at the Antigonish Maritime Inn.

A stroll around town with some photos.


  1. It's so beautiful! I live in the desert and all my pics have nothing 'green' in them and I always love to see such different parts of the country or world.

  2. My family took a trip to Nova Scotia when I was in high school. We visited many of the same places you did. Thanks for helping me relive some of those memories!

  3. Oh is gorgeous there. I want to visit.

    THANKS so much for sharing. Peggy's Cove looks adorable.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Saturday Snapshot

  4. Other than that bad weather on the first day, the photos look like you had fabulous weather. Everything is so quaint. Here's Mine

  5. I know very little about Nova Scotia or her history. I am interested in lighthouses though. Someday I want to do a lighthouse tour in the northeast. Nova Scotia could be added to the list of places to visit.

  6. Sounds like you had a great trip and I love the photos. It makes me want to start packing! Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a great trip you had, I'd love to get to Nova Scotia one day. Those scallops looked amazing!

  8. Lovely! Nova Scotia is so beautiful and the people so friendly. I've been to most of these places. I had to see Peggy's Cove since I am Peggy. It is gorgeous!!!! Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!


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