© 2011 jemma

The Nova Scotia Experience – Part 2.

So where were we…ah yes in Sydney Nova Scotia exploring the wild frontier of eastern Cape Breton Island. Jess doing his usual working thing, and me doing the errand thing, you know putting money in the bank, ordering hot drinks, exploring the streets of Sydney and reading, that sort of thing. I don’t want you all thinking I do nothing!

It was a pretty miserable drive south to Guysborough as we drove along the shore of Bras d’Or lake in the rain. We were leaving the Island today and heading back on our mainland journey. We got stuck in at least 3 or 4 different road works along the way which also doesn’t do well to lift spirits. I really don’t know what Canada can do about its roadwork schedule. I mean it’s either warm and touristy or freezing and snowy. All I know is its very annoying. We saw a few bald eagles though along the way which was nice and the lake truly is very beautiful.

As we were about to head of the island Jess finally snapped. We had seen the signs around Anitgonish and on the island, but he had held strong. But, in the true spirit of the Nova Scotia and lobster in general he said it had to be done. He was going to order a McLobster…and surprisingly he said it was good! It actually had real pieces of lobster in it! I saw it with my own eyes. And to top it off we won two cheeseburgers in Monopoly, yay, free stuff!

The following day we headed to the bakery which according to all literature is famous for its Cinnamon Rolls! They had none. They weren’t baking any today. If I read that anyone else is famous for its cinnamon buns I think I will cry, as they all turn out to be disappointing. Another example the “famous” one in Halifax later on in our adventure that made me sick!

Jess worked the rest of the day in the provincial park down the road and I got to make friends with the local wildlife – two squirrels – and hike around the little island twice. I did disturb – unknowingly – a bald eagle in a tree quite close to me which was pretty cool.

That afternoon we drove and drove to get to Liscomb or more precisely Spanish Ship Bay. A lady had kindly allowed me to rent their lake front cottage for one night instead of minimum of three, and it was well worth the stop. Not only was it on the lake, but we had a stream, a full sized house, kayaks and a gorgeous view. And apparently we also had a storm surge heading our way. Oh and no Internet…sorry Jess!

It was such a beautiful evening and we had such a nice dinner and kayak that we couldn’t actually believe what we woke to. The guy told us to flip his metal furniture just in case of high winds. Well the metal chairs slid of the deck twice, the power kept cutting out and the wind was so strong it felt like the house was moving. Oh and there was lots of rain. It was cool watching the little creek become more and more swollen though and amazing to watch the wind make patterns on the water.

With no Internet and shocking weather there was nothing we could do but keep on keeping on to Halifax. We drove along the windy highway enjoying the views but mostly trying to stay on the road. The weather did improve as we drove along, but it did get colder and colder and the rain stayed. At one point the wind screen wiper on my side stopped working. We pulled over to fix it, only I made it worse by tangling the two together and then laughing so hysterically I couldn’t help and Jess got a little mad!

We finally got into Halifax and Jess got to work. It was windy and FREEZING in Halifax and little ice showers of rain would fall. We ventured out for dinner and my god it was cold! Alexander Keiths – local beer – birthday party was on by the water and there were a few brave souls lined up to get tickets to get in. I salute you brave ones! I have never wanted a heater so badly!

The next day was sunny at least but was still cold, cold, cold. We met up with one of Jess’ Dads old best friends Wynn Potter. We had lunch with him down town and it was great to hear stories and catch up with such an extremely nice guy. Thanks for lunch and the fantastic company Wynn!!

From our date with Wynn it was onto our Brewery tour of Alexander Keiths brew house. Woah! The gist of the tour is not to learn anything about beer or beer making. The tour is about being taken back in time to when beer was made here…WAS made here! You are NOT to ask any of the period actor’s questions and when no one reacts to them – their jokes or questions – they just keep on going which makes it even more fake. The best part would have been the beer and the games if you didn’t have to scull your beers and listen to bad songs. Wasn’t mine or Jess’ favourite thing!

To lift our spirits we walked around town some more and up to the citadel – yup Halifax has one too! It was closed, but you get a great 360 view of the city and the harbour from up here. For dinner we treated ourselves to another famous Halifax icon, the peanut butter burger! It was DELICIOUS!!!! Just don’t pair it with a peanut butter chocolate milkshake, it ain’t going to make you feel good.

We drove to Peggy’s cove the next day to see just what all the fuss is aboot. We had talked to a guy in town the day before who said it was a great idea to head to Propect first, as it was just as/if not prettier than Peggy’s. He was right. What we found was a quaint little village, not touristy in the slightest with breath taking scenery all around. Why do granite rocks make things look so good?

Peggy’s was great too and we had a great afternoon walking around the village – it is not big at all – getting great snaps of the lighthouse, the rocks and the ocean. It is amazing though how many tourist buses they can actually fit in a car park! It is seriously like Tetris. Despite all the buses and people it is still pretty, just not as calm and peaceful as Prospect. To make our mark in Peggy’s we made an Inuksuk, just something for Peggy to remember us by.

Saturday morning is market day in Halifax and even though the Lonely Planet told us to go to the wrong markets we had fun exploring the Brewery Markets and then the Wharf Markets. The Brewery Markets are held in the Alexander Keiths Brewery compound and it set in many different rooms. You have to follow the arrows to get around. It is nice and quiet, but better if you are going to buy green groceries. I did buy that cinnamon bun though…and a nice croissant. Jess got a savoury scone. Hmmmm, hungry?

Then it was onto the wharf markets, which was like Paddington Markets on steroids. It is huge, inside and full of people. It was also the last weekend of the season which could have something to do with the volume of customers. It was really cool though with awesome arts and crafts and FOOD! BBQ pork buns, Cornish pasties and sushi. YUM, YUM and YUM!

Then we were on our way to Grand Pre near Wolfville. Along the way we stopped for a very nice picnic at a beautiful lake – is it just me or is Canada just FULL of lakes? My Cornish pasty went down very well. And then we were off again up the highway.

Grand Pre is on the Bay of Fundy. Our Motel was right on the water and when we got there is was low tide. This means that the shore goes out almost 2km and Jess and I walked out to explore the squishy mud, the crabs, shells and even a prawn. It felt pretty gross underfoot, but it was well worth it. Then it was off to explore the Acadian University town of Wolfville, which really is a very nice town surrounded by dykes, wineries and farms. Great little main street too, where Jess almost convinced himself to buy a NES in a very eclectic book/2nd hand shop.

The Sunday of our second week in Nova Scotia and the day before Thanksgiving was spent hiking out to Cape Split. Once we had dodged the Wolfville marathon runners – in the end we drove the marathon as we were lost. Me cheering them on, Jess trying not to run them down! – we finally reached the trail head in beautiful Scott’s Bay.

The Trail is a 3-4 hour hike through the forest, lots of large muddy puddles and through some creeks towards the most amazing view of Fundy ever! After about 2 hrs you pop out on the headlands of Cape Split, looking down from the sheer cliffs at the bay below. Great rock formations off the point too and at right time you get to witness the outgoing tide and the incoming tide hitting each other causing rapids. Very cool, and an excellent place to eat lunch. A highly recommended hike!

That night to finish such a wonderful day and week we had Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant in Wolfville. We had turkey and pumpkin pie. How North American of us. Having never had pumpkin pie it was very delicious and the turkey wasn’t bad either. Jess definitely enjoyed the stuffing and the local wine wasn’t bad either! A great finish to our second week. Gotta love Nova Scotia!