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Published: June 13th 2017
Geo: 44.6462, -63.5739
Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
We had a magnificent day for traveling. Sunny and high in the 60's (Fahrenheit).
Driver Gary headed south through Halifax, past lovely two-story homes on beautiful tree-lined streets. We passed an area known as "The Oval" which serves as a running track in summer and a skating rink in winter. Very clever.
As we traveled, Allison gave us some history of Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaq are the founding people of Nova Scotia. The French, who arrived in 1605, referred to the area as Acadia. The Acadians lived here for almost 80 years, prior to the British Siege of Port Royal in 1710. The British carried out the Great Expulsion of 1755, deporting 11,500 Acadians from the maritime region. Many migrated to Spanish colonial Louisiana and became known as Cajuns.
Currency: Allison explained the various Canadian currency, including the $1 coin (loonie) and $2 coin (toonie). The country has recently changed to plastic (instead of paper) bills. The $20 bill actually has a scratch and smell feature in the clear areas of the bill that features a maple scent. Who knew?
Atlantic time zone: Newfoundland, which is also part of Canada's Atlantic Provinces, is a
half hour ahead of the other Atlantic Provinces. So when it's 9:00 in Halifax, it's 9:30 in Saint John's, Newfoundland.
1.Those born in Halifax call themselves Haligonians.
2.Those born elsewhere in Nova Scotia refer to themselves as Bluenosers, after the famous schooner. The original “Bluenosers” were cod fishermen who wore blue mittens in winter, transferring the dye to their faces when their noses ran.
3. Cape Breton natives call themselves Capers.
Our first stop was Mahone Bay, iconic image of Nova Scotia. The town was known for its wooden boat building; tourism is its primary source of income today. The view across the harbor is of three prominent churches: St James' Anglican; St John's Evangelical Lutheran; and Trinity United.
This town and others we passed along our way today have colorfully painted buildings. There are several explanations for this, but the one I liked best is that there are eight months of winter and even the summer months experience a lot of fog so homes are painted colorfully to break up the 50 shades of grey.
Speaking of winter, in 2014/15, the area experienced 2' of ice, topped by 18' of snow. It was almost summer before they dug out.
Our next stop was Old
Town Lunenburg, UNESCO World Heritage Site – famous for its planned British settlement grid pattern. It is also home to Nova Scotia's Bluenose II, a replica of the original fishing boat that found fame as a racing schooner and appears on the Canadian dime.
Ashlee, an 8th generation Lunenburger, gave us a walking tour. We used “Whisperers”, which allowed us to wander to get photos, yet still hear her anecdotes and history. We started at the old Lunenburg Academy, which has been closed as a school but is being repurposed as a library and a master level music school.
We had our Tauck group photo taken on the steps of the run-down Academy. An odd place, IMHO, with all the beautiful backdrops that could have been used today.
We wandered past homes 250 years and older, into several historical churches, finishing on the waterfront where the Bluenose II resides, along with a fishermen's memorial.
Lunch was on our own. We headed to Old Fish Factory on the wharf, known for its sea scallops. Not sure why; mine were chewy. We shopped the wharf and Lincoln Street before reboarding our bus.
Our last stop was Peggy's Cove, a teeny fishing village with Canada's most photographed lighthouse.
There are only 70 residents but 1,000,000 tourists visit each year.
Sculptor William deGarthe lived in Peggy's Cove. He has carved faces into the granite outcroppings nearby.
In 1998, Swissair Flight 111 from John F. Kennedy to Geneva crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Peggy's Cove. A short walking trail and monument in memory of the 229 people who lost their lives is nearby.
In addition to the lighthouse, the granite carvings and the Swiss Air Memorial, Peggy's Cove features an actual cove, lined with “fishing stages” (wooden buildings associated with the area's cod fishing industry), now housing shops and restaurants.
This evening we dined in downtown Halifax with Dennis and Linda Hohn, from Adrian, MN. Allison recommended a number of restaurants. We selected Chives, a traditional French urban bistro featuring farm to table offerings. It was delightful; so were our dining companions.
We finished the evening back down on the wharf, trying to find clues for Allison's Halifax scavenger hunt. Clever activity.
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