Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nova Scotia - Day 1

I just got back from visiting one of my favourite provinces in Canada - Nova Scotia.  I was there to help Kate get her house set up for university (more on that later). I haven't been camping in three years so it was fun to be on a road trip again.  

We drove for three long days (a trip like this always gives you firsthand experience of just how big Canada is) and then finally arrived in Halifax.  Nova Scotia has lots of coastal charm and oodles of natural beauty as well as friendly and hospitable people.  Every time I visit I wonder why we don't live there.  

After we got Kate set up we had two days to spend sightseeing.  We managed to pack a lot into those days.  On the first day we went to the Bay of Fundy.  

Our first stop was the Haliburton House in Windsor, Nova Scotia.  About a month ago I was interviewed at the blog Bright Copper Kettles and in it I mentioned a house that had captured my imagination as a child because it had a separate children's wing and adult's wing. I had asked my parent's what house that was, but they couldn't remember it.  Well lo and behold we found the house again - forty years later - it was the author and judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton's house.  I was very excited to find it again after all these years.

I still love the separate sleeping sections.  One of my favourite rooms was the hallway - it had gorgeous flowered wallpaper with rounded doorways leading to the stairs. 

The hallway looking toward the stairs to the adult's wing of Haliburton House

Wallpaper from the hallway in Haliburton House

One of the bedrooms in the children's wing - love that spool bed

The fireplace in the library was built from stones from the fortress Louisbourg (a French fort built in the early 1700s on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia).

Library in Haliburton House

I like how they freely confess to pinching the fireplace stones and wrote it on the mantel (the words around the picture say "This fireplace is built of stones from the fortress of Old Louisbourg").

I thought the parlour was a pretty room - not too overdone.

From the Haliburton House we drove to Grand-Pré - the centre of the Acadian settlement (1682-1755) and the location of the deportation of the Acadians (1755-1762).  The area was made a UNESCO World Heritage site just two months ago.  

We toured the museum and then visited the memorial chapel with the statue of Evangeline, the fictional heroine of Longfellow's poem.

Although the Acadians were originally from France, they did not view themselves as French.  As they said in the museum - "they changed the land and the land changed them".  They were a hard-working people who built dikes on the salt flats and drained the land so it could be farmed. 

It was a shameful point in our past that about 10,000 peaceful Acadians were robbed of their homes and possessions, expelled from their land, and dispersed to different areas around the world, including New Orleans (thus the French language in New Orleans and the word cajun, which was derived from the word Acadian).  Many Acadians later returned to the maritimes and there are now strong Acadian communities dotted around the east coast.

Site of the deportation of the Acadians - they were rowed out to boats waiting in the bay

Later in the afternoon we went to Scot's Bay and Cape Split.  

My parents at the look off on the way to Cape Split

One of the reason's I love the Bay of Fundy is that they have the largest tides in the world.  With water constantly coming or going, things are never the same.  When you first look at a boat moored at a dock it may be floating in water and when you look at the same boat several hours later it may be high and dry and sitting on the mud flats.  

The tide going out at Scot's Bay on the Bay of Fundy (note the first boat with the blue and red hull still sitting in a little bit of water)

Here is the same boat (the one on the left) with the blue and red hull about an hour and a half later now sitting on the mud.
The same point of land taken at high tide (on the left) - you can just see the little pointy rock island sticking out, and at low tide (on the right) with the rock island surrounded by mud flats.

At the end of the bay there were rugged rocks 

and in the middle was a pebble beach.  

You can't get much better than a pebble beach in my books.  We had our tea sitting on the beach and then spent some time watching the water and collecting rocks to take home (well Kate and I did anyway and my Mom helped me find good ones).

And then it was time to go back to Halifax for the night.  It was a wonderful day, but hard to leave the gorgeous setting, made even more spectacular by the sun glinting off the ocean as it lowered in the sky.

I hope to have my photos of Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg ready for Friday.

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  1. Wow, it all looks so beautiful. You know if we drove for three days here, we would either be coming back on ourselves or in the sea!
    Haliburton House looks wonderful, and it was interesting learning about the Acadians. I have enjoyed this visit, and I look forward to your next post. Nice pic of your parents too :)

  2. If I'd a known you were comin' I'd baked you a cake!

  3. Ah Grace this makesme so homesick! And no just for NB, I also spent 4 years at Acadia and just love the Valley. You have taken some beautiful photos!

  4. Stunning views and good to revisit the old places. Picnic on the road is great. Nature is a beautiful dining room.
    Terrie from Hong Kong

  5. Looks like you guys had a great family trip! Love to visit Nova Scotia one day, looks so beautiful!