Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Digby and Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

We finally stayed in one spot for 2 nights - Walmart in Digby, Nova Scotia. This is a picture from the wharf at Digby. Again, we were on a quest to buy seafood - either scallops or lobster from the local fishermen. We could buy lobster, if we could catch a boat coming in. We could not buy scallops from the fishermen because their boats are owned by the local fish market.

Monday we drove to Port Royal in Annapolis Royal about 20 miles from Digby. Port Royal is a reconstruction of a small French compound begun in 1605. It was the home to one of the earliest European settlements on this continent.
The British destroyed the settlement in 1613.

A costumed interpreter told us about the settlement. There were as many as 45 men occupying the town and as little as 22 when the British came in. The remaining 22 were taken care of by the Mi'kmaq indians until they went back to France. No women ever lived in the settlement.

One of the products the Frenchmen made were hats out of animal fur and wool. Ron and Dean are modeling a couple of the hats. They look pretty goofy.
The buildings were reconstructed in 1939-1940 and are in very good condition. Rooms have beds, dishes, tools, furs - just like it would have been over 300 years ago.

After the tour of Port Royal we stopped for a short visit to the Tidal Generating Station. The interpretor explained the use of the turbines in collecting energy from the extreme tidal changes of the Fundy Bay. Most of this was way over my head but Dean and Ron enjoyed it.
I loved Annapolis Royal. There were many historic buildings and lovely old homes. One of the homes is the oldest home in North America and it is still privately owned. How would you like to live in a 300 year old house?
In Annapolis Royal is Fort Anne, the oldest national historic site in Canada, designated in 1917. The 1702 earthworks are the earliest Canadian examples of Vauban-style fort. There is only one building, the officers quarters, which houses the visitor center. On display in the visitors center is the Fort Anne Heritage Tapestry. Over 100 volunteers crafted this colorful 8 ft X 18 ft. work using some 3 million stitches. I only have one half pictured here. Even the Queen of England stitched some of it.

Before we left Digby we bought our scallops - at the fish market instead of local fisherman. Oh well - we got a good deal for a lot of wonderful Digby scallops.
Today in Barrington, lobster capital of Canada, we bought some lobster - that will be in the next blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fundy Trail, New Brunswick

Last Sunday we were in St. John’s, which is a major city in southern New Brunswick. We were fortunate to stay in the parking lot of the Reversing Falls Park visitor’s center. The falls are under a bridge, which is at the confluence of three rivers and the Bay of Fundy. We watched the falls – at high tide the water is pretty flat thru this area and runs inland. At low tide there is some pretty impressive falls with amazing whirlpools. There is a slack tide also when the water changes directions.

The next day we moved to the charming town of St. Martins, NB. We were invited to stay in a local’s driveway and Ron and Bernita stayed in a restaurant parking lot with a view of the bay. We were traveling the Fundy Coastal Drive. Outside of St. Martins are some large caves that you are able to walk to during low tide. We didn’t time it right so we never did walk into the caves.

About 6 miles from St. Martins is the Sentler Fundy Trail. This is a 13 mile drive (toll) along the coastline with panoramic vistas, views of flower pots (rock formations) water falls, interpretive center, suspension bridge, hiking and biking trails. We did a couple of hikes, walked across the suspension bridge, and watched a movie at the interpretive center. The guys had to take a picture of the 16% grade on the Trail – glad we didn’t have the RV’s on this road.

Wednesday we drove to Hillsboro, NB. Unhooked the RV’s in a large lot behind the post office and took off for Hopewell Rocks. This is another site along the New Bunswick Fundy Coastal Trail that has amazing rock formations caused by the water. We walked around the formations (called flower pots) at low tide. And we got pretty muddy! As you can see from the yellow sign - walkers had to be off the beach by 3:30 since the tide was coming in. We waited until 4 and then took a kayaking trip into the same area we had just walked earlier. The kayaking guides have you sit down in the kayaks on land and the water keeps coming up until they just have to give you a little pull and you are in the ocean. We kayaked in and around the rock formations that now made passageways to kayak thru. Good guides and great fun. And this was one of the warmest, sunniest days.

Fundy Shore, Nova Scotia

Thursday we drove into Nova Scotia. We took the Fundy Shore line South towards Truro. This is the area of the world’s highest tides. While in Truro we drove out to two observation points and looked at the tidal bore (a wave of water that moves upriver against the current twice daily as the result of the incoming Fundy tide). One of the observation points was a South Maitland, on the Shubenacadie River, where there are rafting companies that take you into the wave. We decided against this since it was very cold that day. This tide rises up to 47 feet at high tide.

Friday we moved to Windsor Visitor’s Center. We went to Grand-Pre National Historic Site. This is the site of the church and cemetery of 17th/18th century Acadian Village that became the setting for H.W. Longfellow’s poem Evangeline. The historic site commemorates the Acadian deportation. It has beautiful gardens, church, visitors center, blacksmith shop and picnic grounds. Then we went to Halls Harbour Lobster Pound.. It was listed as a Bay of Fundy Recommended Experience. What a disappointment! Of course the tide was out so the boats were sitting on mud, but the only thing there is a restaurant, gift shop, and seafood market that sells lobster for twice the price! But along the way we saw some beautiful countyside and stopped at a few farmer’s markets.

Now Sunday, June 12, we are in Digby. Had a wonderful scallop lunch and tomorrow we will buy some scallops and lobster.My jeans are getting tighter!!!!