Going down the road

Blue Rocks fishing village, Lunenburg County

Blue Rocks fishing village, Lunenburg County

We’re about to hit the road again. In about 3 weeks, we’re going to fire up the iPods with driving tunes and head south. Not that far south, just to the south end of the province of Nova Scotia and drive the loop around the tip and back. Even though this is one of the smallest provinces in Canada, it’s also one of the most beautiful (but I’m not objective!). Nova Scotia is almost entirely surrounded by water. Only a small neck of land about 20 miles wide attaches us to the rest of Canada. That means a lot of beautiful coastline, dotted with lighthouses, beaches and quaint, historic fishing villages along the way.

My husband hasn’t seen a lot of the province and there’s plenty of it I haven’t seen either. I’ve been down along the south shore part of the way but not all the way around. We’ve made tentative plans but as everyone knows, plans change on a whim. But as of now, We’re going to head down the highway to start off, to get past the parts we’ve already seen and visited.

Our tentative Itinerary:
Shelburne, visiting a local micro brew, checking out the town that has a lot of historical old buildings still standing. This will probably be our lunch stop and afterwards, if we have time to fit it in, a stop at the nearby Black Loyalist museum in Birchtown.

I say “If we have time” because we want to drive the coastal road the rest of the way to Yarmouth where we’re pitching up for the night. We have to have something to eat before going out to the woods for a session at a small observatory! That was a discovery in a tourist brochure we picked up and it sounded so cool that we booked it.

Gilbert Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia

Gilbert Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia

For day two, we’re heading around the tip of the province and along the north shore, one of the pockets of French Acadian Nova Scotia. Beautiful beaches and little towns and a French university along here. We might fit in a visit to Port Royal near Annapolis Royal to see the reproduction of the old French settlement, founded in 1605 by Champlain. From there, it’s down across several long, narrow islands to Brier Island for the night in a lodge. The next day, we’re going whale watching out on the Bay of Fundy, another bucket list event. The companies here guarantee sightings but knowing Mother Nature, I will be cautiously optimistic.

Once we’ve done communing with the whales, seals and dolphins, we’re off to a Bed and Breakfast near Annapolis Royal. We’ve been to Annapolis before but will likely drive into the town for our meal and have a walk around. It’s a very nice place and has gorgeous gardens and the remains of an old fort, Fort Anne.

Our final day takes us through the Annapolis Valley on the way home and we thought we’d stop at a military aviation museum in CFB Greenwood, an air base near Kingston, NS. A casual meander through the Valley, perhaps a stop at a farmers’ market or two, and we’ll be back home by the end of the day.

A Rare Rainbow (DP Challenge)

The Daily Post at WordPress challenges us this week to post a photo of something Rare. I’ve posted this photo at least once before and it certainly fits this theme. Scotland, late August 1993. Driving across Rannoch Moor on a drizzly day on a tour bus. The sun must have been breaking out somewhere because we saw colours across the moors. Real colours like a rainbow but it was puddles of misty colour on the ground, not an arc over the sky. I took a quick photo through the window and was pleased to see it turned out. (Those were the days you had to wait for the film to be developed).

I posted the photo on Flickr and entered into a discussion with someone about it and he suggested it would have been the top of the rainbow. This part of Scotland is higher above sea level and at mid to late morning when this was taken, the sun would have been at about 40 degrees elevation and just the right angle for it.

Rainbow in the Highlands, near Glencoe. The "Hail Mary" lucky shot through the bus window

Rainbow in the Highlands, near Glencoe.
The “Hail Mary” lucky shot through the bus window

Travel Theme: Weather

Ailsa’s weekly challenge this time is Weather. I think i’ve posted weather related photos before for a challenge for someone else’s blog but I’ll dig a few different ones out this time.

Weather, when we travel, doesn’t tend to be all that great on the average. We will often get one and maybe two nice days. The week we spent in Rome was exceptionally gorgeous.

Trajan column and churches

Trajan’s market, Rome

But usually we get this.

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Hadrian’s Wall at Housesteads, Northumberland

Or just a plain white cloud covered sky, so I aim the camera down, not up.

Louvre from across the Seine

The Louvre over the Seine, Paris

Sometimes, we’ll get a flash of the sun as it’s going down, or get glimpses of it for brief moments.

Sunset over Musee d'Orsay

Sunset ofer Musee d’Orsay, Paris

And there are always days like this

Rainy New York

Rainy Times Square, New York City

Followed by this

On the deck

Foggy Halifax Waterfront

A Photo a Week: Natural Monuments (Hopewell Rocks)

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Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Nancy Merrill Photography has a weekly photo challenge and this week’s is Natural Monuments. The best example I have is from my visit to the Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, where you’ll find the Hopewell Rocks, formations created by the world record high tides in the Bay of Fundy. The tides here can advance over 50 feet in some places. It does play havoc on the coastline. This area has a group of rocks behind these, to either side of the small inlet. Recently one of those had a portion that collapsed, testament to the power of nature.


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Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy

Travel Theme: Sport

A weekly challenge at Where’s My Backpack. This week’s word is Sport, not something I tend to frequent either at home and almost never when I travel. There was one exception, however, when we visited Montreal a few year ago. I used to follow the NHL (hockey) when I was younger and Montreal’s Canadiens were “my” team.

I’ve never seen a professional game and when I discovered the “Habs” were playing a home game while we were there, I really wanted to go. I managed to get tickets. Yes, I confess, I got them off eBay which goes against my code of conduct and better judgement.  I only paid slightly more than the face value, though, so I justified it by telling myself I wasn’t paying horribly high scalper prices and there were no tickets left through the official website when I tried.

So, yes, we duly showed up at the Bell Centre. The seats weren’t too bad, not up too high or stuck in a corner. The team lost the game and my husband had no idea what was going on since he’s not a follower of sports and hockey really isn’t very popular in the U.K. where he lived but he was willing to go since I wanted to see the game. We compromised. He came to the game and I was supposed to go to a Slayer concert with him only the concert was cancelled so I think I still owe him one. (We did see a metal concert the next year and I maintain that, though it wasn’t Slayer, I completed my side of the bargain!)

Here then, are a couple of photos from the Montreal Canadiens vs. the Atlanta Thrashers which are no longer playing out of Atlanta, I don’t think.


Flags from the championship days when I used to follow the team

Centre Ice Faceoff

Faceoff. The game begins

Les Canadiens vs Atlanta Thrashers

Montreal is in red, unusual as that’s the “away” colour but it was the team’s anniversary and they were wearing a replica of one of the older uniforms



The things you find on the way to a toilet

Lepreau Falls, New Brunswick

Lepreau Falls, New Brunswick

We were heading west on Hwy. 1 through New Brunswick on our recent overnight trip to and from the US/Canada border (that’s a story for another time). We’d just passed Saint John and decided we needed to find a gas station to use the public toilets and would fill up the gas tank while we were at it. We came off the highway at exit 86 where a sign indicated there would be a gas station. We turned onto a smaller road and found it. But it turned out that both of their public toilets were out of order! Yikes! That shouldn’t be allowed, it really shouldn’t.

I leaned over and asked the busy cashier where the next one was. He thought a minute and said there was something about 10 minutes down the road but someone else in the queue suggested Lepreau. Ok, that’s good. We started driving and passed a sign for Lepreau Falls and drove over a bridge that was signed for the Lepreau River. We’ve got to be close. But we didn’t see anything that might have a public facility in it. Nothing. No more houses. We turned around and took the little road for the Falls but it looked pretty quiet.

My husband thought perhaps it was a park and might have public facilities. Sure enough we spotted a small shack like building that had potential and to our relief, it was indeed a two sided public toilet (one side for men and one for women, naturally). We parked and availed ourselves.

When I came out of my side of the building, I could hear water running and went to the back of the building where spotted a wooden planked and fenced platform with a picnic table and it overlooked a view of a lovely little waterfall! That, then, was Lepreau Falls.

We went back to have a look and take a few pictures. It was a very pretty place and we noticed on the drive out, there were 2 or 3 more look off points over the the falls and the river, again with picnic tables. I have since discovered this is a provincial park and there is camping nearby as well.

The things you find on the way to a toilet! Little discoveries like this are what make road trips fun!

The colours of Rome

In response to the weekly challenge at Where’s My Backpack (Pastel) I give you the colours of Rome. In fact, most of Italy’s towns and cities have buildings of similar hues. The only place I was startled to find brighter colours was on the Island of Burano in Venice.

Piazza navona

Piazza Navona, Rome

Piazza Monte Citorio building 2

Piazza Monte Cintorio, Rome

The Pope's Jeans?

Somewhere through the wall around Vatican City

Rome building 1

Random walking through the narrow streets finds gems like this

Rome pink yellow buildings

Love the warm colours!

Rome curvy church

Even the churches are painted

Eagle detail

Eagle detail

Rome Balcony

Balconies and rooftop gardens

WordPress Challenge – Narrow

This week, the folks at WordPress have offered a weekly photo challenge with the subject of Narrow.

Narrow Venice street


Fowey narrow street

Fowey, Cornwall

Where's Martha?

Narrowboats on the Worsley Canal, near Manchester, UK

A Photo a Week: Waterfront

Nancy Merrill’s weekly challenge is “Water” or “Waterfront”. I could post dozens and dozens of photos taken along Halifax’s lovely waterfront but I think I’ll leave that for another day. Here’s a few from the archives.

Seahouses Harbour

Seahouses Harbour, Northumberland, UK

St Ives at low tide

St. Ives, Cornwall at low tide

Salem Waterfront Lighthouse

Salem, Massachussetts

Georgetown Harbour

Georgetown, Prince Edward Island

Pier 57

Pier 57, New York City

Travel Theme: Pairs

The weekly challenge over at Where’s My Backpack is Pairs.
Here, then, are a few sets of pairs from my travels.

Winter Garden Stalls

A pair of doors, Winter Gardens theatre, Blackpool

King and Queen's throne

A Pair of Thrones, Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen

Doggie watering hole

Doggie public “fountain”, Eyam, Derbyshire

St Peter Basilica 2

A Pair of Cherubs. St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome