Nova Scotia Part 1
The Maritimes AKA Canada’s East Coast
The Maritime provinces is a region of Eastern Canada made up of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI) with a population of approximately 1.8 million people. Together with Newfoundland and Labrador, the Maritime provinces make up the region of Atlantic Canada. This is the stormiest region in Canada and the highest tides in the world are located in the Bay of Fundy. Did you know that 75% of the fish that are exported from Canada come from the Atlantic Maritime ecozone?
Nova Scotia Part 1: September 11 – 15, 2019
Trivia time! Nova Scotia is Latin for “New Scotland” with a population of just under one million. Nova Scotia is Canada’s second most densely populated province, after PEI. You can never be more than 67 km from the ocean, anywhere in Nova Scotia! Cape Breton Island and Sable Island, are also part of the province. Sable Island is notorious for its shipwrecks.
Our hotel was actually in Dartmouth, just across the river from Halifax. The hotel had just opened in July in an up-and-coming area of restaurants and shopping. Guest services couldn’t find the hotel room type that I booked in their system, so they upgraded us to a King Suite! We were not saddened by this. We saw many electric company employees at dinner and checking into our hotel. Throughout our visit of the Maritimes, we would see those familiar white trucks at the side of the road, working to restore power after Hurricane Dorian’s uninvited visit, the weekend of September 7.
Our first day was windy and wet, so we decided it would be a good day for a drive. This is our wheels for two weeks. Not what I reserved as a rental, but what Joe came home with. We are flying on the streets man – that noisy beast goes like stink! Plus she has GPS, I am loving not having to read maps on my phone!
First stop was for lunch at John’s Lunch Fish & Chips; voted Best Fish and Chips in Canada by Canadian Living Magazine in 2013 and featured in May on John Catucci’s new show, ‘Big Food Bucket List’, it did not disappoint! This old school diner was packed!
Next stop was Windsor – their claim to fame is that of the ‘birthplace of ice hockey’, dating back as early as the year 1800. We toured the museum on the outskirts of town.
Wolfville was next on the route, about 100 kilometres northwest of Halifax. A popular tourist destination with amazing views and a growing wine industry, it is also home to Acadia University and Landmark East School. We stopped by two wineries and enjoyed the local fare. One winery had Scotland Highland cows, so we had to locate them for a visit on the property.
Sunshine returned our second morning so we ventured across the toll bridge for a tour of the downtown Halifax harbour side. Hurricane Dorian left some scars here and some areas were inaccessible. Lively place with lots of fish kiosks and shops. A cruise ship was in port which added to the foot traffic.
We had THE best lunch at a restaurant called McKelvies. We both had their speciality; a lobster roll with a bowl of crab bisque – OMG it was to die for! My mouth is watering just writing about it. The best meal thus far.
We visited the Citadel in downtown Halifax; Canada’s most visited National Historic Site. For 250 years the Citadel has watched over the city of Halifax. We were there for a daily tradition at the Citadel; the firing of the noon gun. Scared the bejesus out of us!
We returned to downtown that evening to a restaurant Joe had been to during his Movie Gallery days called the ‘Five Fishermen’. The restaurant is riddled with interesting history as it once served as the Titanic’s morgue and there have been several reports of ghost sightings over the years. Coupled with the looming full moon and it being Friday the 13th, it is amazing we got out of there unscathed lol.
Joe sampled a bit of everything with the Five Fish Dish and I enjoyed the local specialty of lobster.
In the morning we headed to Digby, with some great scenic spots along the way. Peggy’s Cove is one of many small fishing communities on the perimeter of the gorgeous Chebicto Peninsula. The rustic Peggy’s Cove is an active lobster fishing village and a popular tourist destination.
Peggy’s Cove attracts more than just tourists; Hurricane Juan touched down in 2003 and Hurricane Bill in 2009. Both damaged the breakwater, roads and homes. In September 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed in the waters eight kilometres east of Peggy’s Cove with no survivors of the 229 aboard.
Lunenburg is the site of Canada’s largest secondary fish-processing plant. The historic town has been a UNESCO site since 1995 and is considered the the best example of planned British colonial settlement in North America. We had some mighty fine chowder in Lunenburg and shared a yummy haddock sandwich.
The Bluenose schooner was built and launched in Lunenburg.
Staying a night in Digby, home of the Digby Scallops, was mandatory in our books. Another rustic fishing village with the shores dotted with seafood restaurants. Our hotel room was part of the Fundy Restaurant so we didn’t have far to walk for dinner. The scallops were good – can’t get fresher than that!
They have some interesting pets at the restaurant lol.
Today we are traveling for two hours on a small ferry across the Bay of Fundy to St. John, NB for the price of $215! Ouch! See you on the other side of The Bay of Fundy!