Halifax Harbor

From the wilds of Cape Breton, we traveled to Nova Scotia’s capital city, Halifax. We arrived in the late afternoon, so after we checked into the hotel, we wandered down to the harbor (or harbour, as the Canadians would write). We passed by the Old Burying Ground, so of course we had to stop because I love a good, old cemetery.

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Halifax-Burying-Ground-Cemetery

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It was a really pleasant walk down to the harbor, and I loved seeing some of the historic buildings.

Historic-Halifax-Buildings

Historic-Halifax

But it didn’t compare with the view of the harbor.

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It was a perfect evening to relax near the water.

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Floppy-Lamp-Posts-Halifax-Harbor

Halifax-Ferris-Wheel

It was a promising introduction to Halifax.

The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton (Part 2)

After leaving Ingonish, we continued traveling along the Cabot Trail. Basically, it was just beautiful vista after beautiful vista.

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We veered off the Cabot Trail and headed north to the very tip of the island and stopped where John Cabot (or Giovanni Caboto) first landed in 1497. We hooked around the tip and saw a sign for Meat Cove that we couldn’t resist. I mean, doesn’t Meat Cove just sound charming? Well, maybe charming isn’t the right word, but the landscape belies its pragmatic name and is definitely charming perched along the rugged coast.

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This is where the road really starts curving.

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When you stop near the top and look out in either direction, you can see the road furling out like a ribbon beyond.

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We stayed the night in Cheticamp and stopped in to listen to music. It was incredible! I was so impressed by the skills of the musicians, one of them seemed really young, too.

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We stayed in an oTENTik cabin in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The cabin was very spacious and cool inside, but the real charm is the outside with its cute deck and colorful chairs.

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We had thought about hiking the Skyline Trail that morning, at least for a bit, but it was so rainy and foggy. I’m not super outdoorsy, so it was easy to decide to skip the hike and keep driving. We did stop into a bakery in town for some donuts.

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We bought the donuts to go and ate them in the car. They were so delicious that we considered turning around to buy a dozen, but decided that was a little extravagant. I regret that decision to this day.

There was still a lot of road to see. Not to mention moose!

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Our final stop in Cape Breton was the Glenora Distillery. We stopped so Erica could pick up a present for someone; I wasn’t expecting such a photogenic place.

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When planning our trip, I really didn’t know how much time to plan for Cape Breton. We basically had two days, which was fine for driving it, but if I were to return, I would definitely plan an extra day or two so we could have spent time on our porches or maybe hiked a little (a very little).

The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton (Part 1)

You know I love a good road trip. Part of that is a good road to travel. The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton is regularly included in lists of the best roads to drive, and it didn’t take long to discover why.

We started the route in Baddeck. Well, just outside Baddeck. We stayed the night at the Bras d’Or Campground in the quaintest little cottage.

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When Erica and I were planning our trip, we had big ideas about our little camping outings. In fact, Erica even packed the trunk with a cooler and skewers for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. I imagined sitting out on that screened porch and watching the light slip away. But we got into town late and it was much easier just to visit one of Baddeck’s restaurants. We decided, though, to try and catch the sunrise. So I set my alarm for way too early. It was a foggy, cold morning so we bundled up and headed down to the lake.

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What we didn’t expect were the mosquitos. So. many. mosquitos.

We gave up on our attempt to view the sunrise. And continued to find mosquito bites all over our ankles, shins, arms, etc. over the next few days. I still love the idea of sitting back in these Adirondack chairs. Mosquitos gotta ruin it all.

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We traveled the Cabot Trail in a counter-clockwise direction because that put us on the side of the road with all the views. We first stopped in Ingonish. We saw the Keltic Lodge high on the cliffs and decided to drive in for a closer look.

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If I were really wealthy, I would summer here. (I’d do a lot of things if I were really wealthy.) It was so beautiful in Ingonish that we decided to pause our road trip and spend an hour or two at the beach. We changed into our swimwear and pulled up a patch of sand. The water was still too cold for us to do more than dip our toes in, but a little people-watching, a little book-reading, a little sunbathing was just perfect.

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After an hour or so, we were ready to head out again.

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There was still a lot of road to travel before we reached our next lodging. But I think this might be a good place to stop for now.

The Sunrise Trail, Nova Scotia

Our first adventure in Nova Scotia was going to be driving the Cabot Trail, the road that traverses the perimeter of Cape Breton Island. But first, we had to get there. What better route to take than the Sunrise Trail, or what the visitor center called, the Mini Cabot Trail? It truly did give us a glimpse into what to expect, but it also had a beauty all its own.

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I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was to drive along these flower-lined roads with a view of the sea out ahead of us.

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I also kept falling in love with each cottage we saw, no matter the state of disrepair. In fact,the weathered clapboard just made me love it more. I would love to fix up this little home.

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Or maybe this one. Wouldn’t it be so quaint?

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We didn’t see a shack we didn’t love, and this one with the red trim was exceptional.

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And the perfect backdrop for a photo.

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I promise, Erica does have an arm to go with that gorgeous Pantene hair.

I loved curving around the cape and coming across this gorgeous scene.

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We drove down to a marina and found a little hut for lunch. Around the bend was this private little dining nook. We didn’t eat there (a picnic bench near the hut was perfect for our poutine and hot dogs), but it looked so sweet.

Private-Dining-Mini-Cabot-Trail

And of course, it isn’t a drive around a cape without a lighthouse at the end.

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Leaving Prince Edward Island

It was a cold, foggy morning when we left the island. We took the Wood Islands Ferry over to Nova Scotia.

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Caribou-Lighthouse

It was quite crowded, so Erica and I ended up leaving our bags at a table to save our spot while we watched Prince Edward Island dissolve into the fog behind us. That’s how we met a wonderful couple from Ontario. The husband was a dead ringer for Cliff Clavin. They chastised us for leaving our bags unattended and laughed when we shrugged and said, “Eh, it’s Canada.” They said that attitude definitely wouldn’t work in Toronto, even if it is Canada. We had a lovely chat with them and got some advice from their recent experience in Nova Scotia.

I hated to say good-bye to PEI. When I was planning our trip there, I had a hard time knowing how to split our time between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. I think I could definitely have used an extra day or two (or seven or fourteen) on PEI, but there was also a lot to look forward to in Nova Scotia.

Panmure Island and Montague

When we left Cavendish, we headed to the other side of the island. We were going to stay the night in Montague, so we could be closer to the Wood Islands ferry early in the morning. We stopped off at the hotel, which was actually a little cottage on the river, dropped off our bags, changed into swimwear and headed to Panmure Island. Before hitting the beach, though, we visited the lighthouse because we were trying to see them all.

Panmure-Lighthouse

I had hoped that visiting in July would mean more beach time, but each time we tried, it was actually windy and a little too cold. So we visited the beach in swimsuits and cardigans. But it was still lovely to lay out in the sun and read or just close my eyes and feel the breeze and the sand in my hands.

Panmure-Island-Beach

Later that night, we decided to have a picnic on the deck outside of our cottage. It overlooked the Montague River and its wharf. So we ate KFC and waited for the stars to come out, so I could try and capture the night sky.

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I’m pretty sure this is my hand accidentally passing in front of the lens during the long exposure, but I like the way it turned out.

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It was a magical way to spend the last night on a magical island.

Kindred Spirits at Orby Head

You know that scene in the Anne of Green Gables movie where Anne and Diana are standing on the red cliffs at sunset overlooking the sea.
Anne-Green-Gables-Sunset
And Diana talks about how nice it would be to rich? And Anne says,

You know something Diana. We are rich. We have 16 years to our credit, and we both have wonderful imaginations. We should be as happy as queens. Look at that. You couldn’t enjoy its loveliness anymore if you had ropes of diamonds.

Most of the movie was actually filmed in Ontario, but those cliffs are in Prince Edward Island.

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Orby-Head-Seagulls

It’s the perfect place to stare out over the water.

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But it’s even better when you share it with a kindred spirit.

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At that moment, I definitely felt rich.