Nova Scotia past & present….
We had received different advice from various people about which way we should travel from Halifax to Cape Breton, an island at the eastern end and part of the province of Nova Scotia. Fortunately, we took the guidance of our trusted travel agent, Gerd, and followed the slower coastal road rather than rushing up the motorway. Whilst a bit the worse for wear in places, it was really quiet and had us enjoying some amazing scenery. It also enabled us to visit Sherbrooke Village which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Travelling back to the late 19th century….
In Sherbrooke Village, every day is a trip back in time as Nova Scotia’s 19th century heritage is brought to life for visitors by costumed interpreters in 25 original heritage buildings including blacksmiths, potters, weavers and printers. It took us back to the boom years when shipbuilding, lumbering, and gold mining dominated the local economy. If desired, we could’ve dressed in period costume to go through the village (we didn’t). Sadly, tourism seems to have taken its toll on Sherbrooke Village, with a significant decline in the number of people visiting. This was a plus for us as this meant the “characters” in each of the buildings had plenty of time to spend with us – some in role play and some just talking about life as it was and is in the area. Rather than the artificial experiences typical of places like Disneyland and Gold reef City, the place was authentic and historically accurate.
After spending a couple of hours wondering through the ol village, we came across a little family run café up the street in the “new” village. Here we had some of the best pulled pork rolls we’ve ever had!
Arriving at the Cabot Trail
Our destination for the day was Hunters Mountain, a hamlet outside Baddeck on the southern part of the Cabot Trail. Raymond, the German owner of the cabins we were to call home for a few days, checked us in quickly and jumped on his segway to guide us down to the nicely fitted accommodation. Having stopped off to shop for some food and wine along the way (at a place called Antigonish), we were ready to take advantage of the outside porch and gas barbeque that we shared with our neighbours. We also took a short walk through the forest on the property.
Alexander Graham Bell ….
Baddeck is a small community on the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes. One of its biggest claims to fame is that it houses the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, the only museum in the world containing the actual artifacts and documents from Bell’s years of experimental work in Baddeck where he had his holiday estate.
The one thing that comes to mind on hearing his name is “he invented the telephone”. Besides the fact that he spent about 17 years in court proving that he did in fact own the patents for the telephone, there is so much more that he has not received credit for. Born in Scotland and later becoming a U.S. citizen, Bell spent his life in pursuit of scientific discovery, and despite his myriad accomplishments as a scientist and inventor, he saw himself first and foremost as a teacher of the deaf, dedicating the majority of his work to that field
Enjoying what we’d missed out on in Lunenburg….
After visiting the museum, we headed down towards the harbour only to spot a large schooner tied up alongside the wharf. Whilst we had missed boarding the Bluenose 2 whilst in Lunenburg, here she was! So we were able to go aboard, take a look and have a brief conversation with some of the crew members that were taking it on its current voyage.