After taking the ferry back to Cape Breton, we drove around Sydney for a bit before settling in for the night. A ship brought the first Settlers from Scotland in 1802. They built this church, St. Patrick’s, in 1826. I guess we have spent enough time in Florida now that 1826 seems quite old.
The next day the weather forecast was dour again, but this tree outside our room was still pretty. We decided we would take a chance and go back along the western Cabot trail and go in the fog rather than taking the eastern route which while new to us looked to be in the rain.
It proved to be a good choice. It was raining as we left Sydney and the extremely steep Smokey Cape Mountain was in dense fog, but once over the mountain, it began to clear. We could even see some blue sky by lunch.
All along the way, we have enjoyed t he contrast of the bright green new birch tree leaves against the dark green of the fir trees, especially the black spruce in the colder areas. We have also enjoyed the little things like seeing signs in Gaelic as well as English reflecting the strong Scots and Irish background of the area.
The “Rusty Anchor” had been recommended to us by two separate sets of strangers we met along the way as we traveled north. Owned by a woman, Rusty, it had the best seafood salad I have ever eaten. It was crammed with huge chunks of lobster, scallops, shrimp and crab.
We continued along to Port Hawkesbury for the night, and it was raining again by the time we got up the next morning. Nonetheless, we chose to drive the “Marine Trail” along the eastern coast of Nova Scotia down to Halifax.
The coast has many bays and inlets filled with little islands. We are sure it must be great on a sunny day. We stopped for lunch at “The Tourist Trap.” It did have lots of over-priced trinkets, but it also had excellent home-made food. Even the sandwich bread was fresh baked.
Getting into Halifax, we drove to the huge star shaped Citadel and walked around despite the light rain. A young man dressed as a Highlander soldier demonstrated an old Enfield rifle, and an excellent video gave us not only the history of the fort but the history of Halifax as well. The current fort was created as a defense against potential invasion from the United States which did invade Canada in 1812 – an interesting perspective for us.
As the rain picked up, we just drove around Halifax. The waterfront area has many modern buildings and a few old ones, but back from the waterfront the old homes have been remarkably preserved. There are many parks’ and it is a lovely city whose buildings do not overwhelm one. Trying to find the A“Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel,” I drove around the hospital which is connected to Dalhousie University. It is huge. The chapel has the distinction that it was raised in one day by more than 1,800 people on August 31, 1843.
On our way out of town, we passed yet another interesting church, Saint George’s Round Church, built in 1800 under the supervision of Prince Edward, Queen Victoria’s father, who was Governor General at the time. Alie noted it was Lutheran; Edward wasn’t. He also built a defensive tower against the French and U.S. and put a clock high on a hill because he didn’t like people who were late for appointments.