Canada

3-7 September

A short visit (though the longest stop in one house in the entire journey) to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, to visit my cousin Gordon.  From left to right in the photo: Gordon, Kathleen, Pelham, Allison, Mark, Sachi.

Gordon and family

I did not meet Pelham and Allison, as they had gone camping for Labour Day weekend.  Sunday and Monday were spent pottering around Dartmouth and Halifax.

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St Paul’s Church, Halifax, where the family are members, was the first Anglican cathedral outside the British Isles.

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Gordon showed me the new library, with wonderful views from the top floor.  I could happily have spent half a day browsing the books.

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Kathleen has two allotments, providing vegetables for supper with plenty left over for neighbors and the food bank.

On Tuesday, Gordon drove me down the South Shore to Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg.

We had planned to eat at the Salt Shaker Deli, but it was closed so we had soup, scallops and key lime pie at Mimosa’s Grill next door, sharing portions.

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This is the Anglican Church in Lunenburg, burned down in 2001 and rebuilt. The volunteers were just closing for the day after welcoming 200 visitors, but allowed us a quick look inside.

7-9 September

Wednesday

We drove to the West coast of Nova Scotia.  First stop was a fair trade coffee shop and museum, the latter very well laid out with games and interesting exhibits, including  a list of 15 birds migrating between Nova Scotia and Mexico where their coffee beans come from.

Then Grand Pre, Centre of an Acadian settlement before the British threw them out.  Some ended up in Louisiana where they became known as Cajun.  Today 3 million claim ancestors from Acadia, and many come and visit the ancestral home – so this place too has a pilgrimage tradition.  The Acadians were good at building dykes to make the land fit for agriculture.  Longfellow’s poem Evangeline tells their story.

Acadian Deportees
Acadian Deportees

Lunch at Jonny’s Cookhouse in Berwick where I tried the local speciality poutine: chips with gravy, cheese curds, and in this case minced beef and peas. Thought I would have a banana split until I saw how enormous it was.

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On to Annapolis Royal where we walked round the Historic Gardens and bought  snacks for supper before pitching camp at Dunromin.  I chose to sleep out rather than in the van.  Lovely to lie unde the stars. A rain shower at about 2:30 am was no problem except that it activated the mosquitoes.

Thursday

Crossed by ferry from Digby to Saint John, in fog.  Wandered around Saint John for a couple of hours before heading for the campsite.

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After pitching camp, we walked round the lake; then I swam; and in the evening we ate in the restaurant. Gordon slept in the van. I slept in his pup tent, with the mattress sticking out of the door.  In the morning, everything was wet.

Friday

Breakfast at the restaurant, yoghurt and fresh fruit.  Crossed the border, where a friendly US border guard took our finger prints.