Where is Tortuga? travel blog

Lighthouse across from the harbor in Baddeck

This was an eight acre island. Now it is a resting spot...

Sailing the lake in a 42 foot boat made by the captain's...

A bald eagle grabs a fish thrown by the captain. Bald eagles...

Alexander Graham Bell bought this entire peninsula for a summer home. The...

The Bell summer home, still used by members of the Bell family....

On the hike to Uisage Ban(white water) Falls

the upper part of the falls

Some of the small falls are as interesting and beautiful as the...

A view of Bras d'Or Lake (one book described it as fogless,...

A blackhouse in the Highland Village of Iona, a living museum of...

Inside the blackhouse, the original home of the settlers. The cabinets were...

The cattle slept on the other side of the house, protection from...

The hay baler, compressed and strung all by hand.

Think you could enjoy farming if this was the view from the...

The Prebyterian Church. Was moved across the lake to this site in...

From the chalkboard in the school. We all write our numbers this...

Some of the haze is lifting


Alexander Graham Bell made Baddeck his summer home, being a peninsula from 3 farmers, building an enormous house "Beinn Bhreagh" with 11 fireplaces, and numerous other buildings for family members and caretakers. He also had a farm on which he raised sheep, experimenting with ways to develop heartier sheep and other genetic variations. He never got to cloning. The city also houses the Alexander Graham Bell Museum with displays of his many inventions and tinkerings. In addition to sound, he was very taken up with air, kites, and attempting to create an airplane; he worked with water, extracting the salt, floating, and making a faster boat. But most of all he was committed to helping persons who were deaf be able to hear sounds. While we were sailing on a 42 foot sailing vessel, the captain took us right past the Bell home and property, which remains in the family and is often used during the summertime. After our time on water we needed to be grounded so we took a hike to Uisage Ban Falls, a 30 ft falls in the area. Since the Gaelic culture is so predominant on Cape Breton, a visit to Highland Village Museum in Iona seemed imperative. We enjoyed a review of 200+ years of Scottish history from the the flight from the potato famine to the present time. Those first settlers built homes of rock with an earthen roof. There was little ventilation to counter the ever burning fire in the middle of the home. The beds were cabinets with doors to protect them during the night from the smoke which smoldered from the peat and heather they added before going to bed at night. We wondered about breathing and lung problems. With some of the different characters from the different periods represented, we had thought provoking conversations about the culture, what is lost, attempts at preservation and changes. Culture is surely an interesting topic. Leaving Iona we followed the shoreline of the lake, crossed the Canso Causeway and left Cape Breton. It seemed to us that we were leaving a very special part of Nova Scotia, one struggling with the balance between maintaining its ruggedness and beauty and adapting to the changes that make life a bit easier. Inspiration vs pespiration.



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