Days 80-82 (September 7th – 9th) Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia
(NOTE: The map did not have Glen Margret so we used Peggy's Cove to show where we were)
We arrived at Glen Margret, on the South Western Shore of Nova Scotia, at 1:15 pm on September 7. After we set up we drove about 10 miles to see Peggy’s Cove.
It was a clear, windy afternoon and there were throngs of tourists flocking to see the sights in a very small area. We did find a parking place and walked around a bit but soon decided to return the next morning before the throngs arrived. As we were leaving we noticed the William E. de Garthe memorial monument and stopped. The monument is a 30 meter sculpture on a rock face depicting the lives and legends of local fishermen, which he chiseled from the wave-washed granite behind his home. Unfortunately, he died before the work was completed.
Tuesday morning we returned to Peggy’s Cove before the crowds; then we drove back to the main highway and turned west down the coast to Lunenburg, the home of the Bluenose II. Bluenose II is a recently restored replica of the original schooner depicted on the Canadian dime. Unfortunately this sailing ambassador for Nova Scotia was out on excursions so we didn’t get to see it.
We had a very nice lunch at the restaurant in the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, a restored fish processing plant. Brian had a lobster wrap and I had a halibut and shrimp skewer on a Caesar salad.
The town of Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the “downtown” area maintains its 18th century streets, brightly painted buildings and captivating architecture. You can imagine the “fun” Brian had navigating the narrow streets. Fortunately some of them were one way with parking only on one side.
We visited St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg. This church was celebrating the 10th anniversary of its rededication following a devastating fire on October 31, 2001. A national historic site and the second oldest Anglican house of worship in Canada, this beautiful Carpenter Gothic church was built in 1754 and was completely restored to its original beauty using as much of the original materials as were salvageable.
To fight the fire, which started in the walls and ceiling, 174 firemen first tried to cut through the copper roof but that didn’t work. The fire chief said: “We couldn’t go through the main doors because directly above them was a complete set of chimes, weighing God knows how much, and that could have collapsed.” So the firemen were forced to break some of the 27 original stained glass windows.
All the windows were either shattered or damaged by the fire. Using photographs of the original windows and bits and pieces of glass and lead collected from the rubble, a husband and wife team took 18 months piecing and recreating the windows. Local shipwrights, who were idled by the demise of the fishery, reconstructed the church roof that - from the inside gazing up – resembles the hull of a traditional Nova Scotia fishing dory.
Firemen were able to save the original altar which has been used in the restored church though slight burn marks are evident .
Another feature of the original church was a star scene above the altar, locally called the “Mariner’s Sky”. A single painted wood panel remained and a renowned astronomer at St. Mary’s University was consulted to see if he could determine the remainder of the scene. Using computer software, the academic found that the star pattern matched the sky as it would have appeared from Lunenburg at sunset on the very first Christmas Eve. How the original artist could have figured that out without a computer still baffles everyone.
From Lunenburg we drove to Blue Rocks, a small fishing community near Lunenburg. The tourist information described Blue Rocks: “Photogenic fishing sheds, sun-bleached and weatherworn, lean on stilts on the harbour banks.”
After Blue Rocks we retraced our path to the trailer with a brief stop at Mahone Bay to take a picture of three churches that are a favorite subject of photographers: St. John’s Lutheran Church (1903), St. James Anglican Church (1887) and Trinity United Church (1861) along the bay shore.
Our next stop is at Baddeck, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton. the northern part of Nova Scotia.