The next leg of the trip took me to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Lunenburg was chosen as a WHS since its town layout became the model for a number of English settlements in the Colonies. Oddly, they chose a square grid-like design imposed on a very hilly landscape. Still, the town retains a number of 18th and 19th houses and public buildings that are well maintained.
The town was and is a major fisheries port. Unfortunately the Fisheries Museum had yet to open for the season. Too bad, but I'll trade a few closed sites for fewer tourists. In each of the Maritimes I had the chance to spend time with pleasant and unhurried people. I suspect once the tourist hordes and cruise ships arrive that no one would have the time for that.
Lunenburg is also home port for the Bluenose II, a replica of the famous fishing schooner that dominated working boat racing early in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Bluenose carried the largest mainsail ever aboard a sailing vessel and consistently won against rivals from the US and Europe. I've seen photos and she was quite a sight heeled over, carrying full sail in a stiff wind.
On the way back to Halifax I hugged the coast. Lunch was in the tiny fishing village of Mahone. Another excellent seafood chowder.
I noticed a sign reading Oak Island. On a hunch I drove out the road to the causeway linking it to the mainland. Lots of No Trespassing signs. This was indeed the Oak Island of the History Channel, home to the "money pit" that still attracts treasure seekers over a hundred years since its discovery.
Grand Pre was the site of an Arcadian agricultural community. They used dykes and canals to create a huge farming community in Western Nova Scotia. They also refused to pledge allegiance to King George III and were transported to parts South. Many ended up in Louisiana where Arcadians became Cajuns.
The site itself is clearly excellent farmland. And although the Park HQ is still closed I could walk around and view what remains. There's a small chapel and a number of statues commemorating their eviction. The statue of Evangeline mirrors one I've seen in Lafayette Louisiana. The bust of Longfellow, author of her tragic poem, is still bundled up in plastic and duct tape.
Digby is famous for its scallops and its tides. The Bay of Fundy is listed as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The tidal movement can be as great as 50 feet in some places. When I arrived the harbor looked quite normal. A few hours later when I went to dinner, the boats in the harbor had dropped at least 20 feet.
Digby was also a settlement that attracted a number of British Loyalists after the success of the American Revolution. Many of the Loyalists were free African-Americans who chose to leave the U.S. for Canada. The ferry I traveled on from PEI to Nova Scotia was named for one of them.
The Loyalist cemetery is small and poorly maintained.
Oh - The scallops. Delicious, especially washed down with a Rickard's Red Ale.
The next day I took the ferry back to New Brunswick and drove South to cross back into the U.S. I'm always a bit surprised that they allow me back in.
I spent the night with another friend from the distant past. Jeff and I had worked together as proposal writers for Vanderbilt University's Alumni and Development program. Another night of good food, conversation and friendship. Hi Ellen, hi Wyatt!
Lots of time on the long drives of this trip to reflect. 1500 miles of it. I suspect there will be more trips like this in the future. Shorter. Closer to home.
But then again, you can never tell. I wonder if they have Cast Iron Conventions in Nepal?