We woke in the morning to a beautiful but cloudy day. The Cabot Trail turns inward from the coast to travel across Cape Breton Island through the mountains. We decided we would stick close to the coast and travel towards the mainland of Nova Scotia. Following Highway 19 along the coast was a beautiful drive. Coming through the little town of Inverness we came across the Coalminers Cafe. We decided to stop for lunch and were delighted with what we had found. A beautiful tribute to the miners, friendly people and a great meal.
Farther down the road in Mabou we saw a sign for Glenora Distillery. Home of North America’s oldest single malt whiskey. Now I am not much of a drinker but once in awhile I will have a drink and if I do it will be a top of the line whiskey. It was a beautiful place pulling in.
When we entered we noticed empty glass bottles by small kegs of whiskey with taps. You could pour your own bottle from the kegs. How very cool was that. Unfortunately there was nothing there under $175.00 and although I enjoy a good whiskey now and then that was a little steep for me.
Off down the coast towards Port Hood heading to Port Hawksbury where we would cross over the Canso Causeway.
This is the second Causeway we have been across and frankly I find it cool. A small strip of land connecting two large land masses. It is quite an engineering feat considering the constant pounding it must take from the water.
We decided that we would head to the south coast for a visit to Oak Island and a small town called Mahoney Bay. What we found was what looked like a ships graveyard. A small harbour called Hawbolt Cove.
The village almost looked as abondoned as those ships. It was a little sad!
Farther along the coast is a little place called Sheet Harbour. Entering this little town with an ocean feel and small town charm. A walking trail at the McFee House Museum was inviting so we decided to take a stroll.
What we found was an ahhh moment. A beautiful little river flowing freely towards the ocean. The calm of the day and the sound of the running water, it was the perfect combination.
Even the loon was enjoying a nice afternoon.
As we drove we could see clouds building. There has been a hurricane in the south earlier in the week and although it had weakened considerably they were still calling for heavy rain. We decided to seek shelter. After a quick stop at the Best Western Plus in Chocolate Lake, Halifax we found most of the city sold out. I used the bathroom while we were there and this sign was on the wall. It made me giggle as growing up in the country on a septic system you had to watch what you flushed!
We decided to try to make it to Oak Island and grab a night at the resort there. I will admit it was a little bit of a hang on tight drive as Huricane Ida came calling! When it rains in sheets you know it is time to pull over. We pulled into the resort, waited for a calm moment and checked in, got some stuff into the motel room and as I was grabbing the last few things it arrived again.
I am going to need my new hat for this for sure!
It was raining a little hard for just my hat, so I just sat at home and waited. A break in the rain and went back in and had a peaceful sleep listening to the wind howl as Ida came calling!
The next day was cloudy and cool. We headed out to Oak Island to see what we could see. As we turned down the street to head to the island we came across this little church. It sat on a small hill all by its lonesome. It kind of had a weird feel to it.
We got to the causeway but as we knew could not cross. Oak Island is said to have pirate treasure on it. There is a TV show that follows them as they search for buried treasure. I personally do not know anything about it but Kim is a big fan. It was cool to be so close to the island that may hold pirate treasure.
They do have an interpretation center where they tell you the history of the island and display the items they have found. Unfortunately it was closed but it would have been interesting!
Our next stop on our tour was Mahone Bay. It is well known for the three churches you pass as you are driving into town. They are big beautiful churches. A beautiful start to a a picturesque little town.
As we drove into town all the different colour buildings just made you smile. It is such a warm welcoming feeling as we came to a little town dotted with shops and cafes. Even the clouds could not dim the warmth of this little town.
This sign outside a Cafe made me giggle! Yes, yes I was happier than a seagull with a stolen chip! Hahaha!
As we said good bye to Malone Bay we headed towards Lunenburg. As the name suggests it is German heritage. We heard that there was a piece of the Berlin wall in town. Finding it was another matter but oh the things we found along the way. A beautiful town along the water front with houses and building dating back to the 1700’s.
Lunenburg is home to the The Bluenose Schooner. A racing vessel that took the world by storm undefeated in her 18 year history the Bluenose 2 now serves as a wonderful ambassador for Lunenburg, the province of Nova Scotia and Canada.
As we searched we came across this beautiful church. St John’s Church was first constructed in 1753 and is the second oldest Anglican church in Canada. There had many changes to the church, adding the bell tower in 1840 and even moving the whole church 25 feet to where it sits today.
Sadly in 2001 it was destroyed by fire. It has been beautifully restored to what you see today. Walking around I noticed a bell with a plaque underneath. You know I had to read it. Lol!
This bell manufactured at the Whitechapel Foundry in London England hung in the tower of the church since 1814 and rang its beautiful melody for 185 years. Christopher Jessen was a prominent citizen in Lunenburg and donated the bell in 1814 to the church while on his death bed. Sadly he passed at the age of 84 before he could hear it ring. Interestingly Mr. Jessen is buried under the church. So maybe he did hear it ring. In the 2001 fire it was so damaged it could not ring any longer. It is now a monument in front of the church to be remembered. It was an interesting story of a bell that tolled for 185 years. Oh the changes it has seen and the stories it could tell.
As we searched for the piece of the Berlin Wall we came to building that brought us to Germany. The Lunenburg Acadamy is a huge building that if you did not know better you would think you were standing on a street in Berlin.
This building built in 1895 served as the towns public school for 117 years. Designed by architect Harry H. Mott it is a beautiful representation of early German ancestry. It is now a social community center and includes a music academy, the geological society for Nova Sotia’s southshore, as well as the Public Library among other community and small business. A beautiful impressive building.
Beside the Academy was an old cemetary. I love the quiet and stillness of a cemetary and this one just drew me in. Hillcrest Cemetary is one of the oldest cemetaries in Lunenburg with the oldest tombstone recorded in 1761. A beautiful pause and reflection of days gone by. Oh the stories that could be told.
I especially loved this old tree that stood among the old tombstones. A reminder of the fight for survival all of these people lived through. Yes I had to go touch it. It had a wonderful energy that you just wanted to sit under it and breath in stillness.
Back to searching we found the waterfront with its quaint Harbour charm. A working Harbour that gives you a perfect picture of this lovely little town.
Down on the harbour is a small Distillery called Ironworks. They had taste samplings so we popped in. Funny story.. you could try 3 different types of the whisky they make. Now as mentioned before I am not much of a drinker but it was only a little and they had a creamed whiskey I wanted to try. But I had to pick 3. They were lined up in order of the proof or strength of the alcohol with the highest first. I drank all 3, the first was a little lightening but got smoother when I went to the other two the last being the creamed whiskey. After we were done the girl said I took the first one “like a champ” as it is one of the highest alcohol content of anything they make a most people end up coughing after. Hahaha! It wasn’t that bad.
As we came out of the Distillery a horse and carriage came by. One of those to do list items. I have never been on a carriage ride and think it would be fun.
We started back on our search and found it at the first place we looked. The Canadian Legion. We had looked before but everyone we asked said it was here. At last success, around the back of the building in the parking lot was a piece of the original Berlin wall. Apparently as told to us by legion members it had been moved when a movie. It would usually sit in front of the legion but as the movie making had just ended it had not been put back.
So how does a small town in Nova Scotia have a piece of the Berlin Wall? Apparently in 1995 Lunenburg was made into a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was then a member of the town convinced a German business man to donate a piece of the Berlin Wall to the town to commemorate the German settlers that established this town in 1753. Very cool.
As darkness was falling we left this beautiful town with the warmth of a wonderful visit. Halifax was next on our list. It was going to be a busy day tomorrow.
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure. Stay tuned, there is so much more to come!
See you next week!