Unfortunately the weather never improved the whole day and in fact got worse later in the day. We didn’t let that deter us and decided to go for a drive in the surrounding area. We decided to go south and west from Lunenberg and followed the coastline for a about 10-15kms. It is very pretty along the coast even though it doesn’t feel like you’re driving next to the ocean as there are no waves at all – feels more like a lake than an ocean. As we exited Lunenberg we drove straight past the farmers market (actually while we were doing a U-turn) so we figured lets go in and take a look around. Very minimalist, some similarities to markets back home, some differences. We head out then for our drive and after driving for about an hour or so we realised that it was going to much of the same and not a lot to explore.
After a stop in Bridgeport at the supermarket – some snacks acquired and general wandering around admiring the range and differences – we headed north. We had read that Wolfville and Grand Pre were nice places to see and they were about an hour and 20 minute drive north from where we were. The first hour of drive was similar to what we had seen before – forested areas with the occasional lake to break the monotony. Just before reaching Grand Pre we encountered farm lands and fruit trees. There wasn’t much at Grand-Pre (or so we thought) so we headed into Wolfville aiming to get some lunch.
First place we saw as we entered was the Church Brewing Co (https://churchbrewing.ca/). It was a brewery that had taken over a Church. The beer choices are on the hymn boards. It is very obvious you’re in a Church from the design of the building, to the hymn boards, to the placement of the toilets, to the stage and the balcony. All that was missing was an organ. The beers were nice and the food was good too (H & I had seafood chowder). After lunch we explored the main road and spent most of the time in the drugstore – again marveling at the range and quantities of things you can buy. What amazes me is that in the US & Canada you can buy a bottle of paracetamol that contains 500 tablets. In the UK, you can’t buy more than 16 at a time and it requires an ID check! Seems very incongruous.
We had managed to google a little more about Grand-Pre and realised we hadn’t actually seen anything of what we should be seeing. It is a Unesco World Heritage site because the original settlers (French Huguenots called Acadians) used their dyke building skills to drain the salt marshes and reclaim very fertile plains. The tidal coefficient is very significant in this part of the world and so it is necessary to control the flooding by salt water every time the tides rise. The tide was out when we were at the coast. You will see how muddy it is (in panoramic picture below) and that it reached quite far out. It is also an IBA (Important Bird Area) in Canada as numerous Sandpipers are found here between July-October (we were just too early).
From the view point over Grand-Pre you can see the fertile soil and the farm lands. The picture really doesn’t capture the view that well but hopefully you will get a sense of it. We did manage to spot a Ring-Necked Pheasant in the fields as we started to head back to Lunenberg – it is uncommon in the area but it is definitely what we saw. Reminded me again that you can bird anywhere in the world and that I should have brought my binoculars with me! Another bird added to my world bird life list (which is dominated still to be Southern Africa but starting to expand a bit now).
The drive back to Lunenberg was quite difficult as it started to rain heavily. The roads have poor drainage so lots of water on the road and lots of aquaplaning. Not easy to drive but we made it back safely. S volunteered to go to the restaurant at around 6:30pm and secure a table for us. It was deluging at the time and the short run there and back left him drenched. We decided to drive to the restaurant – Salt Shaker Deli (https://www.saltshakerdeli.com/). Downside of that was that we couldn’t find parking so while 3 people got in safely and not wet, the driver (after three times round the block) had to park the car up the road and run to the restaurant. Fortunately wasn’t raining that hard at that point so only got slightly wet.
Diverse choices again for dinner by all of us. Seafood stew, salmon risotto, prawn tacos & hamburger and wedges were what we ate. H & S has Dark & Stormy cocktails (it is a rum making area as you can tell from the name of our Inn) and I had my first Nova Scotia wine – Pinot Grigio. When we were finished eating it was like a monsoon outside. And guess who had to go fetch the car from up the road! By the time I got to the car I was soaked. Even the other 3 just running from the entrance into the car got them seriously wet. Fortunately there was a parking spot right outside the Inn front door so getting back into our room wasn’t too difficult.
The weather this AM is much better than the last two days. The sun is out and shining and hopefully will stay this way for the next few days (or so says the weather forecast).
Until tomorrow …
P, S (for his running in the rain to get a table for us), H and K (she couldn’t go lower so I had to use spaces to differentiate us … she was making suggestions on the re-ordering of names for sign-off … highly inappropriate, she should know better)