pre-departure: exploring Nova Scotia

After years and years of dreaming, this is it — I am finally fulfilling my much-desired journey across Canada. To help me prepare mentally for the two-month trip, I decided on going on a little journey around Nova Scotia with Frances, my girlfriend.

After a 23-hour train ride from Montreal to Halifax (bravo, Via Rail — it was a very comfortable journey!), we were greeted by our very kind host, Ellen Hickey. Ellen is an avid traveler and learner of cultures, and she very kindly welcomed us into her home, cooked a wonderful supper for us, and brought us to Rockbottom, a pub in downtown Halifax to watch her friend perform.

Ellen and Daniel

Ellen and me

We were very lucky with the weather as we went around downtown Halifax — the port city is filled with so much history and British influence, Frances and I felt like we were back in Scotland. From men dressed in kilts playing the bagpipe to the British flag up in the Citadel, it truly has a British taste! Still, Halifax is filled with its own distinct culture that’s truly Canadian (like a Beavertail stand along the waterfront).

Daniel and Frances on the Halifax waterfront

Me and Frances on the Halifax waterfront

We then headed for the Cabot Trail. It is filled with long, winding roads, one of the most scenic in North America, if not the whole world. It has the most picturesque views of mountains and beds of water, and driving along the coastal areas, seeing endless breathtaking views of mountains against the ocean was simply a very memorable experience. We dropped by small communities such as Baddeck and Meat Cove, and got mesmerized at how there really is so many hidden treasures in this country.

Meat Cove, along Cabot Trail

Meat Cove, along Cabot Trail

At Baddeck, the town where Alexander Graham Bell was from

At Baddeck, the town where Alexander Graham Bell was from

The next day, we visited the quaint little town of Lunenburg, about 100 km from Halifax. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known to be “the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America.” It really is a colorful town, and one can really feel that there is so much history embedded in it.

Typical Lunenburg architecture

Typical Lunenburg architecture

Five minutes away from Lunenburg is a tiny fishing village called Blue Rocks, dubbed to be one of the most tranquil places on earth. With the deep, royal blue color of the water surrounding it, Blue Rocks has a very mysterious yet serene feel to it.

Blue Rocks: what a wonder!

Blue Rocks: what a wonder!

It was the perfect time — sunset — to go to one of the top destinations in Nova Scotia: Peggy’s Cove. It has always been Frances’ wish to visit this dreamy town, and visiting it, now I know why. The lighthouse that mightily stands at the center of the town overlooking St. Margaret’s Bay is perfectly perched, as if telling sailors far and wide that they have a safe haven ready to welcome them, not far from where they are.

The famous Peggy's Cove lighthouse - dreamy indeed!

The famous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse – dreamy indeed!

It was a beautiful and enchanting end to our little Nova Scotia tour. Meanwhile, I am on my way to see more of this province — this time, with my bicycle.


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