Road Scholar - The Best of the Canadian Maritimes
September 14 - Halifax to Baddeck
After another decent buffet breakfast, we checked out of the Atlantica Hotel and got onto our bus. On the way to Baddeck, we stopped at the Hector Heritage Quay located on the scenic Pictou waterfront. The site offers a unique glimpse into the journey of early Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia and their life in the new world. The main street is lined with posts displaying the tartans of several clans.
The proud centerpiece of the award-winning attraction is a full-scale reproduction of the tall ship Hector that is renown for bringing the first wave of Scottish immigrants to Nova Scotia in 1773. It was this historic voyage that established Pictou as the "Birthplace of New Scotland".
We toured the museum first and then boarded the ship. A docent showed us around. Work was in progress to keep the ship seaworthy. Above deck, we could see the rigging that made the ship work. Below deck, we could see the cramped quarters and imagine how miserable the Atlantic voyage must have been. The museum among other things featured wood carvings by Anne's husband.
Boarding the bus again, we continued on to Cape Breton Island. After crossing a causeway and bridge, we stopped at a visitors' center for a stretch. We could walk around and see the narrow passageway from Nova Scotia to the island. Our focus after our stop was to get to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Here we discovered how air and water captured Mr Bell's imagination. We explored the amazing life of the man who invented the telephone and his many other accomplishments including his work to bridge the world between sound and silence by teaching the deaf to speak. I should have known that he had projects other than the telephone. I am embarrassed that I did not.
Our hotel for the next three nights was Auberge Gisele's Country Inn. We had a nice large room on the third floor in a detached building. The rest of our group was scattered among other buildings.
Dinner was at the Auberge. There were separate dining rooms large enough to fit different tour groups. Tonight there were several of these groups. After dinner, Ann and I took a short walk around the general area of the auberge. We discovered Gaelic music coming from a small building. It was packed with people enjoying a performance. We found that our group would be here in two days.