Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nova Scotia - Day 2: The Road to Cape Bretton

This day was, unfortunately, mostly about the going than the doing. Our destination was the town of Baddeck on Cape Breton Island - some hours' drive from Halifax.

After breakfast at the hotel, I went out see attempt to get our phones squared away. Alas, being a Sunday morning, the mall (yes, I went to the mall) wouldn't open until noon. That outing wasn't a total loss, though - I did our first fill-up in Canada. It was a bit expensive, but would only get more so the farther out we got. Brynna and Hilary, in the meantime, amused themselves in the hotel pool and hot tub.

When I returned, we had violin practice, load up the car, then headed back to the mall. This time I had satisfaction, and got us hooked into pre-paid plans on Bell Canada. It took a while to get squared away, but I'll spare you the details. Hilary and Brynna, meanwhile, were camped outside of the Apple Store, and B practiced reading words on the signs.

There's plenty to see and do in Halifax, but unfortunately we had burned up a lot of time already. We grabbed some wraps for lunch and hit the road.

According to the Nova Scotia guides, there's plenty of stuff to see and do on the road between Halifax and Cape Breton. Unfortunately, most of it requires taking the longer, out-of-the-way roads. We're not averse to that, but we were sensitive to keeping B and J cooped up in the car for long stretches. In order to get their wiggles out, we stopped about halfway on the road in Antigonish, where there was a fine playground.


Cape Breton Island is separated from the rest of Nova Scotia by a narrow channel of water - the Canso Strait. During the last Ice Age is was a river valley. A hundred years ago a very busy ferry crossed back and forth. After WWII it was bridged by a causeway - created from rock blasted from an adjacent cliff - with a small canal to permit water traffic. We crossed over late on a dreary afternoon.


Baddeck was another hour or so up the road, on the shores of Bras d'Or Lake, which actually connects to the Atlantic in one or two places, and so is somewhat brackish. It was in this town that Alexander Graham Bell put down roots after the invention of the telephone - more on that tomorrow.

We pulled into our lodging for the night - a cottage at the Silver Dart Lodge - and waited for Mark and Holly to arrive. (Due to worries about being seasick on the ferry ride, they had traveled overland from CT, spending Saturday night at the friend's place in Campo Bello. Even broken over two days, it was a loooong haul, and they were pretty fried when they arrived.) After check in, we headed into town for what turned out to be a thoroughly mediocre and overpriced dinner. Oh well, there'd be more chances in the days to come.

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