7-13 July 2018
Now the REAL holiday begins...!
We pick up a car in BOS (after much grief) and drive to Portland ME to collect the 5.5 hour ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The ferry is delayed, and we eventually make it to our first destination of Lunenburg at midnight. But our lovely hotel with harbour-facing balcony is blissful and in the morning we get to see the famous schooner "Bluenose" slip from its dock and depart. The UNESCO town is gorgeous, and we are sorry to leave in the afternoon. But we have a date in Halifax with good customer and friend Ross & Marley Calder. We manage to get there just in time for dinner with them, and Marley has to fly to Newfoundland; while Ross takes us back across the harbour on the ferry and gives us a walking tour of the historic waterfront. Ross & Gordon manager to catch a few "sailor's pints" later after Jana and Alex retire!
We spend the day sightseeing in Halifax, notably the very well presented Citadel, 18th century fort. Alex likes to dress as a solider! We also explore the lovely Halifax Public Gardens before going back to the hotel for a rare early night -- or so we thought! Turns out while in the USA Jana has been hooked by a British TV show "Shetland" (which by the arcane rules of Netflix does not show in UK or Czech Republic).
Tuesday we are in for a very special treat. Ross it turns out is a harbour pilot, and he offers to take us out on the pilot boat as they do a rendezvous with an incoming cruise ship. This is a unique experience, and we are welcomed by the captain, the deck hand and the pilot on board the boat, and get to watch the exciting transfer. Even better, the captain turns over the wheel to Alex who pilots the pilot boat all the way back almost to the docks!
That afternoon we make the long drive to Pleasant Bay in Cape Breton Island where we have a cottage booked for 3 nights. A bit of mix up over the dates is quickly rectified and we are shown to our lovely house on the water, just in time to catch a spectaular sunset dinner! Wednesday we head in the morning to a while watching cruise with "GuaranteedWhales.com". You can guess what we saw... Nothing! But still nice to be on a boat. The afternoon was the England-Croatia semi final in the World Cup so that was Gordon... :-) We take an evening drive around the area, visiting the remote Buddhist monastery and one of the many hiking trails in Cape Bretton National Park. We get another supernatural sunset from our house. Thursday we drove the entirety of the famous Cabot Trail - considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. We stopped for 3 hikes along the way (hiking about 20km in total) through very different sceneries. A final sunset meal; and a challenge match of pool rounds out another perfect day.