“There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.”
- Robert Service

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Seeing as we made a pilgrimage to the far west of Canada in the spring, it was only fitting that we also visited the most eastern bits in the autumn. Some of you may have followed the adventures of a friend of mine - Ilse the knitting gnome - because she stowed away in my luggage and then insisted upon having her picture taken at every turn. She's a maniac. I also took photos, and I'd like to share them with you.

We started our trip in Newfoundland. Constrained by time, we stayed close to St. John's. Still, it was easy to find good sea air -
Part of the East Coast Trail near Cabot tower required a chain-handle. Good views!
And good cheer!
I was offically Screeched in! Kissed the cod and everything!
We stayed for three nights in St John's, and I would definitely consider going back. There's a lot to see on that rock, but much of it takes many days to get to and from. The residents are friendly and the landscape is delightful. We spent  one good night getting to know the fine establishments on George Street, and listened to some very authentic local musicians.

 On Tuesday, we flew to Nova Scotia, and rented a car so we could drive the length of the province (in the pouring rain) to Sydney where I have family. One of our primary destinations was to Fort Louisbourg which we visited under cover of fog. I'm told that like all things at the Fort, the weather on that day was extremely authentic. We visited just at the start of shoulder season so many of the buildings were closed, but there were still plenty of places to poke around in, and we indulged in a fresh baked loaf of hearty bread. nom. Fun fact #1: Despite almost all of the buildings being made of stone, there are only two masons employed there. Tough gig. Fun Fact #2: We learned that because the fort was well defended from the sea and the surrounding area was pretty well all bog, the French weren't suspecting to be attacked. Too bad the English thought it was a good idea to haul heavy artillery through a bog for 6 weeks. But seriously? How shitty would that job be, the guy stuck hauling cannons through a bog for weeks?
foggy view of Fort Louisbourg
Giant Fiddle in Sydney!
For those of you who laugh when I tell you that my family (the Ball family) are from Ball's Creek, Nova Scotia!
After a good stay in Sydney, we thought to go and visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Then we realized that the drive from Sydney, through the park and down to our next destination (Halifax) would take 10 hours, we opted for the cliff notes version (Ha! Cliff-notes? get it? Because there are cliffs in the park!) whereby we drove just up to Ingonish.

After a goodly drive along the winding road of many elevations next to the ocean, we were happy to stop for a picnic lunch on the beach.We considered swimming, and then we realized that the water was SO FREEZING.
 More adventures on the drive to Halifax:

Discovered a giant roadside lobster trap!
I saw my very first live wild porcupine! ...sadly he did not see us.
There was no rest for the wicked in Halifax, and we spent two days doing absolutely everything there was to do - from a tour in an amphibious vehicle, to the old Citadel, to the Alexander Keith's brewery.

Speaking of Alexander Keith....
His tombstone in Camp Hill cemetary
On our last night, we decided to drive out to Peggy's Cove, most notable for its lighthouse. On this day, however, the sky was perfectly clear and the sun was setting like a giant golden medallion blazing in the sky and the sea - oh! The sea! - was churning and crashing! This could easily be named my favourite moment of the entire trip. With each wave-smash the air became salty and the wind blew the most glorious sea-winds and I felt wonderous in it all.
"As Queen Triton, I command you, great waters - RISE! bwahahahaAHAHA!"

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