Baddeck, Bras d’Or, Bell, Beinn Bhreagh

The village of Baddeck is in the heart of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The Kidston Island Lighthouse overlooks Bras d’Or Lake (“Arm of Gold”), an inland sea, and can be seen from several vantage points in Baddeck, including the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Bell’s biography is an interesting one, starting in Edinburgh, Scotland with a mother who was deaf, and a father who ran a school for the deaf. After moving to North America, first Ontario Canada, and then the USA, Bell continued working with the deaf in New England, where one of his students became his wife. Bell met, and was a integral part of Helen Keller‘s education, as well. Baddeck became Bell’s summer residence, and eventually his permanent home, which he called Beinn Bhreagh (“beautiful mountain”). Bell, along with his father-in-law, were part of the group of founders of the National Geographic Society.   Oh yes, somewhere along the line he invented the telephone, 🙂



Mabou Harbor


Mabou Harbor is the only protected harbor on the west side of Cape Breton. Having a lighthouse at this location, helped promote the growth of local industries – fishing and mining. A relatively new “export” of Mabou is music…It is the home of the Rankin family, known for their Celtic sound and The Red Shoe Pub.

Arisaig Replica


We pulled into Arisaig Provincial Park hoping that was the location of Arisaig Lighthouse. While there was a lovely picnic area and overlook, no lighthouse in the park. But wait… from the overlook, we could see the lighthouse in the distance, just down the road a piece. Some of the lighthouses we found, like this one, were replicas of ones that were destroyed over the years. While its light is no longer, its weathervane is a reminder of the lobstering that takes place in this area, and there was ice cream for sale inside 🙂

Latitude: 45.874111, Longitude: -61.9005


Ah…my trusty GPS helped us find many lighthouses when all we had were the latitude and longitude degrees. Adding a label to the point, gave a friendly name to the place we were headed. Leaving Halifax we headed northeast toward Cape George…ahem..after a wrong turn back towards Port George where we had been a few days earlier! Oops…

The high vantage point of the Cape George Lighthouse and its lovely surroundings, provide a sweeping view of St. George’s Bay. And, if you are lucky, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island in the distance.

Halifax Harbor


Halifax is a successful port city due to its natural harbor. Not only is it one of the deepest in the world, its length protects is from harsh weather, yet it is wide enough at its inner most point to manage large ships. As we watched the Holland America Veendam cruise ship pull away from the dock and head farther down the harbor, I wondered where it was going. Ah…the harbor is wide enough to let the ship take a spin around Georges Island!


Georges Island boasts yet another Nova Scotia Lighthouse, but it was also used as a fortress for defense of the British Empire. Its history includes time as a detention center for Acadians during the Seven Years War 1755-1763. When some of those Acadians left Halifax, they moved on down to Louisiana in the United States.

Roadside Attraction


Another pepper-shaker style lighthouse, the Port George Light was moved from the town pier to this roadside location, when the pier became unstable – another effect of the Bay of Fundy tides.  The unusual steady red light is used for navigation by the local sailing community. Port George was once the home of a busy shipyard with traffic headed to places like Boston and New Brunswick. It has become a popular summer retreat in recent years.