We made it to what I consider the ultimate destination in Nova Scotia, Cape Breton. Our first stop on a whirlwind 275 mile day trip around Cape Breton found us in Port Hood. It sits on the Ceilidh (Kay-lee) Trail, and has lots of sandy beaches on St. George’s Bay – the warmest waters of Eastern Canada…I did not test it. Just off the coast is Port Hood Island, which has become a place for summer residents only.
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 🙂
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.
Fort George, aka the Citadel, sits upon a hill overlooking the harbor and downtown Halifax. Its vantage point has been so successful since the fort was first established by the British in 1749, it has never been under attack. That leaves time for pipers to entertain us with their look and their sound!
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.
Of the 160 lighthouses throughout Nova Scotia, Peggy’s Point at Peggy’s Cove, is the most iconic. Its beautiful location in the tiny village of Peggy’s Cove, on an outcropping of rocks, makes it a spectacular place to explore. Check out this time lapsed video…
Less than an hour from Halifax, Nova Scotia is the tiny fishing community of Peggy’s Cove. I have read 3 different accounts as to the origin of the name Peggy’s Cove, but one must know that “Peggy” is a common nickname for “Margaret”. It is a fact the Peggy’s Cove sits at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay, but who was Margaret? The Bay was named for Samuel de Champlain’s mother Marguerite, so did the small village take that name a step further and use Peggy? Some say she was the wife of William Rodgers, an Irish immigrant who settled there in the area in the 1770’s. Others say she was the only survivor of a schooner that sank some time in the mid-1800’s after hitting Halibut Rock, and she stayed on and married a local fisherman.