Trip to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine, 2015

July - August 2015, I took a trip to Canada’s Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Bay of Fundy), with an extension to Maine (Acadia). This Google map shows the area. The trip, through Classic Escapes, was sponsored by the NC Zoo (I found it on their travel page), and actually conducted by Windigo Travel. There were only four of us, Sandy is also a member of the NC Zoo, Judy and Jerry joined us through University of Wisconsin alumni travel program as their trip was cancelled, and we had a driver/guide, Nic, from Windigo.

We went to a lot of beautiful places, which I was expecting, but I had not expected to learn so much. The hotels were all very nice, especially the Bluenose Inn in Bar Harbor. And the food was good – I got LOTS of seafood and blueberry pie!

My flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday, July 25 was cancelled (no crew) so I travelled Sunday, missing some museums, the Halifax Citadel, and a Farmer’s Market. Nic picked me up at the airport and gave me a personal tour, and I met up with the others at supper. We stayed at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax.

Monday, July 27: We started the day with a guided tour of Lunenburg in the rain but the rain lifted as we went along. After admiring an old Academy, we visited a few churches and sampled spirits at the Ironworks Distillery.

After lunch we went to Peggy’s Cove with its beautiful views, lighthouse, big rocks, and lots of tourists.

My bag, which didn’t make the connection in Newark, was in my room, in Halifax, when we got back supper time. I had good fried scallops for lunch and haddock for supper.

Tuesday, July 28: This was one of the most interesting days of the trip. We visited Grand Pré, the statue of Evangeline and the memorial church learning about the deportation, and Port-Royal National Historic Site, a replica of the habitation which stood from 1605 until its destruction in 1613. And briefly visited Fort Anne.

I probably read Longfellow’s Evangeline in school, but I don’t remember it and need to read it again.

We each had a steamed lobster for lunch at Halls Harbor Lobster Pound. While they were cooking, we learned a little about lobsters and how big they can get. We also had a stop at a vineyard for tasting of Nova Scotia wines.

We stayed at Digby Pines Golf Resort where I had smoked haddock soup, sauteed scallops, and a dome of chocolate for supper.

Nice view from a balcony on the back. That's a sheltered but open lap pool between the ocean and the hotel. There was a young woman out there sunbathing on a very cool but sunny day.

Wednesday, July 29: We had our best boat trip this morning with Petit Passage Whale Watch. We saw Minke, Finback and Humpback whales. The lobster roll for lunch in the cafe at the dock was good.

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In the afternoon, we had a long ferry trip across the Bay of Fundy and checked into Chateau St. John, New Brunswick. The ferry ride was nice but the food on the ferry was terrible. I’ve never had a hamburger so bad I wouldn't eat it. We’re suggesting picnics for future trips.

Thursday, July 30: The New Brunswick Museum was our first stop today. The first floor was on logging and ship building, very well laid out, interesting stuff. I was fascinated by a wooden dog treadmill that churned butter. The exhibits “Hall of Great Whales” and “Birds of New Brunswick” were also well done.

After lunch we went to see salmon smoking, but visitors are no longer allowed in the smokers (health regulations). We did get a tasting. Then to the Atlantic Salmon Interpretative Centre, which was interesting and well done.

We checked into the Algonquin Resort and had supper at a charming little restaurant, the Niger Reef Tea House (I had grilled skewers of scallops and shrimp with salad and strawberry/rhubarb crumble – delish).

Friday, July 31: This was the morning we needed to be up and out early and my iphone got confused about the time zone and the alarm didn't go off. Apparently, the hotel is very close to the line between the Atlantic and Eastern time zones. I woke up an hour late but was able to grab a little coffee and a croissant before we left for the Saint Andrews Bird Banding Station where we walked around the nets watching our guide carefully remove the birds from the netting and plop them into bags. She banded the two she caught that didn't have bands and recorded info on the two that did have bands. The last two times we checked the nets, nothing was caught. The birds are out and about early.

Then we went to the Huntsman Marine Science Centre where we watched them feed the sea horses, salmon, and seals. Nice place.

We had a picnic lunch at Niger Reef Tea House (I had a salmon and cucumber sandwich with blueberry pie). Then we had another boat trip. This time we didn’t go out as far. We did see eagles, seals, porpoises and the smaller Minke whales.

Saturday, August 1: Sandy left early this morning. Judy, Jerry and I continued on the trip's extension to Bar Harbor. We visited Saint Croix Island, location of the first French attempt to colonize Acadia. Lunch at Frank's Dockside Restaurant, Lubec, Maine. Then to Campobello – the Roosevelt “cottage” is lovely – and a tea where we heard about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life.

We stopped at West Quoddy Head lighthouse and checked in to the Bluenose Inn.

Dinner at Stewman’s.

Sunday, August 2: We had a lovely, leisurely day in Acadia National Park. We went to Cadillac Mountain in the morning, had a picnic lunch on Sand Beach, and a carriage ride on roads constructed by John D. Rockefeller. Then Nic just drove around so we could admire the scenery and homes.

We headed back to the Bluenose Inn early for a little quiet time before dinner. The Bluenose Inn was especially nice with big rooms. I had a porch with chairs. This is the view from my room. They also had a good piano player in the bar/Great Room in the evening.

Monday, August 3: A fascinating day learning all about lobsters. In the morning, we visited the Mount Desert Oceananarium, where Audrey and David Mills work to try to increase the lobster population and to educate. At the Discovery Pool, not only did we touch a starfish, sea urchin, and sea cucumber, we learned how they see, hear, eat, and protect themselves. In the hatchery, we learned about various stages of lobster development and how few survive to adulthood. In the museum, David Mills told fishing and lobster tales teaching us about the lives of lobsters and fishermen, and he showed us a blue lobster. The marsh tour taught us a little about local trees, grasses and animals.

After lunch (yummy clam chowder), we visited the Abbe Downtown Museum, which wasn’t as interesting to me as the other museums. Then onto the Lulu Lobster boat for a ride and fabulous description of lobster life and fishing with Captain John, a real showman. He described how lobsters molt and that they can drop their claws and grow new ones. He even talked a little about research on regeneration. He pulled up his lobster trap and showed us how to tell a male from a female and legal lobster sizes. The fog was really thick for part of the trip. Captain John asked that we not take video of his show.

Then probably my best dinner of the trip – lazy lobster (steamed, taken out of the shell and served with butter) with blueberry pie and ice cream at West Street Café.

Tuesday, August 4: Flew home from Bangor. Flights on time and bag arrived with me.

Nice trip!

Last modified: 2015 August 13