We woke up at 6am to catch the ferry to Digby, Nova Scotia, just across the Bay of Fundy. Our minds were towards the weather. Over the last couple of days there was a hurricane (Matthew) going on in Haiti and the forecast said that it might reach Nova Scotia! In this case we were kind of helpless since we had nights booked in advance and now trying to cancel them, think of a new plan and find accommodation was impossible. The Google search said that at 3pm the Canadian Weather institute or something like that will issue an updated forecast so we were anxious.
We waited in line with 10 other cars and 2 trucks until it was time. We were signaled to go on board, and the ferry had 2 garage floors! I've never been on such a big ferry. After I parked I went to other floor and found out I had it almost to myself 🙂 . Since it was off-season there were barely any people on the ferry so it was funny. Taking the ferry fulfilled 2 purposes: save driving time and not use the same road twice. So after 2.5 hours we were in Digby, NS.
We got out of the ferry and the skies didn't look so good … It was very very foggy and our plan was going for a 3 hour hike in Cape Split. Since we didn't have another viable option we decided to continue with the plan, hoping the weather gets better as we get closer. Getting from Digby north east to Cape Split takes about 2 hours with nothing too special on the way. If you look at the map and see where this Cape Split is you'd think not too many people will be there. My guess was that there would be 2 cars at most but when we got there I was surprised to see about 10 cars!! By the way, at this point the weather really improved, the skies were clear and the sun was out.
We took some water, beer and sandwiches and headed out to see the ocean. The trail is 12 km long and it's linear meaning we return the same way, but walking in woods isn't so bad, right?! 🙂 So you start walking with a very little ascent and see different vegetation then what we saw so far. After 2 hours or so when you're really anxious to reach the end, you get there. The trees stop and you find yourself on a grass covered cliff with a wide open look at the ocean!! Beautiful place and worth it. I tried to look for some interesting points but I guess the first one was the best. We sat down, took our shoes off, opened a beer and relaxed …
Halifax & the South Shore
After a while we decided it was time to go. We started walking and it took more or less the same time. Now we were driving south east to Halifax, Nova Scotia's capital. We reached a nice hotel which gave us a different feeling after a few nights in smaller places. For dinner we went to "2 Doors Down" a pub/restaurant kind of place where I didn't fancy the drinks but the food was really good!
The next day we went to Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia's most famous lighthouse, a 1 hour drive from Halifax. Besides Acadia a few days earlier, this was the first (and only?) time I saw tourist buses. So even though I was just a little off-season, the place still had a few buses. The thing about this lighthouse is that it's very accessible and has a nice rocky area around it where it's easy to spend some time … The town itself is just a small fishing town and nothing much to do there. This lighthouse is one of more than 170 (!!) lighthouses in Nova Scotia!! But actually I didn't see most of them.
So, from Peggy's Cove we continued west to Mahone Bay which is nice little touristic town. We walked down the street and saw some "dolls". Some of the were freaky … Apparently the town had a "scarecrow festival" so almost every house made something. And it's not what you have in mind, like to scare away the birds … There were witches, there was a guy who works at the office, there were rock stars and so on. We grabbed a nice, big sandwich and a muffin at Jo-Ann's and headed back to Halifax.
I visited the Halifax Citadel which is a star shaped fortress that was built to defend the city as soon as it was founded. I stayed there to see the changing of the guards. This is a short ceremony but the funny part about it is that it was quite hot outside and they have to wear these wool clothes and hat, so I bet they sweat like hell …
We had dinner at "Ristorante Amano" an Italian restaurant in Halifax harbor. The service wasn't that good but the food we had (pizza & pasta) was good. And that was it for Halifax, stay tune to hear about the next day in which we were headed to Cape Breton island!