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Friday, August 31, 2012

Lunenburg ~ Nova Scotia ~ What Can I Say

If you ever visit Nova Scotia, try to spend a day at Lunenburg. This quaint, beautifully kept heritage town was established in 1753 as the first British Colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside of Halifax. These early settlers were from various parts of Germany, Switzerland, and France. Many of the settlers were enticed to come to Nova Scotia by being offered freedom of religion - there are five rather large churches in this small town, one of them being the oldest Lutheran church in Canada and there is also a larger beautiful St. John's Anglican church built by the British .

St. John's Anglican Church ~ Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lunenburg prides itself on its many historic churches — St. John's Anglican (built 1754), Zion Evangelical Lutheran (1890-91), St. Norbert's Roman Catholic (ca.1840), Central United, formerly Methodist (1883-85) and St. Andrew's Presbyterian (1828).

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church ~ Central Untied Church ~ St.'s Roman Catholic Church
All the beautiful Historic and really great homes.... These homes were painted in such vivid colors and designs with each one having it's own great personality ~ Here are just 8 of the many

Historic Homes from the late 1700's to the early 1800's
The fabulous waterfront..... was charming and full of energy!

Also the world renowned Bluenose II  Sailing Vessel is located here in Lunenburg ~ Bluenose II is a replica of the fishing schooner Bluenose which was built in 1963 as a promotional yacht for Oland Brewery and became Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador in 1971. It is being refurbished and should be ready soon to sail the seas once again.

The Bluenose was a Canadian fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia built in 1921. She was later commemorated by a replica Bluenose II built in 1963. A celebrated racing ship and hard-working fishing vessel, Bluenose became a provincial icon for Nova Scotia and an important Canadian symbol in the 1930s. The name "bluenose" originated as a nickname for Nova Scotians from as early as the late 18th century.  The Bluenose sank on a reef  off the coast of Haiti in 1946.

Bluenose II being renovated and will soon be sailing once again
Last but not least the sweet historic walk down the main street along the wharf ~ with all the colorful historic buildings ~  gift shops and many good restaurants to choose from ~ there were also horse and buggy rides and buildings to explore.  What a fun town...

Lunenburg is right up there as one of our favorite towns to visit in Canada ~ with it's historic buildings and the color explosion throughout the town and unique architecture... It definitely should be put on your BUCKET list if you haven't been here.

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Charming Towns

I was finally getting caught up with my blogging but atlas I am in Cape Brenton and still haven't finished my post on around the South Shore area of Nova Scotia so here I go again...

We started out towards Lunenburg but got sidetracked by 2 other quaint little towns ~ Chester & Mahone Bay.  What a beautiful day it was indeed... we drove along the coast until we came to the Old Train Station in Chester, which is now a visitor center.  Gorgeous coastal drive...

Chester, a charming historic seaside village, rich in tradition and hospitality, which was officially founded in 1759.   The first permanent European-descended settlers were a group from Massachusetts who came to the area in 1761.

Chester is one of the wealthiest communities in the province of Nova Scotia with many seasonal and year-round residents. The nearby waters of Mahone Bay and its numerous islands are well known for yachting and have made Chester into a vacation destination.  The day we were there, there was a lot of sail boats on the bay ~ we sat for a long time and just enjoyed watching them as the glided through the water so gracefully.

Our other stop for the day was at the very touristy town of Mahone Bay... So beautiful and is Mahone Bay which was founded in 1754. The harborfront is the heart of Mahone Bay. Three historic churches are perched on the water’s edge and is an awesome site as you head into the area.  The downtown area is filled with historic homes, craftspeople, art galleries, quaint shops and restaurants. You could spend hours walking & driving through the area.

We love these small coastal towns and enjoyed our day driving and walking around them. 
Have Fun & Travel Safe

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A True Tragedy ~ SS Atlantic

We headed out early in the morning to find a Lighthouse and a memorial on the SS Atlantic.  The SS Atlantic was a White Star luxury liner that sunk on April 1st 1873 ~ the same people owned the RMS Titanic which sank on April 15th, 1912.  Both of these ships has history with Nova Scotia and we went to visit the area that was involved with the SS Atlantic while down in Lower Prospect.

Sandy Cove Lighthouse ~ coastal views and a small replication of the town that some man made in his front yard
(it was very cool)
Here is an old photo from the museum of the retrieval efforts of the SS Atlantic ~ all you can see is the mast of the ship.  It sunk here but within 5 days had fallen further down into the ocean.
Sailors scavenge the wreck of the The S.S. Atlantic—the other White Star catastrophe—for bodies and valuables. The Atlantic has more casualties buried near Halifax than the Titanic, and its hulk lies on the floor of Nova Scotian waters.
The White Star’s luxury steamship S.S. Atlantic ran into Mar’s Head at Lower Prospect on April 1, 1873. It appears April was an unlucky month for the White Star Line. This was the worst single vessel disaster to occur in Canadian waters prior to the Titanic which also sank in April. Five hundred and sixty two people lost their lives that day, but 390 were saved due to the efforts of the local fishermen and their families.

Visit the SS Atlantic Museum first to understand the horrific tragedy and the stories of heroes rescues. See artifacts that have been recovered from the sunken ship  stories of the crew and passengers.
There is an Interpretation Center, the mass burial site, a boardwalk that wraps around the coastline, and a gazebo to take in the magnificent view. This area has been landscaped and interpretive panels installed which tell the story of this disaster.  The young man in the Museum was so full of information and was very helpful helping us understand more the circumstances that lead up to that fateful crash upon the rocks of Terence Bay.

~ Memorial Park ~
The ships of those days divided their passengers by class... The front part of the ship held single men, the center was families and the rear of the ship held single woman.  When the ship hit the rocks the front half was broken completely off and the other two thirds of the ship sunk right away.  The only survivors were all men and one small boy who just so happened to be spending the night in the front with his brother.  So terribly sad... This area we are visiting right now has had more then there share of tragedies and have put together beautiful memorials for each one of them.  Tragedy that brings people together to help and remember. 
~ Memorial Park ~
We really enjoyed learning the history of this sad event in Terence Bay as strange as it may sound.  If you come this way be sure to come out to explore this coastal area town, Sandy Cove Lighthouse and the SS Atlantic Museum & Memorial.  It is well worth the trip.

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finally Nova Scotia ~ We Have Arrived!

Finally we are in Nova Scotia and staying at a wonderful park, Wayside RV Park in Glen Margaret just north of Peggy's Cove.  Click here for our RV Park review.  So far I am loving it here, we have a great site with a view of a small cove right across the street and the area is full of great coastal towns and beautiful scenery.  As soon as we got Tassie all set up we loaded up Tiffy and went for a long drive along the coast.  The road was a winding, twisting, up & down hills through an awesome coast line with rugged rocks and quaint villages. 

We took a drive through Peggy's Cove which I have always heard so much about.  I can't wait to come back and explore it deeper. This is truly an amazing place to visit!

Our view outside our front window ~ LOVE it!
I am so excited about being here and checking out all there is to see & do.
Have Fun & Travel Safe

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Got bottles????

OK ~ we had heard a lot about the Bottle Houses of PEI and even though we already ran into Hannah's Bottle Village we thought when we went to the Edouard Arsennault Bottle Houses we would see about the same thing ~ so not true.  This place was magnificent and one of the best things on the Island to see & do.  If you've ever wanted to visit a truly different attraction, The Bottle Houses of Prince Edward Island certainly will fit the bill. For a better view of House click on photos to enlarge ~ they are incredible and one  places while here on the Island.

Entrance to Bottle Houses
Located in Cape-Egmont on Route 11 of the North Cape Coastal Drive, the houses are a grand recycling project in which three full-sized buildings were constructed from 25,000 multi-colored glass bottles. What could be more out-of-the-ordinary than that?
Bottle Church ~ Pews are made with Votive Candle Jars from the Catholic Church ~
This church was made with over 8000 bottles
The Bottle Houses were the brainchild of the late Édouard Arsenault, a veteran of the Second World War, who constructed the buildings between 1980 and 1984. The idea was born from a postcard of a glass castle sent to him from a relative in British Columbia. Arsenault was so taken with the structure, he began to collect and clean bottles for his own glass building. Friends, neighbors and local businesses donated bottles to the project, and what began as a hobby for the 66 year old veteran soon blossomed into a most unique tourist attraction. The first of the Bottle Houses was opened to the public in 1981.

House of Six Gables ~ this is the first house built and it has over 12,000 bottles in it.
The House of Six Gables also contains a real organ that you can play if you know how or not!
Upon entering the houses, you are immediately engulfed in a kaleidoscope of color and overcomed by a surreal sense of peace and relaxation. The sunlight, filtered and diffused through the many different colors of glass, gives each structure a timeless feel, as if one has stepped into an alternate realm of multi-colored magic.
Bottoms up ~ Tavern ~ This tavern was Edouards second building which he used about 8000 more bottles
Immaculately groomed gardens and walkways make for a serene environment every bit as colorful as the main attractions themselves and provide a perfect, fantasy-like setting for the houses. You will find the various gardens, with their dry-stacked stone walls, and the pond, with its wooden bridge and fountain, a tranquil retreat. So many pictures I had for you to see so I have put them into a slide show for you to enjoy ~ Sit back and enjoy this wonderland.

The three houses include The Six Gabled House, The Tavern and The Chapel. The Six Gabled House is the first and largest of these and is remarkable not only for its size—20x14 feet—but for its complex architectural structure and for the appealing wall patterns achieved by the careful choice of colors and sizes of the bottles used.  The Tavern is a unique hexagon shape, and it is here that you can examine a huge collection of odd bottles preserved by the architect for their unusual qualities, and while in The Chapel, you can have a seat in the built-in pews, constructed entirely from bottles, of course. The building is designed to allow the sunlight to stream down upon the glass altar, the stained-glass effect giving the chapel a true sense of the sublime.

This is a reproduction of Cape Egmont Lighthouse which Edouard retired from in 1980
This was one of my favorite things on Prince Edward Island and is a BIG must to visit when you come here.  I hope you enjoyed this post and it has inspired you to go and visit it one day.

On the way out there is a beautiful gift shop with lots of GREAT goodies to buy ~ and not to pricey.

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Friday, August 3, 2012

Beacons of Light ~ Part II

One-eyed sentries standing tall
dare to challenge every squall,
to be a beacon in the night;
A guide, a friend, dependable light.
Raging Nature can never douse
The welcoming beam of a lighthouse.
A fortress planted at the shore
Undaunted security at any hour.
Never a ship will worry near
a rocky shoal with a lighthouse there.
To whom do we owe this nighttime blessing?
Those who've died on the rocks, I'm guessing
author unknown

These are some of the the other Lighthouses we enjoyed while here on Prince Edward Island ~ it has been a real joy searching for and visiting them.  There is nothing like the peace the ocean can bring you or the fury.  Our love for Lighthouses continue ~

Cape Tyron Lighthouse
We traveled out a long dirt road to reach this lighthouse ~ found it standing amongst the red dirt cliffs.  It was one of my favorite spots to go on our time on the island.  The square wooden tower is shingled. It is painted white with red trim and the lantern is also painted red like all Island lanterns. It has never had an attached dwelling. This is the second lighthouse at this site. Early records indicate a light was established there in 1865, although the first lighthouse itself was not built until 1905. The original lighthouse was a two-storey dwelling with the lantern attached to the roof on the seaward side. The original lighthouse was located somewhat to the left of the present tower. It has been relocated and nicely restored as a private residence.

Cape Egmont Lighthouse
Built in 1884 this coastal lighthouse is an important light for the fishing and other marine interests along the south west shore of the Northumberland Strait, as it is the only coastal light along the 46 mile coast between the lighthouses at West Point and Sea Cow Head.  It was a pretty little lighthouse along the rigged coast.

West Point Lighthouse
Built in 1885 West Point Lighthouse is called the first of the 2nd generation of lighthouses on PEI. It was the first one built by the new Department of Marine. The pre-Confederation or Colonial lighthouses on the Island were either round or octagonal. West Point was the first of the square towers and the highest. Eight Prince Edward Island lighthouses pre-date this one: Point Prim (1845); Panmure Head (1853); Seacow Head (1863); St. Peter’s (1865); North Cape (1866); East Point (1867); and Murray Harbour Front and Back Ranges (1869).
This was one of our favorites ~ you can stay there in the Inn that was once the Lighthouse keepers quarters
Summerside Lighthouse & Range Lights
Summerside is one of the little towns very close to where we were staying  ~ so we went over there quite a bit to eat and sight see. These lighthouse were very small ~ as most were... The Summerside Outer Range Lights, which began operation in 1991, are the most recent set of enclosed range lights to be established on Prince Edward Island. When properly aligned, the red range lights guide vessels to the mouth of Summerside Harbour, near the Indian Head Lighthouse, from where they can use the Summerside Range Lights to proceed up the harbor. The two lighthouses are similar in appearance, both being square, pyramidal towers topped by enclosed, square lantern rooms that are surrounded by a simple metal gallery. A white, trapezoidal daymark with a red vertical stripe is mounted on the seaward face of both towers. The front tower is 29.5 feet tall, while the rear tower is 33.2 feet tall. As the front tower is located near the shore at the western end of the harbour, its focal plane of  30.6 is roughly the same height as the tower. The focal plane of the rear range light is 48.5 feet.

Summerside Front Range Light ~ Indian Head Lighthouse ~ Summerside Back Range Light
Indian Head Lighthouse
Built in 1881 Indian Head Lighthouse is also known as the Summerside Lighthouse. The lighthouse has a very distinctive shape, not unusual in 1881, but now rare. This type of lighthouse was built on rocks or other places where there was little room for a separate keeper’s dwelling. It is an octagonal structure with a keeper’s dwelling at the base and a tower and lantern above that rises from the centre of the dwelling’s roof.
If you love Lighthouses as we do and you ever get up here you will enjoy the adventure and beauty of searching for these jewels along the coast...

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beacons of Light ~ Part One

One of our favorite things to see & do is visit lighthouses no matter where we visit.  So with over 63 lighthouses and buildings you can only imagine our excitement ~ did we get to see them all ~ no but we did see a lot of them.  Out of the 63  there are still over 40 still active.  Prince Edward Island, one of Canada's four Atlantic Provinces, is the smallest of the ten provinces in both size and population. The island is crescent shaped, measures 139 miles from tip to tip, is 4 to 40 miles wide and it's total area is 2,185 square miles. It is situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is separated from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by the Northumberland Strait.  The province has numerous lakes and rivers, most of which are quite small, and is known for its red soil, sand dunes and 500 miles of beaches. The highest point is 499 feet above sea level at Springton, Queen's County.

For centuries, lighthouses have been symbols of hope, safety and refuge. Nowhere is their presence more valued than on Prince Edward Island. Although it is only 139 miles long from North Cape to East Point, the undulating coastline stretches for 500 miles. Strategically located along the sandy beaches, or standing sentinel atop high red cliffs, there are approximately forty-five beacons/lighthouses still guiding mariners away from dangerous reefs and into safe harbours.
During the 19th Century, the Island's waters were very busy. Thousands of immigrants arrived by ship and farm produce & lumber were exported. Shipbuilding became a booming industry with hundreds of sailing vessels being launched from PEI, destined for all parts of the world. Fishing vessels from Europe and the United States fished the rich waters surrounding the Island. With all the activity, it was inevitable that numerous shipwrecks occurred with loss of lives and cargoes.  At present there are seven lighthouses on Prince Edward Island open to the public. Visitors can climb right into their Lantern Rooms to view the working light. Four are museums having collections of lighthouse-related artifacts.

Point Prim Lighthouse
The first lighthouse built on Prince Edward Island in 1845. Architect Isaac Smith designed the 60 foot round brick lighthouse that is one of the last of its kind in Canada.

Point Prim Lighthouse
Leard's Front & Back Range Light
Victoria Harbor was one of the Island’s busiest seaports in the days of sail. It is now mainly a tourism destination.  The Front range light was built in 1879 and the back range light was built in 1901 but closed in around 1913.  The back light sits on private property now and the front light is maintained by the city of Victoria by the Sea. 
Leard's Front Range Light ~ Steps to top light ~ Going into top ~ Leard's Back Range Light
Cape Bear Lighthouse
Cape Bear is located on the southeastern tip of Prince Edward Island. The coast consists of generally rugged red sandstone cliffs and small secluded beaches. Its high banks offer a good location for viewing seals.

Cape Bear Lighthouse ~ first to hear SOS from Titanic ~ See Ralph in Light
The first Canadian land station to hear the SOS of the Titanic as she sank in 1912 was the Marconi station at Cape Bear. The station is no longer there, but the Cape Bear Lighthouse is still there and has been in existence since 1881. The lighthouse is a square three story tower with a warning beacon on top. It has gabled windows at each level, on three sides of the structure. The light is 23 metres above the water, while the tower itself stands at 12 metres. During the Second World War, the lighthouse proved useful for spotting German U-boats that neared the coast. Several were seen along the shore, but disappeared while being tracked. They probably vanished into the deep trench which runs between the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island.
Port Borden Pier Light
The hexagonal pyramidal wooden tower has a square lantern and a hexagonal gallery. It is shingled and painted white with red trim. The gallery is supported by wooden brackets. The windows and door have pedimented caps. Built in 1919 same year as the two range lights.  It is on the end of the former ferry pier and for many years guided the car ferries into the harbor. The pier has been purchased by a fish packing company that has built a factory there so access to the lighthouse is restricted.
The two range lights were decommissioned in June, 1997, when the Confederation Bridge was opened, but the pier lighthouse has remained an active light, providing guidance for the fishing boats and other marine traffic. 
Port Borden Pier Lighthouse ~ Port Borden Front Range Light ~ Port Borden Rear Range Light
North Rustico Lighthouse
Built in 1876 the tower is a simple, well-proportioned structure with an attached dwelling. Unlike most lighthouses on PEI, which are shingled, it is covered with metal siding. The lantern has a wooden balustrade and is supported by wooden brackets. The lighthouse was designed by the Department of Marine. The builder is unknown. The design of the building was carefully planned as can be seen by the placement of the windows. The dwelling has two windows on each of the long facades and one on the tower end. The tower windows on the long façade align vertically with the corresponding dwelling windows.

Town of North Rustico ~ North Rustico Lighthouse ~ Lighthouse Beacon ~ Dirt road from Lighthouse
Covehead Lighthouse
Built in 1967 ~ The first Covehead Lighthouse was located at Red Point. It was a three-sided structure. The experimental form always looked crooked. In 1975 the site was moved due to erosion, and a new square tapered lighthouse was built. It has always been fully automated and is considered a landfall light. The lighthouse was renovated in 1994 due to rotting and is now covered with pressure treated cedar siding.  There is a plaque on the side of the lighthouse describing the Yankee Gale, remembering the eighty ships and 161 men who perished in the savage 1851 storm.

Covehead Lighthouse
We could not have seen all the Lighthouse/Range lights but we sure saw a lot of them ~ Tomorrow I will show you the reat of them.  Some of them we couldn't climb up to the top but we did get to enjoy seeing them.  If you love Lighthouses this is a great place to see them.

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Say Cheese ☺

Another fun filled day exploring Prince Eward Island...  We have really enjoyed our time here
Today took us on another scenic ride around the Island in hunt for the Toy Factory and Cheese Lady Gouda Cheese Farm... We went through rolling hills past fields of potatoes, canola, corn and fields of hay. Found the most beautiful church right by the sea ~ Notre Dam du Mont Carmel

The Evangeline Region was founded in 1812 by Acadians who had originally settled near Malpeque Bay on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. The 1902 presbytery in the parish of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel was designed by the Québec architect René P. Lemay. The 450,000 bricks that went into the construction of this third parish church were made in Cape Egmont.
Our first stop was at the Toy Factory ~  The Toy Factory was established in 1972 in Murray River, Prince Edward Island, by a grandfather who looked a lot like Santa Claus. It was actually Santa's brother, "Al". That's right, Al Claus. (We bet you didn't know Santa had a brother!) The toys Al made for his grandchildren were so wonderful, everyone said "You should open a store!" ... so he did.

The "TOY" Factory
In 1990, Al decided to retire - again! - and handed down his toy-making craft to Dan and Kathy Viau, who were already making wooden toys and kid-size furniture for their own young children. With the help of their in-house "research and development" team, and with advice and guidance from Al, the veteran toy-maker, Dan and Kathy gradually expanded the line of Toy Factory toys to include puzzles and games, larger toys like rocking horses and rocking airplanes, and unique and long-lasting toys and games imported from all over the world.

Santa's Helpers
Since 1998, the Toy Factory has been located in the beautiful village of New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island. The workshop and store are housed in the second-oldest building in the village, built in 1848, and originally a carriage factory for making horse-drawn buggies and wagons. For most of the 20th century, it was a General Store, and it's history and handcrafting heritage make it the perfect home for the toy-making shop

Toys galore
On from there we headed for the Cheese Lady's Gouda Cheese Factory ~ Now cheese is something I am very close too so it doesn't take much to get me to go to a place like this... We arrived and it was a very small operation but boy oh boy was that some good kinda Gouda. They had regular and several other flavors they offered like  Red Pepper, Herb, Onion, Garlic, Peppercorn and more.

If you are wondering how Gouda cheese is made come and see the at work through viewing windows, also you can watch a six-minute video about the process. They have samples you can try before you make a purchase... we loved three different ones. You can also stroll around the farm to meet the animals.  We loved the baby llama...

Now that's some kinda GOUDA Cheese ~ YUM!
Hope you enjoyed the tours of a few of the factories we visited ~ they are small operations with very BIG hearts and wonderful products...  Click on any of the pictures to enlarge ~ so you can see them better.

Have Fun & Travel Safe

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