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Trip Report 9 Day Nova Scotia Trip Report

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This was our first trip to Nova Scotia. We were initially hoping to see lots of vibrant fall colors, bicycle along the Cape Breton Trail, hike as often as we could and see as much of the island as we could. We had booked our flights before knowing much about what to see/do and how long we would need to see everything (we didn’t). We hoped to see and cycle PEI, didn’t make it. Thank you to the experts who answered our questions.

We spent a few days visiting family in Boston before flying to to Halifax arriving October 5 about 12:30 pm. In a nutshell, we spent 3 nights in Cape Breton (Mabout, Ingonish and Baddeck), 3 nights Wolfville, 2 nights Lunenburg, last night Halifax.

Oct 5. After picking up our rental car, drove 3.5 hours to Mabou and the Duncreigton B and B arriving about 5pm. Very nice lodging. A must for us was to experience fiddling and dinner at the Red Shoe Pub. Terrific music. Highly recommend. Nice dinner of spinach salad w salmon, chicken wings. Great fun.

Oct 6. Wonderful breakfast at the B&B complete with ‘spa music.’ before driving north to the national park and the Skyline hike. Beautiful, great hike. The drive reminded us of the South Island in New Zealand. Mountains and water views, fantastic. Drive around to Ingonish, lodging at Seaside Coastal Retreat. Nice cottage on the water. Not luxurious as the ad says. We felt it was overpriced but very nice. Breakfast included and was ok nothing special. Terrible, awful dinner at Coastal Restaurant and Pub. Many places were either closed for the season or closed that night. New menu salad came without goat cheese. Chicken was the worst I've ever seen, not grilled chicken breast as the menu said, sliced super thin and pan fried, dried out. Awful. If you go there, stick with a burger.

Oct 7. Checked out and hiked Middle Head near Keltic Lodge. Nice hike, Drove on to Baddeck. Stopped in a few art galleries on the way. Also stopped at the farmers market. Bought some great mittens. Checked in to Beiras Retreat. Nice enough for the price, very small room, too small for 2 with luggage (we had carry on). Nice host trying. Nice home, view and location. Tasty but small breakfast. No yogurt as the web site says. Small potato fish cakes and baked pastries. Had better elsewhere but then again we paid double.

Oct 8. Drove to Wolfville, expecting a 5 hour drive. Left Baddeck at 9:30, arrived Wolfville at 6! We stopped for lunch at Fireside Tearoom in Truro. Very good. Very long driving day, included driving along the scenic Bay of Fundy route, first glimpse of low tide. Stopped for pics of course. Arrived Harwood House B and B at 6! Wonderful all around, hosts Peter and Frances were very hospitable, wonderful homemade breakfast, lovely room with sunroom, location. Dinner at one of the brew pubs. Harwood House was our favorite B&B of the entire trip.

Oct 9. Our #1 reason to stay in Wolfville was to hike Cape Split. Our B&B was an easy 30 min drive to the trailhead. Cloudy day but no rain. Fabulous hike. The sign says 10 miles round trip. We are avid hikers but not necessarily speed hikers. We were out and back in 3-3/4 hours. The trail is primarily through the woods, ending at the Bay of Fundy and amazing rock formations. Drove back through the countryside. Stopped to buy apples at a friendly orchard market. Stopped at Blomidon Estate Winery, bought their rose. Dinner at Blomidon Inn. Fabulous food, ambience. Lucky to be there on a Friday night with Jazz musicians. Coquille St, Jacque, squash peach soup. One of the best dinners ever. Highly recommend.

Oct 10. Very cold and windy day. Wolfville Farmers Market. Busy and bustling, Didn't buy much but fun to see. Toured the Grand Pre historical site, very interesting. Stopped by Domaine Grand Pre for their so call harvestfest. It was pretty lame. Dinner tonight at Troy, very good meditteranean restaurant. We both had seafood kabobs.

Oct 11. Our final wonderful breakfast w Frances and Peter. Muesli home made and baked eggs. It was hard to leave these two wonderful hosts and their lovely home. Checked out and headed south to Windsor for the annual pumpkin regatta. What a hoot it was! Very cold and cloudy day. Giant pumpkin race with one or two paddlers sitting inside gigantic carvd out pumpkins. A parade first to see all the great painted and decorated pumpkins followed by the race rowing the pumpkins trying not to sink them. Great fun day in a small farming town. We were lucky to pass through on the only day they do it, annually the day before their Thanksgiving. Onward to Lunenburg. Quick stop in Mahone Bay. Checked in to Wellshire house B and B. Beautiful historic home. Robin is a a terrific host in a beautiful, modern rebuilt historic home. Dinner at Grand Banker. Very good scallops.

Oct 12. Thanksgiving day in Canada, most shops and restaurants closed. Walked around the old town. Drove to Hirdles beach about 20 min south. Hiked to Gaff Point across a cobblestone beach. Great hike, but quite muddy. Dinner again at Grand Banker because most were closed. Sunny day.

Oct 13. Another fantastic breakfast by Robin - delicous poached eggs on toast with yummy vege stuffed pepper. Another couple from New Brunswick joined us today. Left after breakfast after a good bye hug from Robin. Highy recommend his B&B. A very rainy day. Took the slow coastal road to Halifax with a stop first in Mahone Bay for some shopping. Had to skip Peggy's Cove as there was no visibility and wanted to check in to our Halifax hotel with enough time to walk along the waterfront. Still raining. Halliburton Inn is a historic townhome. Very nice. Early dinner at 2 Doors Down, trout for me and burger for hub. Great kale salad.

Oct. 14. noon flight home to Colorado.

We were happy with our decisions and locations. We never did ride bicycles. First, we were unable to find rental shops. People who cycled either brought their own bikes on their car, or go with a tour. The ride would have been all or nothing, and all would have been a major challenge for me, although my husband would have like it. There are many switchbacks and the road is narrow, no cycle lanes. Caution must be used. We do wish we had more time in Cape Breton for many more hiking trails and the music. And although we planned to ride in Wolfville and Lunenburg, the weather was windy, rainy cold those particular days, so we had to pass. And we regret we missed the Celtic Colors festival.

We were lucky that the days we planned to hike were sunny, some clouds, good hiking temperatures. We had 3 of 9 days rain. All in all, we loved our trip. 9 days is not enough to see and do all but enough to get a taste of the history and beauty of Nova Scotia.

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