Traveling to NS--HELP!!

Old Jun 18th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Traveling to NS--HELP!!

We are heading to NS for almost 1 wk, leaving 9/20 to 9/26. We are taking the CAT from Portland to Yarmouth.
Does anyone have any advice for us? We would love to see anything (pratically) that is Scottish, but love sea & cliffs. We don't want to spend a lot on lodging, as we figure we won't be there much except to sleep, however we would love it to be picturesque. Is that possible?
What all can we cram in during that time?
Thanks much--you're all great.
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Old Jun 18th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Well this is pretty vague, as you don't even clue us in as to which area(s) of Nova Scotia you're interested in seeing.

Will you have a vehicle?

With so little understanding, all I can do is suggest you click on my name and look at past links related to Nova Scotia, of which there are many.

More detail is needed to give you the best help.

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Old Jun 18th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Ahh-how right you are. We are renting a vehicle in ME to take over on the ferry.

We definitely want to get to Cape Breton, some fishing towns, Louisburg. Anything else is up for grabs. Since we know basically nothing--your suggestions would be wonderful. We definitely want to be active & experience what we can without going back home exhausted (take a vacation because of vacation?).

Am I still being vague? Hope not.
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Old Jun 18th, 2007, 02:38 PM
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In looking around since I last posted, would the Ceiligh Trail be best suited for us as a point to end up? It looks like it's very picturesque, Scottish, etc. But you folks definitely know more than we do.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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Will you be returning on the ferry as well? or will you drive back via New Brunswick, etc.?

I guess my first vibe is to suggest that you not dawdle on your way up to Cape Breton, just so you make sure you get to the place that you mentioned with most determination.

(naturally Cape Breton is about as far from Yarmouth as you can get and still be in NS)

I don't even know what time the ferry will land you in Yarmouth, but if it is reasonably early in the day, maybe drive up the Fundy side of NS, eventually to Truro, and then continue directly to perhaps Baddeck area, to make a "base" for your time up there.

From Baddeck, the Cabot Trail is an easy round-trip and Sydney can be explored from there too.

Your decision about whether to have 2 nights or 3 nights in the Baddeck area.

If you opt for 3 nights, suddenly you'd awaken on the 23rd with only 3 days left to explore further.

I think convenience is going to win-out over the best suggestions given that.

I'd say Pictou is both conveniently located and scenic enough to be of interest, perhaps even worthy of a night there. That would have you awakening on the 24th in Pictou, with just 2 days remaining.

Guess that you should probably afford Halifax the pleasure of your interest and company the next night, and perhaps you'll arrive at mid-day, explore the waterfront, find a hotel, and then maybe drive out to Peggy's Cove for a nice dinner by the Ocean.

If you awaken on the 25th in Halifax, with the idea to DRIVE back around to Maine, you should set-out before noon on the main highway to Truro.

If interested I recommend driving up the Bay shore from Truro to Parrsboro and then UP to Amherst and eventually out of NS.

Another very worthy thing to do just off of that eventual path (driving in NB) is to detour to see Hopewell Cape.

Don't go unless the timing is right for LOW TIDE:

Here is a link to tide tables:

http://www.lau.chs-shc.gc.ca/cgi-bin...gion=5&zone=30

On Sept. 25 low tide at Hopewell Cape happens at aBOUT 6PM sharp so if you get a slow start from Halifax you could possibly make it there in the 4pm-6pm range and go down and walk around the "Flower Pot Rocks" (Google that phrase, with quotes, using "Google IMAGES" for best results).

Don't know where you're going in Maine, but I found that the freeway route from Moncton to Fredericton to Woodstock to Maine was far less stressful than the twisty path beyond St. John.

If instead you are ferrying back to Maine, then you'd probably want to drive down the Atlantic Coast of NS and see Lunenburg and other spots on your way back around to Yarmouth.

Let me say now that I am simply not "refined" enough to have the best Scottish ideas for you, so I'll leave that to others here, who will certainly have related contributions.

I can offer the exact spelling of the "Ceilidh Trail", which will help when using Google to get more info.

Good luck, and keep refining your plans and asking questions.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Wow!! Thank so much, Nortwest Male, for all the help. I am going to take you up on your well thought out advice.
As I was reading your note I kept thinking to myself "gees...what were you thinking? you should've scheduled at least 4 more days in NS". As our ferry is written in stone-round trip-I can only anticipate our next visit. We may try a spring trip (May/June) next time, as I see the lodging prices are cheaper then.
Thank you again & with your help I know we will have a wonderful time.
k
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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I forgot to add this....for our next trip what do you suggest that we do differently? Fly into Halifax & explore Cape Breton for 2 weeks? I know it's more expensive to drive into Sydney.
Thanks again!
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 10:39 PM
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Already planning your next trip, hunh? - wish I was!

Anyway, I contend that you will get enough exposure to, and understanding of Cape Breton to be able to decide (only) for yourself about how much time to allocate to it next time around.

In addition you would be SURE to get to the awkwardly-located "Hopewell Cape" (see "Flower Pot Rocks" above) on that return trip.

I don't yet "know" how much time you'll have after arrival on that first day... and IF it is suitably timed, then a "hike" that I really enjoyed was the one out to the end of "Cape Split".

(Drive to Wolfville, NS and then out toward "Scots Bay"... then out as far as you can go on the cape. You park your car and then hike about 2 1/2 HOURS each way! --- upon arrival you're out in the middle of the Bay of Fundy on a windy bluff, with the tides all around)

I do NOT suggest this if otherwise you could have a smooth day of arriving at Yarmouth in the morning, and then driving to Cape Breton for much of the day, and enjoying a peaceful evening up there. This is only in the event that your arrival is awkwardly timed so as to necessitate having to stay overnight somewhere enroute from Yarmouth to Cape Breton.

Freeway-like travel isn't entirely plentiful in NS... and there certainly isn't a fast thoroughfare everywhere you need it... so it probably doesn't make sense to try Halifax until you've already spent your 3 days at Cape Breton.

Revised from before, given more firm info from you:

3 nights in Baddeck area, awaken there on the 23rd with 3 days left.

Perhaps drive to Pictou and at least spend a few hours there, and if intrigued sufficiently then maybe a night there.

FROM THERE you could go to Truro, and perhaps do some tide-watching of some sort (the rivers nearby turn around and run UP-STREAM when the powerful tide rolls in)

Maybe then you could jaunt out to "Wolfville" and beyond for that hike. I'm not a "hiker" and I still liked it.

If there is time to burn enroute to that hike... Hwy 215 near the Fundy shore between Truro and Wolfville has SOME interesting tide views. (Low tide would be most awesome, with the water so far out, and you could walk WAY out in the sand to the water's edge, like in few other spots on earth)

Printing the TIDE TABLES for the window of time you'll be in the area is a good idea! ... especially if you want to ad-lib and need cooperation from the tides. (even the "Tidal Bore", when the river turns around and runs UP-stream, happens on a predictable schedule... and you can find those schedules SOMEwhere, I expect).

So IF you awakened on the 24th in Pictou, spent the day tide-watching, then you could drive to Halifax that evening and spend the night there IF THE FERRY LEAVES LATE IN THE DAY ON THE 26TH, that is. (I am not familiar with what time it departs).

Otherwise you probably owe it to yourself to skip most of the tide stuff and go see Halifax a night earlier.

All I know is that doing your Cape Breton part immediately is a good idea, so that you get the full effect of it, before having to pick and choose carefully and leaving some things out later.

Good luck in your planning !

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