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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Letters from the Americas 2005 (part 9) - Canada Nova Scotia

Peggy's Cove...Connemara or Canada??
HALIFAX, IT'S NOT JUST THE NAME OF A BANK!

Peggy’s Cove is a fishing village just outside Halifax, to be honest it looks to me like the villagers bolted long ago... 

As an Irish person I've seen my fair share of rocky coastline so aside from the delicious cookies in the gift shop, keep on truckin. It is pretty though and if fishing villiages float your boat (which technically is part of their job description) check it out. Do you know what, it's actually a super popular place to visit and it is nice, maybe all those endless school tours to places just like it in Ireland has worn me down. 

There are a lot of stories as to how the place got its name, one bizarre one was that Peggy was some young one (Irish slang for 'a young lady') that had two men after her. As Peg was doing the whole long distance thing, she finally made her decision over who to marry and was on her way to him in her boat (go Peg) and got shipwrecked (women drivers eh?!) so being the lazy lump she decided to stay put where she was and died there alone. Great decision Pegster, I reckon like our friend Anne of Greengables above, let's call a spade a spade, Peggy got stuck into the booze and that was the end of her! Just kidding, Peg rocks.

Mahone Bay is a pretty place, small yet packed full of churches, the large tasteful bright yellow one is the Catholic one (ostentatious as always, I can say that cos I'm part of the team). 

Lunnenburg has a German feel to it (not just cos of its name, although that did plant the seed in my head) and despite its remoteness you can sense a lot of Europeans like to settle there. It is home to a very impressive tall ship. I might have been having a hallucinogenic moment but while waiting outside a store in Lunnenburg I could have sworn I saw a German reg car and a chap talking in German. Although, I will admit, I have no idea what a German reg looks like and was the man talking in German or was he just having a coughing fit. We'll never know! 


Could I get fries with that maple leaf?

One interesting thing (cos everything else I've said up until now has been horrifically boring!) the Canadians add a little maple leaf to their McDonalds, awwww, how cute.

Kejimkujik National Park (try and say that during a coughing fit!) is cool and for only 3 bucks you can go canoeing, Sharon and myself had managed to build up quite a speed but heaven forbid you should ask us to change course or turn around.

Sheilagh in Pig n Whistle farmhouse
We stayed in a farmhouse outside Annapolis, the farmhouse is to remote what New York is to bustle (confused? what I am trying to say is that there are planets in the solar system that are closer to this farmhouse than the next city). It was nicknamed the Pig and Whistle in the 1970s when it was renowned as a famous party house, parties went on for days apparently with no one for miles (if you don't count the Martians!). It was excellent, the house was so old school, I really did expect the like of Anne of Greengables and Pollyanna to round the door of the kitchen, followed closely by the cast of Little House on the Prairie being chased by John Boy from the Waltons! 

Sharon's got a brand new combine harvester

Canadians, at least rural Canadians seem to be really into their farm vehicles, it's not unusual to see the youth (see how old I am, the words I use 'youth', 'vehicles', janniemac, I'm an auld wan) anyway, the youth sometimes wear John Deere hats, t-shirts, etc. I had to have it explained to me, if you don't know, John Deere is a company that manufactures farm stuff. Sharon (who is part Corkonian, the rebel county of Ireland) was all over it. 

How low can you go!
Annapolis has a great fort with undulating hills and sunken battlements that you can explore, the town itself has a huge recent German influence, even though its only a one horse town, there are German bakeries on the corner and even German reg cars knocking about (no this time it's true, true I tell you, true). The funniest thing is a computer museum in this small shop on the main street, a breakdance down memory lane flanked by Spectrums and Ataris

Wolfville seems like a bigger town as it is home to an impressive Ivy league looking Uni. I tell ya, there is a lot of wealth in the Nova Scotian countryside.

We finished our flirtation with NS by tubing down a river. I had never done this before and had no idea what to expect, you sit into a tyre and let the river do the rest. It's exciting when a strong current takes you down the rapids and quite peaceful when a slow drift lets you meander along. However, I'm not the biggest water person in the world (I believe that title goes to one of the oceans) and I know it's terribly unfashionable to admit that my dream is not to spend my days flopping around in the sea. But, I prefer terra firma. Was I glad I tubed? Sure, it was fun. Would I do it again? No. Do I think you haven't lived a full life until you've let water lap up against your bottom while sitting in a doughnut? Of course you haven't ;op

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