Along the Bay of Fundy
Boat repair yard
A poor wifi signal so we texted Zoe a happy birthday. The mist was still present when we went down for breakfast and met our fellow guests at the table. The couple we met on the ghost tour last night from Halifax, a couple from Toronto visiting family and a French couple from Angers. We had an interesting chat with them all. We were assured that the mist would burn off late morning and so it proved. Having checked out and loaded the car, we walked into town again to get some supplies, get cash from an ATM and visit the open air market. ScotiaBank whom we tried first didn't work – we got all the way through the menu but no cash! Our second try at Royal Bank of Canada succeeded in delivering the goods.
The market was wonderful and very busy. There was one stall just selling blueberries. Perhaps no surprise as the Annapolis Valley is alleged here to be the Canadian capital of blueberries. I don't know if the rest of Canada is aware of this.
Annapolis Royal is one of the oldest settlements in Canada, being settled by Scots in 1629, although they were forced to leave as part of an Anglo French treaty 3 years later. A fact conveniently forgotten by the Acadian francophone community who believe they were first in 1632 as Port Royal. It was taken by the British in 1710 and renamed Annapolis Royal after the then Queen. It was the capital of Nova Scotia until 1749 when Halifax took over. Looking at it now and comparing it with what has become of Halifax, I think the good citizens have had a narrow escape. From 1710 to 1755 all went well with francophones co-existing with anglophones but with the French building forces at Louisburg and the ongoing struggle against the French, the Governor was concerned about the loyalties of the local community. He demanded that the acadians sign an oath of allegiance to the King and when they refused they were surprised that they were all deported. They seem to be still surprised today and much is made of the expulsion of Acadians in 1755. It is true that it was immediate and they had to leave homes and possessions overnight and they were packed off in dreadful conditions to the southerly states of the mainland and to France but I can think of worse treatment of foreign nationals in recent times. And after the 7 years' was ended, they were allowed to return to the area, if not the actual homestead(because someone else was now living there). According to the French perspective, Britain hijacked their colonies (which is not entirely accurate anyway) and this has resulted in a large anglophonic section of Canada strangling their beautiful language. I can't help wondering that if the boot had been on the other foot and France had held sway over an anglophonic minority, would their constitution have accepted two official languages as Canada has? I suspect – NON. Canada may well have remained a departement outre mer for some considerable while with any ideas of self determination being suppressed until well into 20th C and French would have been the only official language. Britain may not have been an ideal coloniser from a colonist perspective but it seems to me that we were considerably more tolerant than many contemporary powers.
Encampment, The Fort
Annapolis Royal is rightly proud of its place in history and its historic assets but seems to be managing to keep a perspective that allows it to be part of the modern world. Certainly it has not allowed the kind of vandalism that took place in Shrewsbury town centre in the 60s. There is a wealth of old timber buildings that are still being used today rather than being museum pieces.
We wandered back via the fort where there is a re-enactment group in period clothes under canvas for the weekend.
Entrance to the Habitation, Port Royal
We drove across to the spit that protects AR to see the re-creation of the original habitation for the area at Port Royal. This was a commercial venture for trading with the local Mi'kmaq and de Champlain designed a fortified habitation in 1605 with a view to spending winter there. De Champlain left in 1607 to found Quebec and the outpost was raided by a party from Virginia in 1613.
The Common Roon, The Habitation
Apparently a bloodless affair, they took everything, burned the habitation and left the French there to face a winter without shelter. Fortunately the local Mi'kmaq took them in. The reconstruction in 1940 followed the original foundations and is kitted out as it would have looked at the time.
View from the Look Off
On to Wolfville with a short detour to Scots bay. On the approach, there is a fabulous 'look off' with parking on the right and a wonderful view over the Minas Basin and the Annapolis Valley. Opposite the look off is a cafe selling the most wonderful ice-cream. Sue had a Chocolate one and I had a vanilla, toffee and caramel with large chips of milk chocolate. They were just what the doctor ordered on what was by now a very warm afternoon.
The beach at Scotts Bay
Driving on to Scots Bay, we found a turning on the left just after the church, called Wharf road leading down to a shingle beach with a good parking area and picnic tables. The view here was into the Minas Channel and thence the Bay of Fundy down which the mist was beginning to creep again.
Finally into Wolfville and our stop for the night at the Gingerbread house. A lovely room at the back of the motel-style extension.
In to town for a lovely meal in nice surroundings at the Library Pub washed down with a delightful St Ambroise IPA for me and tasty apricot ale for Sue.
on August 4, 2012
from the travel blog:
Go West then go East
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