“Ceap Beatainn” – Cape Breton Island

After exploring the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, I crossed the causeway to Cape Breton Island, and Meandered around the island exploring some sights I had been looking forward to seeing. The landscape of Cape Breton Island reminded me of being in the Scottish highlands.  When I was exploring the Scottish National Museum the year before there was an exhibit that showed how geologists believe that based on rock formations, the island of Cape Breton actually broke off of a shelf that was near Scotland and Scandinavia.

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The first stop in my journey was to the Glenora Distillery, as I had enjoyed Glen Breton whiskey back in Ontario.  The set up of the distillery grounds was well laid out and reminded me of a couple of the smaller scotch distilleries I had seen.  I took the tour of the facilities which was interesting if very similar to others I had been to in Scotland and Ireland.  They have a nice tasting room and I got to try a couple vintages that they do not sell in Ontario.

I wanted to explore the Cabot trail, but I ran out of time and had to cut my drive short as well.  I turned over towards Sydney and got there for dark.  There was a music fest on that night and I looked to attend only to find out that it was an all ages event and right full of teenagers, so I went to a local pub instead for a late dinner.  I could not find a hotel room anywhere so I ended up trying something I had never done before which was parking in a walmart parking lot and sleeping there,  Not something I would recommend when you are driving a pickup as delivery trucks came at all hours.  I did chat with a couple who had an rv there, who said it worked well if you had curtains.

The next morning I went for breakfast and made my way to Glace Bay to attend the Miner’s Museum when it opened up.  I really enjoyed the museum as they had an informative display on the history of the town and mine.  I found it particularly interesting how the company town’s worked where every aspect of the employee’s lives were controlled by the company.

The guide we had was a former miner who worked during from around 1950 onward in a more modern mine.  The one we got to explore was an older mine from the early 20th century.  He explained how his mine experience was relatively safe but how his father had almost died in a collapse his first week, and then actually died young due to miner’s lung.  His father took over for his father at 15 because he had been injured himself.  If his dad had not taken the position the family would have been evicted.

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After exploring the mine, I traveled to Fort Louisbourg.  I arrived at the fortress in the middle of a driving rainstorm.  The guide was explaining how the British had captured the fort in similar conditions.  The waves were crashing against the ramparts and over the causeway.  It was hard to imagine troops actually rowing boats up to the rocky shore into enemy fire. It was an impressive looking place, and had been restored quite well when I was there 4 years ago.  I got a few photos but I had to shoot with my back to the wind, and my jacket protecting my camera so my angles were very limited.

After the fort, I basically had to rush back to Truro to meet my brother who was in the process of moving out to Nova Scotia to work in the wine industry there.

Glenora Distillery

Fort Louisbourg

Glace Bay Miner’s Museum

 

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