Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oh, Canada

    I've been away.  Unlike last year's endurance death trek through the London Museums, this was relatively relaxed, no alarm clocks going off at O-Dark Thirty.  We went to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. (The weather was the same as London in May, daily rain and cold.)  I was there for the photographs, source material for my paintings.  In nine days we logged 2400 kilometers.  My husband was the soul of patience.  We would be hurtling along a pockmarked road,when I would scream, "stop!" then, "back up", "no, a little bit forward."  Like I said, I was there for the photos.
     The Maritimes are flat out gorgeous, even in the rain.  The people are relaxed , the beaches rocky.  We went in search of old fishing villages.  (A word to Canadian Tourism,  don't say you've "restored a 200 year old fishing village" and then paint the shacks with neon colors.)  The guidebooks proved unreliable, promising heart shaped rocks and historic villages.  We took many leaps of faith looking for authentic maritime scenes.   Avoiding tourists, we opted to take the road less traveled up the southern shore to Cape Breton.  (There is a good reason it is less traveled.)  The guidebook touted  Guysborough was a must-see.  We headed off on what the map indicated was a real road.  It was in fact, a logging trail, 40 kilometers of dirt and ruts.  And Guysborough was a bust.
    Lodging was hit or miss.  The Broadwater Inn in Beddeck was run by a true raconteur.  He sent us to a place not mentioned in the guides that proved to be our favorite spot. My husband booked a room in Charlottetown based on Trip Advisor's four stars.  More a Victorian crypt than an inn, our room had old dolls on the massive furniture, Sunday-best hats hanging from the wall, and a hand holding a glove on the dresser.  Two diminutive pillows and sheets from before thread-count was born, left me to curse Trip Advisor.
    But as I said, the Maritimes are gorgeous, the pace is slow and the people warm.
    Oh, and as you will see in the upper left corner, as promised, there is a heart shaped rock.

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