We woke to an overcast cool morning, 12 Celsius. The plan for the morning, laundry, cleaning our rigs, and trailer maintenance. Check tire pressure, wheel lugs, lubricate slides and stabilizers and the most important chore of all, pick up lobster for the Sunday night feast.
Since our lobster experience in Charlottetown, the group has been looking forward to preparing our own feast. The guys and I took off to hunt down lobster.
Fisherman’s market, I found on the internet, seemed like a good place to begin, although it was a 20k drive to the other side of town over a toll bridge. The toll was $1 for cars but $2.75 for my truck because of the duallys, considered a commercial vehicle.
Fisherman’s Market features live and cooked lobster 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs., live $13.99 per lb., cooked $13.49. After a brief consultation with the lobsterman on how to keep the lobster alive, we opted for cooked beasts.
A live well is needed to keep them alive, besides what if they got loose in our trailer while we were sleeping and wanted to cuddle………yikes.
Also apparently, when live lobsters are dropped into boiling water they scream, something I don’t want to hear. Researchers don’t know for sure if lobsters feel pain and the screaming may be air escaping from their shell?
How does air get into the shell when lobsters live in water?……….hum something doesn’t add up.
We arrived back at camp to clean wives and clean laundry. A quick lunch and off to Halifax. The camp office was kind enough to supply us with directions to the bus and the ferry across the harbor to downtown Halifax.
The price for the bus and ferry was almost free, $1.75 each way for seniors and $2.50 for Lois and Allyson the young’uns of the group. We hopped the bus to the Dartmouth Bridge Terminal and walked a ½ kilometer to the ferry terminal.
The ferry ride across the bay was pleasant on this sunny afternoon, a beautiful view of the city skyline. Once off the ferry, we walked the ‘Harbour Walk’ through the Saturday crowds checking out sidewalk cafes, food trucks, museums, and a couple of the Canadian navy ships.
The end of the walk brought us to pier 21, the historic ‘Port of Entry, into Canada since the 1600’s. The building has been converted into a Museum displaying artifacts and descriptions of the immigrant’s plight.
Standing in the museum reading the immigrants stories brought thoughts of my ancestors arriving in Canada.
It must have been tough for our ancestors leaving their home traveling for weeks across the Atlantic all the while wondering what the future would hold.
My family on my mother’s side immigrated from England landing in Halifax after the second world war, my father’s side from Sweden also landed in Halifax during the early 1900’s.
My mother’s family spoke English they obviously did not face the challenges my father’s side did speaking only Swedish.
Most immigrants arrived in North America with not much more than the clothes on their backs and very little money. It must have been a scary time, not understanding the language, a strange country with strange customs….a fear of the unknown.
The long walk and museum tours made the group thirsty, Fortunately, there was a brewery close by. The Garrison Brewery a perfect place to take a load off and enjoy a beer on this warm and sunny afternoon.
To our surprise and delight, the brewery offers sample trays of beer, 5 different beers for $10, called a flight. I’m not sure where this delightful idea originates but our group was thrilled, in fact, we spent the entire evening staggering wandering downtown Halifax sampling beer at different breweries,…… great fun.
We finished off the evening with another dinner of fish & chips, fast becoming our favorite dinner. East coast fish and chips differ from the west coast. Halifax style is haddock with a bread batter, the fish is more solid than cod with a similar taste.
The west coast tradition is a lighter beer batter.
French fries are always a hit and miss situation. Fresh cut home fries are the best this time, they were great.
After dinner, it was time to figure out how to get back to camp, we missed the last ferry across the harbor. After quizzing our waitress on the best way home we headed up the hill to a bus stop.
Unfortunately, the trip back was much more complicated than the trip to town, two buses and a lengthy wait at the Bridge Terminal, an hour and a half later we arrived back at Shubie RV Park and a happy puppy.
Sunday, September 24 – Day 26
Morning sunshine greeted us as we climbed out of bed, I’m finally getting used to sleeping in our trailer. The memory foam mattress is comfortable but different from the one at home. It’s great to wake up feeling rested.
The plan today is a visit to famous Peggy’s Cove a small postcard-perfect fishing village about an hour’s drive west of Halifax. After Peggy’s Cove a visit to Lunenburg several miles farther.
Ralph drove us along the windy road through stunted wind-blown forests, moss-covered rocky hills, quiet coves and sleepy seaside villages. A beautiful Sunday drive with warm sunny weather and calm winds.
Just before Peggy’s cove the coastal landscape changed, absent of trees and brush all that remained was hills of large boulders, like half-buried balding heads.
We arrived at Peggy’s Cove at what was probably the worst possible time, several tour buses lined the parking lot and hordes of people roamed the single street. People posed for pictures everywhere like undiscovered movie stars.
Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque fishing village complete with a red and white lighthouse perched on a weather-beaten rocky shore. The waves crashed the rocks sending plums of salt spray into the sky, a spectacular sight.
At one point this tiny sheltered harbor was home to a village of 300 people making their living fishing and farming. I surmise the depletion of the cod fishery devastated the village dwindling the population to 45.
I spoke with a local fisherman heading out for the afternoon haddock fishery, his thick eastern drawl was hard to understand as he directed us to a good spot for lunch.
Lynda and I decided to bring Buddy on today’s tour. The day before when we returned to camp, he was not happy, gave us the cold shoulder, he wouldn’t even eat dinner.
It was a funny change from his usual crazy welcome, yelping and running around like we have been gone for months.
He was having a fun time today, a hit at Peggy’s Cove, every dogless person wanted to pat him oohing as they claimed how much they missed their own four-legged friend.
Clouds passed over the sun intermittently during our time at Peggy’s Cove letting it warm us briefly only to snatch it back.
After an hour or so we left the crowd and continued to Lunenburg, home to the famous Canadian tall ship the Blue Nose 2 sister ship to the famous Blue Nose 1 the winner of many sailing races during the 1920 – 1940’s. The Blue Nose 1 is depicted on the Canadian dime.
By the time we left Peggy’s Cove, it was time for lunch, I guess we missed the restaurant recommended by the fisherman, fortunately, another seaside café appeared. A quaint none descript establishment on an interesting bay crammed with fishing boats.
We love seafood and what better place to enjoy it than an oceanside café. Crab cakes and lobster rolls are a popular item on the Atlantic Coast.
After lunch, we continued to Lunenburg, an old German fishing village, as you might have guessed by the name.
After finding a place to park we wander the streets taking pictures of colorfully painted antique buildings. The clouds disappeared warming the afternoon as we walked to the harbor dominated by bright red buildings.
The east coast is blessed with many landmarks from the 1600 and 1700’s such as Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg, the age when Europeans settled our country.
In those days there were few roads, travel between towns was by boat.
We found a bar on the waterfront and enjoyed a jug of the local brew and an appetizer of a lobster dip concoction and chips.
As we sat enjoying the afternoon Ralph noticed the unmistakable mast of a tall ship far out in the bay, it was the Blue Nose 2. We watched and waited as the image grew as it sailed into the bay and eventually docked.
The opportunity to check out the Blue Nose was an unexpected bonus. I knew this harbor was its home but I wasn’t sure it would be here, a perfect end to another perfect day.
We arrived back at camp late afternoon and prepared for our second lobster feast. The instructions from Fisherman’s Wharf for warming lobster are as follows – crack the shell, lay the lobster on it’s back, add pats of butter, wrap in tin foil and place in the oven or on the BBQ for 15ish minutes.
The lobsters were 1 ½ to 1 ¾ lbs each, the ladies prepared foil pouches of potatoes, onions, and carrots with butter and seasoning.
The dinner was spectacular, we ate like starving barbarians filling large bowls with shells. The tail is the largest piece of meat followed by the claws, the legs are next but almost not worth the effort.
Inside the lobster next to the tail is a green substance called ‘the tomalley’ some people call it the liver, apparently eatable but not for this group.
Everyone agreed our lobster production was better tasting and of course cheaper than the restaurant. We figured the restaurant in Charlottetown precook the lobster and reheat it before serving.
We ended the warm evening relaxing around the propane campfire lit to keep the bugs away.