4 days ago, I returned from Nova Scotia, Canada where I spent 10 days with my family on a fly-drive holiday around Nova Scotia. The landscape and surroundings were beautiful, yet vast expanses of empty forest and straight highways. The thought of completing a 3 hour drive to meet your friends or go to work seemed a small task, not a huge planned trip – such in Britain. Nevertheless, an interesting, enjoyable and necessary escape from regular routine, school and work.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟙: Arrival
Due to Air Canada’s grounding of the B737 Max Aircraft in April of this year, it meant direct flights to Halifax were extortionately priced and at inconvenient times. So we took a trans-Atlantic flight from Heathrow to Montreal, then to Halifax. A long and exhausting day but finally in Canada.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟚: Halifax
Halifax is Nova Scotia’s capital and so it seemed apt to start our trip where it all centres towards. The cities hilltop citadel, a star-shaped fort designed to protect the city – though never used – is worth a visit. We also hired bikes and rode them around the waterfront and Point Pleasant park, which seemed to be home to Halifax’s keen fitness beans; I mean it would be a lovely place to run. We finished our first and only day in Halifax with a meal at the ‘Wooden Monkey’ a restaurant in downtown, where we battled with the tiredness of travelling, but an enjoyable evening nonetheless.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟛: Saint Andrews
We caught the ferry from Digby and onto to Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. A beautiful waterfront town with galleries, gift shops and restaurants. We ate at the Harbourfront restaurant for dinner and the lobster roll and salmon were favourites. We stayed at the Algonquin resort, a little walk from the town. We were now 2,959 miles from the UK and still further onwards to go.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟜: Saint Andrews
We embarked on a whale watching trip from Saint Andrews, I guess you could say we ticked off a lot of animals from our list: Minky, finback and even humpback whales! Alongside porpoises and seals. After our 2hr excursion on the water in a zodiac (good to reduce my dad’s seasickness tendency), we found lunch in the town and headed back for a rest at the hotel. It was our last night in Saint Andrews and we travel onto Charlottetown, PEI, where its raving reviews suggest its natural beauty.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟝: Charlottetown
Today involved a lot of driving from New Brunswick to PEI, the highlight of the drive had to be the 8 mile bridge connecting the mainland to the island. By this point, we were ready for our final destination & eventually we arrived at ‘The Great George Hotel’ – a little underwhelming, but it would work. A hot and sweaty historic walking tour with the funniest, albeit weirdest, Canadian guide boosted morale and an amazing Italian pizza place for dinner was delish!
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟞: Charlottetown
The perpetual oppressive atmosphere of the looming thunderstorm set the tone for the day. Having explored Charlottetown and exhausted the its shops and beaches, we headed out to the National Park for a walk despite the rain. The high humidity, dampness and thick tree coverage was mosquito heaven and led us to abandon our venture after a very depressing and embarrassing 50 paces… A funny (yet scary!) memory which won’t be forgotten. Our last day in Charlottetown tomorrow and we were ready to move on.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟟: Charlottetown
Today we travelled to Brudenell River and met up with Logan our kayaking instructor for the day. We paddled off through the river and out into the sea, after about 1hr30mins of paddling we stopped for lunch – blueberries, granola, trail mix and olives. The lurking soreness of my shoulders and arms started to kick in, but we made it back to shore. We treated to ourselves to possibly the best dinner of the trip, at ‘The Brickhouse’ where I had Atlantic Salmon and Creme Brûlée – the BEST food after an long day outdoors.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟠: Cape Breton
Another day, another ferry. The grey, wet weather was almost welcomed after the mini heatwave and after a mandatory lunch at Tim Hortons we were soon on the Cabot Trail, the notorious winding road through the hills and stunning views of Cape Breton. The foreboding atmosphere, made me long for home a little, the scale and vastness of Canada is nothing quite like I had seen before. We were staying in the Keltic Lodge – whose views made up for the appalling restaurant (avoid if you can!)
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟡: Cape Breton
We took the liberty of being in a beautiful location to take a little hike around the headland – the photos speak for themselves. We then relaxed and read books in the late afternoon. Heading out to get takeaway pizza for dinner after vowing never to return to the restaurant again! Our last night in Canada and another long drive plus a transatlantic flight back to the sleepy UK.
𝔻𝕒𝕪 𝟙𝟘: London Heathrow
What can you say about long travel days other than UGH. And thank god we’re back and into bed.
Overall our trip to Canada was a successful and enjoyable journey – despite some disappointments & strangely made us all appreciate our home and England much more – which is never a bad thing.