Canadas Maritimes. A journey through time.

I have always wanted to explore the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada.

 This August I finally got to go there for two very short weeks. With a wedding on Cape Breton Island and family to visit in Prince Edward Island we got to see a fair bit of two of the Provinces. New Brunswick will have to wait till another time.  After landing in Halifax we picked up our rental van and headed off to the first stop of many in what would become an epic adventure.  We ended up in the Atlantic Superstore parking lot and equipped our van to be our mobile base and accommodations.  After a few more stops we were off.

As we always like to take the road less travelled we headed up the eastern shore of Nova Scotia and took the long route to Cape Breton Island.  With dense fog enshrouding the bays we wound our way in and out of wonderfully remote fishing villages and other communities in the seemingly middle of nowhere. It was hard to discern what exactly people do who choose to live in some of these out of the way places.  What wasn’t hard to see was what a lot do on Sundays. It seemed here that there were a lot of churches. We liked to joke that for every five houses that made up a village there was a church.   And we can’t have been far off.

After realizing that the fog that obscured  a lot of the views was actually a blessing, we got excited about exploring some interesting locations.  One stop in particular had us fascinated for quite some time. seeing a derelict old fishing vessels unceremoniously perched at the side of the road we halted our journey and poked around.  After photographing a few boats that were in various stages of decay  on the shore we discovered a whole new scene just around the corner. Two large steel vessels were piled together at the edge of a working marina. The visuals of the rusting metal hulks and the lobster traps in the dense fog was just to great to pass up.

old fishing vessels on side of road in Nova Scotia
Along the Eastern shore on Nova Scotia there are many old fishing villages. This one contains a mix of in use and abandoned vessels.
Derelict fishing vessels at marina in Nova Scotia
Old derelict vessels lay alongside a working marina on the East shore of Nova Scotia.

It seemed as we made our way north we would be treated to many such feasts for the eyes. Cape Breton Island and the great people there made our time wonderful.  Around wedding activities we still got in some exploring, including some swamp diving,  and an epic fast trip around the  famous Cabot Trail. Fast because we didn’t leave Sydney till late in the day and we raced to catch the sunset on some dramatic scenery. As we got to the top of the trail we again were cloaked in fog and rain. So the sunset race became a quest to try to finish before dark and take in as many scenic points as we could.  I think we will have to return in better weather and take our time on this road.

Monumental Cabot Trail road on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Rugged rock cliffs along the western shoreline of Cape Breton Island.

The Confederation bridge is a pretty big deal.

In its record making construction but also how it changed the access to and from Prince Edward Island.  As we crossed this bridge onto PEI it was very obvious we had also changed provinces. PEI is well known for a few things. Among them red sand beaches, potatoes, and Anne of Green Gables.  Even before hitting the fertile soils of PEI we saw the red coastline,  and within minutes were surrounded by potato fields.  And I kept my eye out for Anne.

Confederation Bridge linking mainland Canada to Prince Edward Island.
Up close to the mighty Confederation Bridge joining Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada.

Of course I had to find vantage points to do some large panoramic images of this amazing bridge.  From areas in Charlton and Chelton  beach I was able to get some good views of the bridge extending out almost thirteen kilometers to New Brunswick.

The amazing 12.9 km long Confederation Bridge viewed from Carlton.
The thirteen kilometer long Confederation bridge stretches into the distance towards New Brunswick.

Every morning I tried to get up and catch a sunrise as it illuminated the fantastic sandstone cliffs along the north shore.  Orange sunrise light, red cliffs and beach and the Atlantic ocean made for some stunning scenery.  PEI residents are very proud of thier beaches and for good reason. There were so many. Some famous and some hidden away.  Sloping sand dunes  and beach grasses came to symbolise  PEI for me.  Oh and potatos.  But I never saw Anne.

Tea Pot Rock on the northern shore of PEI
Magnificent sandstone formations at Thunder Cove on the northern shore of Prince Edward Island.
Endless sand dunes on Prince Edward Islands North Shore.
Endless sand dunes and grasses on the north shore of PEI.

The last few days of our trip were spent cruising around Nova Scotia again. Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg and other lesser known places. We didn’t get everywhere we wanted to go but we did get a great taste of what the province has to offer.  Peggy’s Cove was a highlight and we even went back a second day. Partly because it was such a great place, and also because we saw a cute little house for sale 🙂 . One can always dream.  There are so many hidden corners in this amazing little village. So many people go there it seems to see the lighthouse,  but I was way more fascinated with the village and the cove and the local residents.  I even got in the water and did some over under images of the bay.

Famous Peggy's Cove
Houses a couple hundred years old line the cove at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia.
Peggy's Cove Lighthouse at sunset
One of the most iconic Canadian Maritimes scenes. Peggy’s Cove lighthouse and village attracts a million visitors a year.

Lunenburg really had a lot to offer, as well as some nearby small villages. One in particular called Blue Rocks really held our attention. Not as many people there but the small fish dock with quaint little buildings was so iconic and perfect for some large panoramic images.

Large format panorama image of colourful Lunenburg in Nova Scotia
Beautiful Nova Scotian town of Lunenburg.

Every cove and headland held something of value to explore, and two weeks we spent here was not nearly enough.  After a couple of nights in  Halifax we left for home,  planning our next trip back even as we flew back to the West Coast.

To see these and many more super high resolution panoramic images of Nova Scotia and PEI go to the image gallery Canadian Maritimes.

In the image galleries you can use a virtual Magnifying tool to inspect the images more closely.



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