Tuesday (Aug 16):
Today we visited the wine country in Nova Scotia. Yes, they have a wine trail that includes about a dozen wineries located along the part of Nova Scotia that borders the Bay of Fundy. We drove north from our campground along Hwy 101 until we reached the town of Windsor. There we stopped at the visitor’s center to get information about the area. A very nice lady in the center gave us a map and pointed out the best sights to stop and see along the wine trail. Windsor claims to be the place where hockey started in North America. There is a pond on the edge of town that is said to be the place where the first hockey game was ever played in the early 1800’s.
We ended up visiting 5 wineries in this part of Nova Scotia. This side of Nova Scotia is warmer than the southern coast and they are able to grow several types of grapes that they use in the production of wine.
Our first stop was at the Saint-Famille Wines in Falmouth. This is a family run winery where we met one of the owners. In this part of Nova Scotia they have a competition each year to produce a blend of grapes (you have to used certain grapes, but not all) to produce a wine called Tidal Bay. The wines are submitted to a panel and approved for sale each year. Each winery changes it’s blend each year, so what you get one year will be different the next year. We tasted several of wines and ended up buying a bottle of their Scotia Red.
From there we proceeded to the Luckett’s Winery. This winery was the most impressive of all the one we visited. They have a restaurant along with the winery where they serve lunch every day. It is one of the stops made by all the tour buses so they place was packed with people while we were there. We tasted the wines which we really liked. However the wine was very “pricey” so we opted not to purchase any. They have an old phone booth in the middle of their vineyard where there was a line to get your picture taken inside the booth.
Our next stop was the L’Acadie Winery which produces organic wines (no chemicals/pesticides are used in the production of the grapes). We met one of the owners. Her husband is the wine maker and has worked in California, Australia and British Columbia before settling in Nova Scotia. We liked the wines we tasted but again did not purchase any. We ate a picnic lunch that we had brought outside this winery before continuing on.
Our next stop was the Gaspereau Winery. We tasted their wines but did not care for any of them.
From Gaspereau we headed towards the Grand Pre’ Historical Site. This is an area that the Acadians settled in the 17th and early 18th century. They used techniques from Europe to create a series of dikes to reclaim land from the sea. This land was very fertile and is still used in agricultural production today. There was an overlook on a hillside where you could see the area that have been reclaimed.
On to the last winery of the day. We drove through Canning NS to reach the Blamidon Estate Winery. This is a small winery where we tasted several of their wines and again didn’t think any of them warranted a purchase. We had a nice conversation with a young man who did the tastings who was born and raised in this part of Nova Scotia.
After visiting our last winery today we headed off to find what is known as the “Look Off”. This is the highest point in this part of Nova Scotia and has a specular view of the coastline. We found the place and took several pictures (as usual pictures do not do it justice).
We proceeded to the Foxhill Cheese Factory where we tasted several of their cheeses. We didn’t buy any cheeses but we did split a bowl of ice cream while we sat on their patio.
As we were driving back to get on Hwy 101 we saw a sign for the Sea Level Brewery so we had to stop (this was our day for tastings). We stopped in the brewery and were told that the tastings were at the restaurant bar next door. So we went into the bar and had a flight of beers. The beers were OK and we liked the Blueberry Beer the best. We had a conversation with the bartender about the area and the breweries/distilleries that have opened in the last couple of years.
From the beer tasting we got back on Hwy 101 for the return home at the end of a long day.
Wednesday (Aug 17):
This was a down day for us after driving so much the last couple of days. It rained off and on all day and we stayed inside except for trip to the grocery store.
Thursday (Aug 18):
We had planned to do some hiking and bike riding today. However as we were getting ready to leave, the cable that flushes our toilet broke. We had to get the toilet off the floor and take it apart to find out that the cable had broke. We tried calling several places to see if they had the replacement parts we needed, but no one had the parts in stock and they could not get them until next week. So we ended up calling a RV dealership in New Glasgow and they can have the part in their store next Monday. We were already planning on camping in this area of Nova Scotia for a few days so we will pick the part up while we are there and do the repairs. It hard to believe that RV parts shops don’t stock this type of repair kit since I am sure that it is a common problem. So for the next few days we will be making the trip to the campground bathrooms which luckily are not that far from our site.
Friday (Aug 19):
Today we are going to our hiking and biking that we had planned on doing yesterday. Our first stop was at Shubie Park where we hiked around the Shubenacadie Canal. This was a canal/locks system that we started in the 1820’s and finished in the 1850’s. It was a system of lakes, rivers, canals and locks that provided a waterway from the Bay of Fundy to the Halifax Harbor. It was built by hand with immigrants from Ireland and Germany. By the time it was finished the railroads had completed laying their track and the venture went bankrupt in the 1870’s.
After completing our walk/hike, we drove over to Leighton Dillman Park where we ate a picnic lunch on a hillside overlooking Halifax Harbor. There is a small garden area in the park along with the great views of the harbor.
We drove over the parking area for the Salt March Trail. This is a “rails to trails” pathway that goes across marsh land and bays in the Cole Harbour area. This trail is 6.5 KM in one direction so a total of 13 KM up and back. One we reached the end of the trail we proceeded on the Atlantic Trail to reach the beach that runs along the ocean. The entire ride took us about 2 hours with stops along the way.
We stopped and picked up a large pizza at Alexander’s Pizza near our campground on the way home for our dinner. We got an Italian Pizza and it had a somewhat sweet flavor that we couldn’t identify.
Saturday (Aug 20):
Today we made our last visit to Halifax before we leave tomorrow. We went to the Point Paradise Park which is located at the south end of Halifax. It originally was a fortress used by the British to protect the harbor. Today there are a few remains of the fort with some of the cannons scattered around the walking trails. The park has nice wide trails that are well packed gravel. As you walk around the park you will have some nice views of the harbor.
Once completing our walk (we also walked through a neighborhood with some old/new houses that borders the park), we went downtown to Keith’s Brewery for pint of their Lunenburg Expresso Coffee Stout Beer. We sat on the rooftop patio and enjoyed our beers. We had a nice conversation with our waitress who was born and raised in Halifax.
We returned back to the campground and started packing everything up for our travel day tomorrow. We will we headed to a campground on the northern coast of Nova Scotia near New Glasgow.