Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nova Scotia–Part 2 (Lunenburg)


Monday (8/15):

Today we headed south from our campground towards the town of Lunenburg. We took Route 3 which runs along the coast. We travelled through a number of small coastal towns before stopping at Mahone Bay. This is a small village with a number of shops and restaurants. It’s most striking feature is the churches that face the bay.


We stopped and took a few pictures of the bay and walked around town for a while. It is a very pretty village with a beautiful bay.


From there we proceeded along the coast to Lunenburg. Lunenburg is one of the oldest towns in Canada and the section called “Old Lunenburg” is designed as a world historic site by UNESCO. This part of the town was founded in the 1750’s by the British as part of their settlement of Nova Scotia. They were trying to displace the Acadians (French settlers from the 17th century) and the Native American tribes. The town sits on a hill overlooking the bay and has been a fishing village since it was founded.

There are a number of shops and restaurants along the streets that are located going up the hill from the harbor. There are also a number of churches that occupy several large sites in town. Several museums and lots of artisan/craft shops/stores are located throughout the village.


Since this town was built way before the automobile, the streets are very narrow and they have made a number of them one-way to allow traffic to move through town. Parking is very limited and there are always lots of tour buses dropping off their passengers through out the day. We ended up parking at the top of the hill in the Lunenburg Academy parking lot (since school is out for the summer). This was originally built as the elementary/secondary school for the community in the 19th century. Today is operates as a home to two international schools: Class Afloat and LAMP.


We walked down the hill and visited the Saint John’s Anglican Church. This is the 2nd oldest Protestant Church in Canada being built in 1754 (one of the first structures in the town). The church is noted as an example of the Carpenter Gothic architectural style. After a fire in 2001, the church as been extensively restored.


We walked around the town for a while looking at the sites and going into a few shops. Even though it was Monday, the town was packed with people.


We walked down to the harbor and strolled along the short boardwalk. There was a famous fishing vessel called the Bluenose that sailed out of Lunenburg in the 1920’s. The ship won a number of fishing and racing competitions during it’s time in Lunenburg during the 1920-1930’s. It was then sold to a group from Haiti and was lost at sea off the coast of Haiti in 1946. They have built a replica of that ship called the Bluenose II although it was not in port while we were there (you can take trips on the ship when it’s in port).

bluenose II shipbluenose ship



There is a memorial dedicated to all of the fishing boats and fisherman lost at sea who sailed out of Lunenburg near the harbor.


We decided to visit the distillery that has recently opened in town called the Ironworks Distillery. We sampled a few of their products: gin, vodka and rum. While they were OK we did not think they were worth the price they are asking.


We then drove out of town to see if we could find the “blue rocks” along the shore. We saw a couple of signs for blue rocks and stopped and took a couple of photos.


Lunenburg has been used for several movies and TV series over the years. The ones that we remembered were:

Dolores Claiborne (1995) starring Kathy Bates and Christopher Plummer filmed along the blue rocks.

The Jesse Stone Movies (2005-2012) starring Tom Selleck.

Haven TV Series (2010-2015). The town hall was used as the Police Station for this series.


We drove through the RV campground that is located in Lunenburg. Although we could probably get our big rig into the campground, it would be tight navigating through the narrow streets in town.

It was  great day to visit this historic town. You could spend several days here if you wanted to visit all of the places in town.

Mike & Connie

While we were walking along the boardwalk we saw two boats: