Since I had never been to Atlantic Canada (mainly due to the high cost of flights within the country), I decided that since WestJet has the option to layover in either Toronto or Halifax on the way to London, that I would take advantage of an extra long layover (4 days) on the east coast of Canada. Touching down in Halifax, Nova Scotia at 6:30AM after a short 4 hour 22 minute red eye flight, I knew I would’t be able to check into my hotel at 8AM, so I decided to kill some time by driving out to Peggy’s Cove (1 hour drive south). Even though I was absolutely exhausted (sleeping on airplanes is not my thing, even with being the lucky one who got all 3 seats to herself), I was excited see a whole new part of Canada. Coming from Calgary, where it seems it has been winter since the start of September (yes snow and unseasonably cold), driving through the countryside of Nova Scotia was absolutely stunning. The fall colors were almost neon they were so bright. Seeing all the wonderful colors – especially while the sun rose, creating what seemed like the sky was on fire – immediately woke me up. I could not stop saying to myself how absolutely beautiful it was. There were multiple times I stopped along the winding roads to take photos of the fall foliage. At that time in the morning, with the sun creating the perfect light and the temperature warming to create a mist across the many lakes and ponds that line the roads. I was in awe.
After multiple stops and countless photos, I arrived at Peggy’s Cove just before 8AM. To my delight, I was the third person to arrive (the other 2 left about 10 minutes after I arrived). I was able to capture some amazing photos as the sun shone on the landscape of massive smooth boulders and iconic white lighthouse with a red top. It didn’t seem to matter where I stood or at what angle, all my photos looked like a postcard.
After I hoped from rock to rock exploring the shore, I took a quick stroll through the surrounding village (population 35) before stopping to have breakfast at the cafe. Just as I was about to pay the bill, 6 huge tour buses pulled up and I watched the people flood out. What perfect timing I had! After sitting for a moment and eating, I realized how tired I was getting and thought it best to make my way to the hotel in Halifax.
Driving a different route back to the city, again I stopped multiple times for photos. I was not the only one. There seemed to be a small convoy of cars that would stop at all the same spots to take photos. We laughed as each one of us commented how it was going to be a long drive back when there was a gorgeous photo opp every 2 minutes.
After arriving to the hotel, I had what seemed like a quick 1 hour nap and was off to explore downtown Halifax. Arriving on a Sunday in the off-peak tourist season, downtown Halifax seemed a bit of a ghost town, but beautiful non the less. Positioned on a large hill, right on the water, there is a long boardwalk with an abundance of little shops that are in refurbished, colorful shipping containers. By this time, since I hasn’t eaten lunch, I was starting to get hungry and all I could think about was seafood. Living in landlocked Calgary, it can be hard to get good seafood at a reasonable price. So the hunt was on for a seafood dinner. After a stroll through the streets, I decided to stop at a restaurant called Shuck. The name gave it away that they would have oysters. And they did, on a happy hour special!
I filled my belly with delicious oysters, lobster, a couple glasses of local Nova Scotia white wine and a peanut butter chocolate mousse and fell into a food coma. As much as I would have loved to explore more and possibly some local pubs, I could barely walk I was so tired. That and the fact I needed to get an early start to my day to drive to New Brunswick (next province over), to see the Bay of Fundy and the Hopewell Rocks. My goal was to make it there on time to see the area at low tide and stay for the day to watch the high tide. The Bay of Fundy is known around the world for have the highest and fasted rising tides in the world. Rising an astonishing 5 stories in 6 hours!
Stay tuned for my next blog about my New Brunswick experience…