Today was in large part a vist to the Fortress of Louisbourg, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortress_of_Louisbourg.
Breakfast at the Louisbourg Harbour Inn was great, if you are in Louisbourg, recommend going there.
You drive over to near Fortress Louisbourg and park at the visitor’s office. There you catch a bus which takes you to the Fortress.
Fortress Louisbourg was constructed originally by the French in the 1700’s to defend their interests in North America. Unfortunately for them, they built their guns facing the water where they expected to be attacked; not from the land which was in large part marshy. The English in the 1740’s waited until the ground was frozen and dragged their cannon over the frozen marshes to within range of the fort. They put in place a blockade in the front and had troops thus surrounding the fort, after a few month siege the fort surrended.
At the end of that particular war, by treaty the fort was returned to the French; the English were given land elsewhere. Amazingly the French repeated the same mistake in 1758. This time after the English captured the Fortress they demolished it so there would not be a third time.
In the 1930’s Canada turned the Fortress into a National Landmark and reconstructed a number of buildings, turning it into sort of a mini-Williamsburg with many locals dressed in period clothes; telling the story of the Fortress and details of the lives of the people who lived there in the 1740’s.
BTW, for those who wonder if the French finally learned their lesson, might read about the Maginot Line.
We were there for almost six hours, it was really great. We learned a lot about the Cod trade. The some 1000 fishermen who lived near the Fortress, almost 2000 people lived inside, caught on average 30 million pounds of fish per year. Cod was worth 3-5 times as much as the more well known fur trade to France.
We ate at a restaurant inside the Fortress which served period food. You put you napkin, really a cloth bib, around your neck. If I used such a thing at home I would clearly have less need to take ties to a dry cleaners. You are given a single spoon to use for all your food.
Next was driving over to where the first Lighthouse was built in Canada, across the water from Fortress Louisbourg, near the current town. A very beautiful area overlooking the water.
Afterwards we wandered around Sydney, where there was a Busker festival, and swung through Florence to have dinner at Lik-A-Chick where we had chicken (duh); really a bit too fried food’ish, but I really wanted to eat at a place called Lik-A-Chick. Once again Ellen, this time to a bit of regret, agreed.
We ended up at Baddeck at the Water’s Edge Inn, our second b&b of the trip. Tomorrow is the Cabot Trail, lots of crafts shops, ending up at Ingonish and the Lantern Hill & Hollow.