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Ellen and Dan’s Excellent Adventures in Nova Scotia – Day 3

August 3rd, 2010 · No Comments · travel

Today had two main parts to it, the Alexander Grahme Bell museum and our trip around much of the Cabot Trail.

To finish off a comment on our stay in Baddeck, a lovely community on the shore of a truly beautiful lake, Bras D’Or, our B&B we stayed in called the Water’s Edge Inn, was a great place physically, really nice room, and very centrally located in the town. However, it was pretty ordinary when it came to breakfast. The only juice was Apple, the breakfast consisted of a pre-measured container of fruit-salad, you know with that heavy syrup stuff, a plastic bag with two slices of white bread which could be toasted, and an optional cup of waffle mix which could be poured into the waffle maker. Ouch.

The Alexander Grahme Bell museum was pretty interesting. Perched on a hill overlooking the lake, it told the story of how his life-long focus on helping the deaf came from his father and grandfather in Scotland where he grew up. He ended up marrying one of his students, a deaf teenager from Boston. His work on the telephone derived from that focus.

I had no idea that he was so interested in flight, sponsoring the first manned flight in Canada or boating, he worked with early Catamaran’s, and kites, he made many enormous tetrahedral-shaped kites. And, of course, I was unaware until I came to Baddeck that in his desire to get out of the very pressured life he was living in Washington DC that he established a home in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, where he spent most of the last 40 years of his life. And that his younger daughter married a photographer he hired while President of the National Geographic Society, Gilbert Grosvenor, who went on to become the first full-time editor of the magazine and was the namesake of the metro stop near where I live.

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Leaving Baddeck, we went northwest to start our clockwise trip around the Cabot Trail. We entered the Cabot Trail Park at Cheticamp going around 2/3’s of the way by the end of the day stopping at Ingonish.

The drive is beautiful, often stunningly so. The road is an easy drive, whether on the inside or outside contrary to my earlier worries. The views of the water, our hikes into the forest, the walk we took on planks through a highland bog were all peaceful and interesting.

While we did not have the time to linger as much as we would have liked, I can see that if we were to return, staying at a B&B in the middle of the drive, perhaps at Pleasant Bay, and spending more time on the trails would have been a relaxing and enjoyable experience. I suspect that in the fall, the colors would be spectacular.

Standing in the middle of the forest, with almost complete quiet except for the sounds of birds, I was again reminded of the tension between the need to do ‘something’ during our short-time alloted to us versus the sense of place in a much longer and larger surrounding. I suspect that most of us, myself certainly included, do not balance that conflict very well.

We bought stuff at two of the many craft places we visited along the way. At Larchwood, there were many, many wonderful cutting boards, Ellen tells me they are very famous. At Cape Breton pottery, a great variety of beautiful bowls and other pieces. We bought a cutting board at the first and a bird at the second.

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We ended up at the Lantern Hill Inn on the beach at Ingonish. We are in the main building in a large and spacious room, though it is only the first B, not a B&B. There are also cottages which are a bit too big for just us, that actually are on the beach. We had dinner at a restaurant called Seascape. The food was both great and beautifully presented.

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