Come to see Mother Nature’s colouring book – Cruise to Nova Scotia in the Fall.
Our Princess Cruise started from Brooklyn, New York a fabulous send off, with cocktails on the deck as we sailed passed the Statue of Liberty, on our way to Nova Scotia.
The Princess Cruise ships are floating hotels and the journey can be as much as you want or as little: restaurants, entertainment, bars, lounges, casino or just sit in the library or your cabin and watch the world go by. Well you didn’t get much time to sit around on this trip. Our first port of call was Newport, Rhode Island, a wealthy, interesting small town. Walk to the left of the cruise landing area and visit the Visitors’ Office, book a tour of the city on one of the trolley buses or turn right and walk to the compact town centre, full of shops and cafes set around the water front. This is where the America’s Cup U.S. Team is based so there is a lot of activity around the shore line as you walk along. We decided to walk to the centre and enjoy the sunshine while we were feeling energetic, then we went back and got the Trolley Bus around the town and coastal area. The Astors, the Vanderbilts, the Kennedy’s all had homes in Newport, it is a short hop from New York and Washington, so the rich and famous came to play in this beautiful part of the world. The houses are mainly museums now, and you can get off the bus to view them at your leisure, then get back on when the bus returns, but be careful and watch the time, or the ship could sail without you!
Boston – ‘Cheers’ to anyone who ever watched the touching, wonderful televison series about people and life, but Boston is so much more than fiction. Take the shuttle into the city to the Quince Market area, a busy exciting place, within the Tourist Information Centre where there are shops and the famous Faneuil Hall Museum. well worth a visit and disabled friendly. Walk around the square and have a drink at the mock up Cheers in the Market Place. Then, but not for the faint hearted, follow the Freedom Trail all around the city, it is great and a source of history that helps you ‘live it’ by walking around past the statues and building that have been there for centuries. It is a big city and you can easily get lost, but look for the Freedom Trail (a line of red bricks in the pavements) or ask the friendly Bostonians and you will eventually get back to where you started.
We then visited Bar Harbour, a busy cruise town, lots of shops for the “willing to spend brigade”. However, make your way up the main street, past the shops and you arrive at a lovely village square, stop awhile then catch a free Acadia shuttle bus to North East Harbour and Seal Harbour Beach, it takes about an hour and three quarters to get there and back, you can get off and catch to next bus back, but be warned people do not get off and look around, they just stay on, so if you want a seat there and back, stay on the bus. The world renowned Bar Harbour Lobster is very much in evidence as you stroll around the town and yes, it is excellent, do try it. After the bus ride to the right of the square is a road that lead to a path that takes you down to the shore line. This is a lovely walk and you can view the shore and the cruise ships that are in the small harbour, it is a rough path so if your walking isn’t too good, stick to the roads. You can also access this path by turning left as you get off the ship and walk along the shore line.
Next stop St John, New Brunswick, another town for shoppers, but it is a lovely place, with markets and interesting streets and buildings, don’t miss Barbours General Store, it is a log building that has been transported – lock stock and barrel – to the water front and sells a mixture of wonderful sweets and tea – yes, tea, so just pop in and have a browse around this facinating little shop. Walk off the beaten path and enjoy the lovely old buildings, as well as the waterfront with its many bars and more lobster!
We visited the Titanic Experience in Belfast before we set off on our cruise and our next stop on the cruise was Halifax, Nova Scotia a place in history where the dead of the Titanic were taken, the survivors went to New York, but the unclaimed victims found at sea were laid to rest in Halifax. Firstly as we got off the ship we turned right out of the booking hall and were greeted by an amazing board walk that takes you in to the city. As you walk along the shoreline, restaurants and shops greet you, but our goal was to go to the Maritime Museum just off the board walk, this Museum is linked to the Belfast Titanic Experience by memorabilia of the ships that went to the Titanic to pick up the dead.
Halifax is a compact, interesting town but a trip to Peggy’s Cove is a must. It is visited by almost everyone that goes to Halifax; a coach takes you there with an excellent guide that explains all about the city as you drive through. It is a natural and geological landscape, its real name is St Margaret’s Bay, shortened to Peggy’s Cove a nickname for Margaret. It is not for people with walking difficulties, however, just sit and enjoy the view from the cafe which is wonderful. The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is world famous and I am sure you will say I have seen that light house somewhere before! The stunning natural beauty is a photographer’s dream, the light in the area is wonderful for artists and photographers from all over the world. We were lucky and the weather was excellent to walk on the rocks to the light house, but some days it isn’t that clear, it can be surrounded in mist and fog, but whatever the weather go and have a look at this little gem of a fishing village.
Our colouring book has now closed and New England will take on another season with as much pride, but the kaleidoscope of colour you find in the Fall will come back another year, and hopefully I will return to see more of this beautiful area of the world.