It was a chilly wakeup this morning: a mere nine degrees outside, and not many more inside. Thank goodness for our down-filled duvet, which makes it unnecessary to run the furnace while we sleep. It was good to see the sunshine today, and to feel the warmth from my coffee mug.It was the first morning of the trip that we didn’t have to pack up and get going, so we savoured it! By 11 o’clock we were ready to do a bit of exploring, so we headed south to have a look at Baddeck (pronounced buh-DECK).
This small town is on the shore of Bras d’Or Lake, uniquely described as “a sea, within an island, within an ocean” by UNESCO which declared it a special reserve in 2011. With a mixture of fresh and salt water, the lake supports a wide variety of creatures in it and around it, including the many tourists who come to the beautiful resort hotels and sail on its sparkling waters.Probably its most famous resident was Alexander Graham Bell, who built a home here. After the success of his invention, the telephone, he had enough revenue to allow his research into flying machines. It was on the frozen surface of Bras d’Or Lake that he and his team of inventors set the Silver Dart into flight in 1909 – the first controlled powered flight in Canada.
We had a look at the Parks Canada museum about Bell and his inventions. It was interesting to learn that in his teens he was not doing very well academically, but after spending time with his grandfather, a man of learning and curiosity, he was properly launched and went on to great achievements. His first focus was on speech, elocution and teaching the deaf to speak, but his curiosity led him in many directions.Our lunch stop was at the Bell Bouy, a nice restaurant overlooking the sailing club and lake, where we enjoyed a delicious seafood chowder and lobster sandwich on oatmeal bread, followed by a shared slice of Nova Scotia blueberry pie. Yum!
We took a short stroll down to see the sailboats and small lighthouse before heading back toward the campground. Aside from picking up a few supplies and getting the car washed, that was the extent of our activities today.We’re all set for an early start tomorrow. We have to report to the ferry two hours before it sails, so that means we have to get to North Sydney by 9:45. We won’t get to the other side till suppertime!
We’ll be staying at John T. Cheeseman Provincial Park, just near our landing point in Port aux Basques, for two nights. We will not have an internet connection there, so the blog will be silent for a couple of days. We’ll catch up as soon as we can get online again.