Farwell to Nova Scotia

I went to Nova Scotia last weekend, for three days.  Kind of a quick tour, yes – I really wish I had had a bit more time, maybe two days. 

We spent the first down on the coast.  We drove down to Peggy’s Cove in drizzly, overcast weather.  It’s still a pretty spot, even in the rain.  We wandered around the rocks and lighthouse, popped into the small tourist shops, and had a snack at the Sou’Wester Restaurant.  In better weather, I think we would have spent a bit more time.  As it is, we only spent a few hours there, before hitting the road again to see the Swissair 111 Memorial.

Swissair flight 111 went down in September of 1998 off the coast of Nova Scotia.  There are two memorials – one located just outside Peggy’s Cove, and the other located near Bayswater.

After taking a somber moment at the memorial, we headed on down the 103 to Lununberg.

 However, before we visited the town proper, we stopped off at the Lunenburg County Winery, located just north of Lunenburg. They make mostly fruit wines – blueberry, cranberry, elderberry, rhubarb, but offer a few grape wines as well.  The staff is friendly and chatty, and offer tastings of their many wines.  This is definitely an off-the-beaten track site, and when we went there were no tours offered, but perhaps they do in high season.
After the winery, we headed on down to Lunenburg to visit the city, and grab some dinner.  After parking, we took a slow stroll around the city, hitting the waterfront first, where there are horse-drawn carriages waiting to take you on a ride through the picturesque city.  We continued on down Montague street, and found ourselves in front of Ironworks Distillery.
What’s one to do after visiting a winergy?  Of course we had to go in, and sample their products (made from Nova Scotia ingrediants.)  We tried an apple vodka, a kiwi liqueur, rum, and an apple brandy.  

After the tasting at the distillery, we thought it would be a good idea to have some food.  We wandered back down to the waterfront, and into “The Grand Banker”.  An excellent restaurant, if a little chilly.  A/C not withstanding, the food was fantastic – we ended up sharing brushetta as a starter, then a salad with chicken, dried cranberries, almonds and a raspberry vinagrette, and a steak sandwhich. 

After that it was back to Halifax, to relax in a pub before calling it a night at our hotel, The Four Points by Sheraton.

In Halifax we hit several differnt pubs over the weekend.  I think our favourite was the Economy Shoe Shop, a funky little pub with an excellent patio (great for people watching.)  Inside seems to sprawl, with rooms in many directtions.  Good food, good beer, good atmosphere.  We also went to Maxwell’s Plum.  They have a wide selection of beer, but service was a little slow when we went.  Of course, it was also packed – it seems to be a local favourite.  The patio is small, but provides a good place to people watch.  The interior is spaceish, but it feels intimate.  We also went to a small micro-brewery, The Rogues Roost.  It felt a bit more clinical – it didn’t have a typical pub, dark interior.  The staff was more than welcoming, however, which made the atmosphere a bit better.

In Halfiax we also played tourists.  We visited the Citadel overlooking downtown Halifax, just in time to see them fire the noon-time gun.  It’s not as loud as one would think, but it does reverberate through you.  There isn’t as much to do at the Citadel as I would have liked.  There are two museums, which your admission fee at the gate covers, and a small tourist shop.

 After wandering around the Citadel, and listening to the piper and drummer, we headed back down into the city to visit the Alexander Keith’s brewery.
The brewery tour is…interesting.  I think they really should warn people before they buy their tickets.  Having done the tour before, we both knew what we were getting into.  It’s an historical tour – actors wear period costumes, and talk about the founding and first years of the brewery.  There is no modern component, it’s a tour through the history of the brewery, rather than the brewery itself.  At the end of the tour, the actors pour drinks, then sing a few songs, before ushering us back into the 21st century.

After that it was dinner at small Thai restaurant, Gingergrass, at Morris and Berrington streets.  Excellent food – we had a “group dinner for two” that gave us a chicken satay skewer and spring roll as a starter, followed by hot and sour soup.  Our main meal was chicken in a red curry sauce, and a spicy beef satay.  After that, dessert was served – our choice of ice cream (coconut and chocolate) and fried bananas.  The restaurant is really small, and food is slow to arrive, but well worth it.  Little did we know that they closed at 9 pm, at 10 we were just getting to dessert!  But not once did the staff rush us, or make us feel unwelcome.  It’s definitely worth a visit!

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