Unplugged in Canada

Been up in Canada for the past week with no computer, nor internet access, celebrating my 1 year anniversary with her majesty. We hit Nova Scotia for a couple of days, then explored Prince Edward’s Island, and finally, came back to Halifax on the last day. It was a great trip, and I was only stressed when I checked voice mail; I should of sent better preparation emails to those who needed to know, and just left my phone at home.

We did and saw a lot, so to be brief, my 2 favorite things we did were hiking Cape Split, a 5 hour, 14 kilometer (8.6 mile) rugged trail. The second was visiting the Dutchman’s Cheese Farm; you could hike, play a game, and feed animals. Nice guy, too.

Things I found interesting about Nova Scotia:

  • No chains; food establishments and hotels were ALL mom and pop affairs. The few we did find were few and far between, not expected like America.
  • Canadians on NS have a different idea of distance than an American Southerner. “Just down the road” to me is a 2 to 8 minutes drive, whereas there it was 20 to 30.
  • Sign placement in both Nova Scotia and Price Edward’s Island is f00ked; exit signs on highways are either 2 exits up, giving a “oh, it must be the next exit” impression, whereas it is merely giving you REALLY advanced notice. On the flip side, some road # signs are about 30 feet from your turn; my advice, either drive really slow or get used to turning around. We had a PT Cruisier convertible which doesn’t have a very impressive turning radius, but we managed.
  • There are a lot of versions of exits. It’s not just Exit 5, Exit 6, Exit 7, but Exit 5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D…
  • A nice thing about the roads, however, is that there are a lot of them. Most traffic in Georgia for instance sucks because you have a pretty linear travel path to and from the city, whereas in NS, you have a myraid of roads, reducing overall traffic, and giving you lots of options to get places.
  • My scallops on the grill taste better than the Lobster Pound’s
  • Finding dark beer was hard; my version of dark is Guiness, Bass, and Killians. Their Clancy’s was pretty good, and you can always get away with a Boddington’s if you want something light, but thicker tasting. The rest; Keith’s Red and Lablanc’s Blue tasted too light for my pallete.
  • Country patronage and pride was abound. It reminded me of post-911 here in the states where American flags were everywhere. Every other farmhouse had a Canada flag, people had them all over their clothing to hat brims, belts, backpacks, etc. Apparently they are really proud of their country.
  • Drivers in Nova Scotia are nicer than Atlanta. Here, it’s a rat race.
  • Gas prices in Nova Scotia suck, and I thought they were bad here; almost $100 Canadian to fill up the tank.
  • You have to ask locals where to eat since there aren’t many chains, and apparently it’s hit or miss.
  • It was interesting to see Canadian Red Cross donations at gas stations for hurricane Katrina damage. Come to find out the Acadians who were exiled by the British went to New Orleans to become the Cajuns.
  • It was neat to see full service gas stations; while I’m fully capable of pumping my own gas thank you, it was neat to see they still had that.
  • Tim Horton’s coffee sucked; I’ll stick to my gas station waterey nastiness which I find tastes great.
  • Like Australia, Canadian news showed more World News too; it would switch with the BBC, which was really nice. Typically, world events don’t get much coverage here in the US on TV, whereas in both Australia and Canada, watching news on the TV was neat because you could see what was happening all over the world. I wish the US news would do that.
  • Make sure your map is up to date. 1 out of 14 people gave directions which were not up to our specific expectations.
  • Nova Scotia rocks, Prince Edward’s Island is touristy, but has some nice parts.
  • Both islands are so frikin’ beautiful. The insane tides are really cool to see too.
  • There isn’t as much boat traffic as there is in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland; I reckon it’s because of the tide, and since the bay is more commercialized whereas Nova Scotia’s more farming.

I’ve exceeded my quota for the month, but 80% of my photos are up that I took with my Nokia 6680 at Flickr. I’ll upload the rest in 2 weeks.

4 Replies to “Unplugged in Canada”

  1. Actually the cajun right now is both descendants from the Acadians AND the early French Canadian settlers. Most commercial beer sucks but if you want something good ask for microbreweries. You can get some real good Quebec beer in the States, Unibroue products like Maudite and Fin du Monde, just go to a good liquor store. Canadians in the West are much less patriotic I believe, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Canadian flag in Quebec away from government buildings. And you were in Canada and you didn’t even see Montreal? You where only like 2000 kilometers away man, how lame ;)

  2. Timbits from Tim Hortons are kinda good though, the little donut hole balls, they remind me of Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts in the states.

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