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The Palmers’ Grand Maritime Tour of Nova Scotia pt. 2

The Palmers’ month-long adventure saw them take in the natural beauty of Canada. After arriving in Halifax, it was time to set off on their grand tour.

“An early wake up saw us on the road by 8am to Annapolis Royal on the Bay of Fundy.

We asked Google for the prettiest route and had been advised by ‘Dave’ to head onto the motorway to Windsor, about an hour’s drive, and then through some pretty villages along the coast.

That was the idea.

Unfortunately, Dave’s recommendation did not go according to plan and we soon found ourselves driving down dirt tracks through the forest.

Eventually we found our way back onto the tarmacked road and once again headed towards Annapolis Royal and our hotel for the night, the Hillside House Inn, a colonial style house both outside and inside.

We now had to find somewhere to wash the car before returning it at the end of the trip.

The next day we made our way to Digby where we checked in for the two-hour crossing of Fundy Bay. Sadly we didn’t see any whales but we were treated to dolphins accompanying our crossing.

After docking at St John, we made our way to St Andrews. We like to get off the beaten track, so using the maps provided, we navigated our way along the Fundy Trail through quaint villages and along the coastal roads to our next hotel, the Algonquin Resort.

Our room had two king-size beds with a dining area and small kitchenette. This was a lovely hotel but we were rather surprised that in the hotel lounge dogs took preference over humans as far as seating on the sofas was concerned.

We drove to St George to get the free ferry across Passamaquoddy Bay to Deer Island and circumnavigated the island, stopping off at a few of the very pretty (and pretty deserted) coves to watch the ospreys swooping over the coastline.

Although the sea was quite calm, where the water met became quite a fearful sight and we could imagine that at high tide it would be even more so. We saw some seals playing in the eddy and a couple of porpoises.

A two-hour drive brought us to Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick.

Driving in Canada is an absolute joy with very little traffic and extremely considerate motorists.

Our hotel was a very large conference-style Marriott hotel (although called Delta here) and as such is impersonal but still has comfortable facilities.

The hotel overlooks the beautiful river but unfortunately our view was of the air conditioning units on the roof! All that said, it was clean and comfortable and the staff were their usual eager-to-please selves.

Despite having handed in the voucher from First Class on arrival, we were advised that our credit card would be charged for the room. I queried this with reception, showing them my backup copy, and they agreed the voucher had been handed in. Always best to have a backup!

We began our drive to St John, following the river route along the 102, despite the sat nav guiding us back onto the motorway. The parts of the river we saw were beautiful.

Our hotel was again a Delta hotel, but it was not like the previous one, the reception was dark and old fashioned, although the room was brighter. It was situated on the harbour, but it was in quite a rough part of town and we did not feel particularly comfortable as we returned in the evening.

We walked to the Reversing Falls while at low tide. They are an awe-inspiring phenomenon of the tide meeting the river causing the upriver waterfall. We made sure we were up early the following morning to see them at high tide.”

Keep your eyes peeled next month for the final part of Elaine’s tour of Nova Scotia.

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