Monday, September 28, 2015

Day Two: Yarmouth to Lunenburg

 Land Ho!
The Ferry staff woke us up before we could see land, so it was kind of exciting to finally see a sliver of land "floating" upon the ocean.  As a West Coast child, I've rarely seen the sun rise over the ocean.

 I might make an abstract painting to remind me of the port hole.
 The Harleys drove off before we did, but it was a bright, sunny day in Yarmouth.  The Customs officials were slow but cheery.
 I hadn't researched Yarmouth, but there is an obvious shipping, fishing and construction economy in this Atlantic Coast community. It claims to be the worlds largest lobster fishing grounds.

We happened by the Izaac Walton Killam Memorial Library.  Mr. Killam was one a native of Yarmouth and went from paper boy to financier and philanthropist.  His sisters donated the money to build the library in his memory.  The statue in front of the library is a "war memorial," but I couldn't find out which war.
Across the street is a park, also dedicated to veterans.  I liked the flag pole with National and regional flags.
 Between Yarmouth and Shelburn were many hillocks of wildflowers, weeds, and rocks.  It was a beautiful day.  I hope to use some of these photographs as references for pastel paintings in the style of Karen Margulis.

 We thought we'd go to "Cape Sable Island," because it was on the map and we were curious.  There wasn't much there, there, but the marshes and estuaries were beautiful. 

When we slowed down to look at the dunes a woman came out of her house to see if we were lost.  She told us how to get to the "beach" and where.  We met lots of friendly people.

 There was a causeway to get from the mainland to Cape Island.

 Won't this make a great painting?

 I wish it were more common in the US to paint houses bright colors. 

It wasn't too long before we reached Shelburne.  The town has a dory building enterprise upon which the boat building in nearby Amesbury is modeled.  The boats are handmade and graceful.

 The Cox warehouse and Shelburne County Museum were open and interesting.  Shelburne was home to loyalists during the American Revolution, so there is plenty of British and Scottish influence.

Having never visited this part of the world before, I had no idea how much the American Revolution, the Seven Years War in Europe, nor the French and Indian War affected the region.  I believe those conflicts contain the roots of today's un-ease between English and French speakers.... not to mention how horribly the French captives (Acadians) were treated.

Our first night's rest was to be in Lunenburg, chosen because it was frequently recommended and ALWAYS pictured on the literature for Nova Scotia.  It is a bit off the main highway, but we found it and our hotel easily.  Below is the view (as promised) from our room at The Topmast Motel.
In spite of being in the Lobster and Scallop capital of the universe, we were tempted by an in-room menu to go to the Old Black Forest Gasthof .  The Sauerbraten and Pork tenderloin with spaetzle was wonderful.  As was the key lime pie!!

 There was a traditional collection of cow bells, and not-so-traditional crocheted curtains with all their ducks in a row.



Lunenburg has lions on the lamppost at the cross roads.  
 The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is right on the water along with lots of restaurants and B&B's.  Painting it red was a bright idea!

 Even though Lunenburg is a UNESCO Heritage Site, it didn't seem overly kitchy or touristy.  Just charming.  The Realtor had model boats in the window, and many of the lamp posts had sea creature motifs.


 Nearly all of the historic homes were recently painted and well maintained.
 I startled a cat who had been hiding under a car.
 We found a lovely new and used bookstore, Lunenburg Bound.  I bought a book about Pirates and Privateers on the Atlantic Coast.  The store also had a nifty selection of wrapping paper and greeting cards.

The town is proud of its bright colors! 

Even the market we found seemed brighter than we were used to.

 Beautiful end to a beautiful day.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

We were having an adventure!

 Even though DH and I both had bursts of wanderlust and cabin fever, we didn't get away from home until after Labor.  Let's go to Nova Scotia!  New Bruswick! Cape Breton!  Downeast Maine!

So we booked passages on the Nova Star, a ferry that sails from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

This wolf was one of the first amazing sites we saw.  We were taken by surprise; made curious, and encouraged to look for other surprises -- which was an attitude we kept for the entire trip.

The night before we left, there was a television show about the best bakeries in New England.  One of them was in Portland:  The Standard Baking Company.  
We went in and sniffed. There isn't much that smells better than hot bread or rising yeast dough. 
I had done a little searching about yarn shops (D'oh!) and so we also found Tess' Designer Yarns nearby. Her building was undergoing rennovation which camouflaged the door to the shop, but Tess herself was taking a break on the front stoop.  When I told her I was looking for Tess' yarns she invited me into see the shop.  What an amazing supply of hand-dyed-by-HER yarns.  At that stage I didn't want to lug around additional yarn, but I did buy a kit (to be revealed later) within hours of returning home. If you want amazing fiber blends (from around the world) dyed in amazing colors, check out her store.  They are not your grandmother's yarns!  Nor your local craft suppliers' either.

Even after the bakery and yarn stops we had considerable time before we could join the queue to get on the Ferry.  There was a large free parking area to the North of the dock, so we parked there.... and were startled by the life-like wolves about 10 feet from the hood of our car.

Andy Rosen, the artist, is an adjunct professor at the University of New England in Biddeford, Me. His current work illuminates the tensions and relationships between the nature and the humanly developed environment.

At the same time there was a variety of boating activity.  Some folks were preparing an enormous, sleek Schooner -- either for a sail or for a party.  Others were on harbor tours, small ferries, fishing boats.

There was also a swarm of beginner sailors in small craft.  They bobbed about in the wakes of the ferries and fishing boats and tried to follow the orders of the instructor who was in his own boat.  Apparently Sail Maine has classes for people from 8 to 80 and teaches navigation, pleasure sailing and racing. The dinghies in the photo are "Collegiate 420's," a 14 foot boat sailed (usually) by two people.

We thought we'd see if the Ferry Company was letting cars into the queue.  They were!  So we got out our passports and parked between the lines behind a windscreen.  It wasn't too long before we realized the ferry was coming in.  Some of the other co-passengers leaped out of their cars and peeked at the ferry between the barrier and the screen.

 Is was almost alarmingly large.
 I don't know how many cars took the same passage as we did.  There were also about 30 Harley Davidson riders (who, it turned out, were heading for the Wharf Rat event in Digby, Nova Scotia) and at least five eighteen-wheel tractor-trailor trucks.
 Once we were parked, we took our overnight bags and headed for our cabin where an elephant and a lobster (?) made us feel welcome.
Anchors away!