At the weekend we decided to hire a car and get out of dodge. Even thought it’s now the end of the season here and the vast majority of campsites are closed, our lovely friends at Shubie agreed to let us leave our overheating Hanna with them for the weekend, while they started closing up the campground.
We were going on the road for a romantic weekend, and coming back to Shubie on the Monday to join them all for our first ever Thanksgiving dinner.
We rented a ‘small’ car (there isn’t really such a thing here) from Enterprise, who came and picked us up from the campsite. When we asked about paying for ‘0 excess’ they had no idea what we meant. It turns out you can either rent a car with or without fully comp insurance – those are your two options. Being the sensible Brits that we are, we went fully comp. And it still only cost us £20 a day 🙂
We set off to explore the Annapolis Valley, which we’d been trying to do when Hanna broke down last time.
Digby is worldwide famous for it’s scallops. Mark’s favourite seafood is scallops, so Digby was high on our list of places to visit in Nova Scotia. Digby Neck is one of the best places to see whales too, which we wanted to do. Unfortunately the high winds and rough seas scuppered that plan this time. (I’m now holding out for seeing whales in Baha California, as it’s one of my top 10s).
I generally like to do a bit of background research into the places we visit, and I discovered that the main reason Digby is famous for it’s scallops is because it has the biggest scallop fishing fleet in the Bay of Fundy. In fact, there are lots of other smaller fleets throughout the Bay of Fundy, and scallops can be eaten just as fresh in Halifax. Still, it seemed a good reason to explore Digby and its surrounds. Digby itself is nothing to write home about, but the beautiful fishing fleet was worth the visit. There aren’t any fancy restaurants there, but you can eat in casual restaurants along the seafront (we ate at The Shoreline, which is supposed to be one of the best for scallops in Digby).
We decided to give ourselves a honeymoon treat and so booked a couple of nights in a lovely ‘inn’. In England an ‘inn’ is a pub with rooms, but here an inn is traditionally a beautiful old house with well appointed rooms. I was looking for a boutique hotel and an inn was the nearest thing Nova Scotia had to one. And beautifully boutique it was! If you ever find yourself here at the Queen Anne Inn, treat yourself to the mid to high range rooms as they are gorgeous. We had a good snoop at all the rooms between check-in and check-out and they are all unique and full of character. Kate and Lazlo who run it are really warm and welcoming.
Annapolis Royal has a famous market (we were there on a Saturday, but I think it’s on two days a week in the summer). It’s got great locals selling their produce and crafts, from cider, to German pastries, antique stalls and preserves.
We also spent quite a lot of time in Ye Olde Town Pub (yes, it really is called that!), drinking Keith’s pale ale and trying the local Acadian dishes (Acadians are the descendants of the original French settlers here).
Kejimkujik National Park
Wow, what a treat this was!!! We heard that Kejimkujik National Park was the best place in The Valley to see the autumn colours. It’s also one of the ancient sites of the Mi’kmaw people. it’s beauty blew us away and we wished we could have stayed longer to explore. If we’d had Hanna we would have checked ourselves into the campsite there. As it was, we spent a heavenly few hours walking the trail next to the Mersey River (which ends up at Nova Scotia’s little Liverpool on the Atlantic coast 🙂 )
I think the pictures speak for themselves…