Thursday, 5 June 2014

Louisbourg NS (Day 2)

Very early this morning we got up to make a run to the bathroom. By very early, I mean about 4:30 a.m. When we were returning to the van, we saw one of the lobster boats going through the harbour, full of bright lights. It made me wonder what time that poor soul had to get up this morning, kiss his family good-bye for the day and head to work.....then we could hear a radio station playing on the dock. We spotted another boat getting ready to go out. He had his radio blaring away to keep himself company. So begins another day in Maritime Canada, while the rest of the country still sleeps.....

Enough said, let's get this day going! 

A meeting of the birds here in the park.....
 
Oh, remember yesterday I told you about the lobster crates that were floating in the dock area. Well, today they were hauling them up to send them to the distribution centre. Apparently the lobster can live out of the water for 24 hours, given the right conditions (like cold). After that they are re-immersed into the cold salt water and they re-oxygenate themselves in 48 hours. Pretty amazing creatures, huh? Locally, the office lady Mary, told us that they really want the guys to stop fishing for lobster for a few days or they may put a moratorium on them for 400 lbs each per day......
 
 

 

Heavy work....no escaping now for them.

Boy, we should always think about how much work goes
into us having these specialty things in our lives.
 
We were fortunate this morning that Mary, from the office here at the park, gave us a ride right to the Louisbourg Nat'l Historic site. She was concerned that we might not get there in time if we walked. We thought "Hmmm, how far is it anyway?". "It does say that we can walk, doesn't it?" We gratefully took the ride that she so graciously offered 

Interesting bit of information. In the Nova Scotia "Doers and Dreamers" guide for visitors, this campground is listed as being close enough to walk to the "fortress". Just so everyone knows, you can, indeed, walk to the fortress but it is about 5 kms. It is a very nice walk and it takes you along a new path that they have just recently finished. It then brings you to the back of the fortress and I am sure that you will be able to get in there in the summer. It's funny because this path has not even been "officially" opened yet. Anyway, it all worked out well and we were the "guinea pigs" for the walk through and now the office has the correct information. there is also a visitor information centre for the park, quite a way from the park itself, but borders on the town. You can walk there and, in season (summer), they run a shuttle out to the fortress. Either way, it's a great place to see. Because, once again, we have the Parks Canada Discovery Pass, there was no charge for admission. We did, however, opt to pay for a Time Traveller tour. We were given a guided tour with the character actors and we really did learn a lot about what went on in the fort. You don't have to do it but it helps to understand everything here.....That charge was $7 each (oh, and you get a free coffee or heritage hot chocolate at the café).

Louisbourg is a one quarter re-creation of the original fort. It was a lucrative fishing port and was controlled by the French. Eventually, it fell to the English. It was basically plundered over a number of years and then abandoned. Because the town, as we know it now, was built on a totally different site (like across the water as you will see below in my pictures) this area remained architecturally intact.  When they started to do research on it in the early 1920's, they discovered 750,000 pages of information, drawings, etc. about the fort. This enabled them to do a near perfect re-creation of it, the result of which you can see today. The fortress and town were partially reconstructed in the 1960s and 1970s, using some of the original stonework, which provided jobs for unemployed coal miners .Also, because so many cities we know now are built right on top of the original town sites, there are not so many artifacts to be found but because the town was built elsewhere there were so many things found when they started excavating. Pretty amazing....  

 

 

 

Lots of interesting displays....
 
 

 

Big harbour gates.....
 
 

 

 

 

 

Pierre in full, wool dress uniform weighing in at about 30 lbs.....

Six pound gun with all sorts of nasty
attachments.....

 

Then Pierre handed us off to Mary. She
was a servant for one of the Captains.....

She told us that children of the upper class were often "wet-nursed" by ladies different than
their moms. They did not want to get too "attached" to their children as many of them did
not survive infancy. We thought this was just totally mind-blowing. Anyway, check
out some of the toys and cribs for the little ones. Notice the "walker" on the right?
 
This lady showed us how they made lace (as a hobby)

These two were explaining how the Military Engineer, whose house this was,  would always have to have a drink of hot chocolate (sometimes with cognac) in the morning.
He lived to be over 60 years old and thought it gave him good health....
I knew there was a reason to have a chocolate bar everyday!!!

This sugar nipper was used to "pinch" off some of the sugar. Then they would
put the little chunk in a bowl and crush it up. Only the well-heeled people had "white" sugar.
This is how the sugar was shipped to them. The regulars just had brown sugar....

This machine on the left of the mantel was for a rotisserie. You would pull down on a
chain and that would raise the large white rock up. Then it would drop slowly down, causing another chain to turn the spit with the meat on it. This one could actually do 3 at once. 
 
  

The man servant explains it all.....
 
Anyway, after the fun Time Travellers tour, we just wandered around and enjoyed the fort. Again, not to many people here as it doesn't really open fully until July 1st....
  
Always lots to see. Remember, everything you see was
re-created from pretty exact specifications.....
 
 This was an original foundation that was dug up....

 

How is this for a sink. Just put hot water in the top and open the spigot and
voila....running water. Of course, it was in the Governors house!
 
It must pay good to be a Governor!!

Meeting room/office
 
 

 View of the Governor's Palace (which included the church, jail, his house, the unmarried officers quarters etc)  from the raised back guard wall.....

Pointed right at Louisbourg!!

See the spray hitting the rocks below the lighthouse?

That is where we have to walk back to!!!

 

 

And that was it. You can easily spend a whole day here. Lots to see and learn about.
We were able to go out these back gates and start walking down that path I
told you about, back to town.....

Looking back at the fort.....
 
They have done a great job on this path.....

A few random spots have great resting places.
Looking back at the fortress.....Maybe we should sit here.

Or here.....

Walking back through downtown Louisbourg

Pretty quiet little place.....Hard to believe it's only
about 30 minutes from Sydney.

Post office.....

And back to the park. See Euri?? Oh, and notice that
you can see across the channel now??

The walkway at the edge of the park.

 
Okay, well I hoped you all enjoyed Louisbourg National Historic Site. We have had a great time relaxing here. This park is a great spot to enjoy this area. Check them out at www.louisbourg.com/motorhomepark.com 
 
So, what's up for tomorrow you ask?? Why Newfoundland, of course!!!
 
We couldn't come all this way and not go to the furthest eastern part of this fine country, now could we? East Coast.....meet West Coast!! We have heard it described as a place of "magic"  and we are looking forward to it. We are taking the 11:45 a.m. Marine Atlantic ferry tomorrow, The Highlanders. It is a 6-8 hour crossing from North Sydney to Port aux Basques. Check out their website. http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/mv-highlanders-panorama.asp. If you are used to BC Ferries, get ready!! These are actually called ice-breaking ferries and they look pretty swanky inside. They tell you that once you are on the ship, you need to get your things out of the car because you will NOT be going back downstairs to your vehicle. They are a tad pricey but it is the only way we can get there and by golly, we are going THERE!!!
 
Not sure how the wifi will work. Once we arrive in Port aux Basques, we are planning on staying in a campground very close to the ferry called Grand Codroy RV-Tent Camping Park. It has come highly recommended from Mary, here at this park.
 
See you tomorrow from Newfoundland and remember, we will be on Newfoundland time!! 
 
Peace....
 
Thought for the Day: Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself....George Bernard Shaw   

1 comment:

  1. You've had so much culture of late! It looks like you had another wonderful day. Now it's time to say, "Bon Voyage." Enjoy your time on "the rock" to the fullest! Looking forward to your posts.

    ReplyDelete