613. Friday 18th May 2018. Sunnyside to Wood Island then by ferry to Pictou and New Glasgow in Nova Scotia…


Friday 18th May

We were on our way almost exactly on time. When you consider 4 adults plus one 7 year old all wanting breakfast and showers and preparing lunch to get away on time is a miracle.180518 wood1180518 wood

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A couple of lighthouses and a mock up village at Wood Island beside the ferry terminal. Both lighthouses are still active. On the day of our visit a couple of Amatuer Ham Operators were setting up antenna to communicate with Darwin Australia.

We drove to Wood Island on the south east corner of PEI to catch the Northumberland Ferries Limited car ferry CONFEDERATION to Nova Scotia.

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The Newfoundland Ferry Lines ferry CONFEDERATION enters the Wood Point area of PEI.
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Cas and trucks begin to leave the ferry which has a capacity to carry 220 vehicles. on two decks. Those cars and trucks are unloaded in less than 15 minutes.

https://www.ferries.ca/ns-pei-ferry/   Of course we are all rugged up the same as if we were on an Alaskan dog sled expedition.

Is it cold?

You betcha.

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Tyler and Alecia at Wood Point waiting for the car ferry to arrive. Their warm clothing shows what sort of day we experienced.

The trip over the Northumberland Strait was straight forward, no rough water and 75 minutes later we were on Nova Scotia which by the way is Latin for New Scotland. That should explain why there are places called Hallifax, New Glasgow, Sunnybrae and a bunch of other Scottish names.

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Our first sight of Nova Scotia at Caribou. The lighthouse on Caribou Point can be seen.

We drove from Caribou Harbour to the town of Pictou where we are spending the night at a bed and breakfast called The Willow House Inn   http://www.willowhouseinn.com/   which is 178 years old.

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Willow House Inn at Pictou Nova Scotia. We spent the night here.

I was told by other guests breakfast is something special so there is no way we are leaving early.180518 pictou4

The name Pictou derives from the language of a First Nations Tribe, the Mi’Kmaq who lived and still live in the area. The name means “explosive place” a reference to the troubled tidal waters against wind found in the area.

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This building was opened as the Pictou Post office in 1895. For some reason it had a window built into the chimney shown on the left side. To this day it is not known why it was built this way but it seems it is the only known example of a chimney with a window, anywhere in the world. The building has been fenced off for several years to allow renovations to take lace. Apart from the fence nothing else has been done. Another interesting feature is the building is made of sandstone. It is different from all other buildings in town. The sandstone was quarried and cut in Scotland and shipped to Pictou.

During the evening I met a couple from England. They wanted to sell their house and buy elsewhere but UK prices are so out of control they could not afford to move anywhere else in the UK. They have sold their house and have 200,000 UK Pounds to spend. They are in Pictou looking at real estate. She is a office specialist and will look for work. He is studying management for two years at the local university. She can work while he is on a student visa. They both plan to apply for citizenship or resident status. In the meantime they are looking at real estate. For between $80,000 to $90,000 they can buy a 3 or 4 bedroom home near the centre of town. They will budget $10,000 for any renovations or improvements and will buy a new car. At current exchange rates they should have near CAN$500,000. They plan to move here permamently. I looked at the 5 houses they have looked at so far and am impressed by what they can buy for CAN$80,000. Of course you would have to put up with lots of cold and snow and businesses which are closed most of the year. I wish them the Best of British Luck.

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The first contingent of Scottish immigrants arrived in Pictou Nova Scotia to take up settlement in 1773. The replica ship HECTOR” is probably in worse condition than the original ship which made the crossing.

It seems the nearby town of New Glasgow is larger and there is more likelihood of finding somewhere for dinner. So we traipsed over to NG and had dinner at The Dock Irish Pub before traipsing back to Pictou.

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THE DOCK Irish Pub in New Glasgow. The original Georgian townhouse was built by Squire James Fraser in 1845 and is one of the oldest commercial structues in Nova Scotia.

The Irish specialty was Bangers and Mash and lots of Irish and local beer.

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We are waiting on our meal at The Dock. Note the original stonework and timber door lintel in the background.
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The Dock doorways, linyels and stonework

New Glasgow does not have the benefit of a nice view across a harbour like Pictou does. However Pictou has a view of a wood pulp mill across the bay. It is not so good to look at.

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What view. Athe bottom of this street is a functioning lighthouse but across the bay is a wood pulp factory.

Walking around NG it was apparent that many of the businesses are struggling financially or have given up entirely. Perhaps the downtown businesses have moved to a nearby shopping centre. NG is also hampered, traffic wise, by a railway line which runs through the centre of town. Every few minutes traffic is backed up at the crossing and then have to navigate very narrow streets which were designed for horse and buggy traffic. It was strange to be having a cold beer at the pub when a train came shunting beside the building.

A walk around Pictou shows much the same redundant business struggle.

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This Georgian Style house was built in 1811 and is listed in the Canadian Register of Historic Places. It was, back in 1850 it became the US Consulate building for Nova Scotia.

Also the number of eateries which are still closed for the season meant we may have struggled finding a place to eat but the  Chinese Restaurant like Chinese Restaurants everywhere were open and doing well. There is a lesson here for the locals and the locals everywhere. The Chinese are willing to work even when the going gets tough.

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More modern buildings one used as a Solicitors Office and another used as a Tattoo parlour.

A thought occurred to me during the walk. Often rural towns in Australia were described as having a pub on every corner. Here in PEI, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton you could say that they have a church on every corner. Of course that also includes a cemetery.

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The Pictou War Cenotaph erected after WWI. It seems to depict a soldier embracing or welcoming a young boy. To one side a woman with flowing robes seems to be trying to place a wreath on the soldiers head. The woman is carrying something in her right arm. Look closely. She resembles the “Blind Justice” sculpture. In fact the object in her right arm is a set of scales.I wonder why Blind Justice is walking beside a soldier while here scales are kept in her arm.
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Now for something completely different. A timber building with what in Canadian houses was once and still is very popular with houses within sight of the sea, a viewing deck.

Our room is on the third floor. Walking up and down creates an appetite and ensures you get enough exercise to sleep well. There are two sets of stairs for each floor and depending on which set you choose you end at the opposite end to your room. That creates a few moments of disorientation.

Tomorrow begins our Cabot Trail adventure on the island of Cape Breton.

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I am unable to gather any historical information about this building. Currently it is a H&R Block Tax Agents office.
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Another old sandstone Georgian style home in Pictou. Note the gabled roof and rooms which seems to be a common feature of this type of building.
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The Scotchmans Inn Pictou was built around 1845 and retains the Georgian style of architecture. The Georgian building next door was built in 1878 for the Pictou Bank. It became the Bank of Nova Scotia sometime in the 1880’s and has been the Bank of Nova Scotia since.

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This building on the Canadian Historic Buildings Register is 188 years old.

2 thoughts on “613. Friday 18th May 2018. Sunnyside to Wood Island then by ferry to Pictou and New Glasgow in Nova Scotia…

  1. The book– After the Hector talks about the very very poor condition of the boat. This is probably the original boat then. That’s why the sea voyage in such a vessel was so hazardous and actually deadly for some of the immigrants.


    1. Hi Joan you may be correct. The plaque on the quayside tells us it is a replica. On the other hand if it was the original then I would say it is in surprisingly good condition for being around 2 centuries old.


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