Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is a scenic roadway loop around the northern tip of  Cape Brenton Island. The northern section of the drive passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which apparently has some seriously cool campgrounds for anyone organized enough to book them years in advance.

Because we are not that organized, however, we stuck to driving the southeastern section of the trail, which was nearest to our campground and approximately 100 miles round trip.  Wildflowers, breathtaking views and tiny towns, we did our best to see as much of this famous trail as we could before our kids revolted.

As with anything on an island, getting where you want to go is not as easy as it seems. Another ferry, this time the 2-minute Englishtown Ferry, took us across a small section of raging river that was about as wide as... we don't know... 3 ferries? The massive operation, which allows for about 15 cars per trip and costs $7 each way, seems to take a lot of time and require a lot of employees.  A bridge seems easier... but would definitely not be as fun.

Once safely off the ferry, we drove The Cabot Trail north in search of amazing views and lunch. Having struck out with several places that were closed, Andrew was thrilled when we stumbled upon Andrew's Pizza. Grabbing 4 slices and some drinks, we ate on the outdoor picnic tables and planned out the rest of our day. Everyone agreed that we wanted more pizza... but not necessarily more of Andrew's Pizza... so we settled pizza for dinner. It was with this decision that we renamed our drive The Pizza Trail.  Instantly more interesting.

In the town of Ingonish Beach, we took a hard left toward the Keltic Lodge and enjoyed a little walk around their property.  A beautiful hotel, seaside playground, and amazing views, we sat in red Adirondack chairs as our kids ran around.  At the Lodge, we spied a group of 3 elderly ladies, one in a wheelchair, having a cliff side picnic with several bottles of wine. They looked so happy and adorably tipsy.  We commented that we really needed to improve our picnic packing abilities.

Once we were done with Ignonish Beach, we drove 40 miles south to Baddeck, soaking in the views along the way. Our destination was the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, which seemed interesting but was very poorly reviewed online by people with children.  Still, the Audiologist in our family insisted that she see "all the ear stuff," so we went anyway.

The reviews about this place were correct in that it's a LOT of reading. Hallways and hallways posters full of history.  Interesting, but our kids were more interested in finding the "old fashioned phones that people used to keep in their houses." After a few spins of the rotary dial phone and a look at the airplane, they were done. And April was hangry.  Off to find more pizza! 

Our campground host had recommended Tom's Pizza in Baddeck. Not only did they have a solid beer selection ("Cereal Killer" Oatmeal Stout... haha), but their pizza was pretty good too. As good as Canadian pizza gets, anyway :) 

Having had our fill of The Pizza Trail, we headed home to pack up our trailer and make the drive to Halifax tomorrow. Peggy's Cove! Donairs! Onward! 

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