Sunrise (8-31-16) at Pictou Lodge was everything we could have hoped for and then some. Getting up to admire the fiery ball also gave us an early start.
It was too early for breakfast in the Pictou Lodge restaurant, but they had mercy on us and supplied fresh coffee to go. In downtown Pictou we got excellent local advice and ate a great breakfast at Sharon’s Place Family Restaurant.
About 200 Highland Scots arrived in Nova Scotia on September 15, 1773. The Hector Heritage Quay and replica of the ship used for their journey is in Pictou, “The Birthplace of New Scotland.”
We crossed the Straight of Canso to Cape Breton Island and headed up “Canada’s Musical Coast” on the Ceilidh Trail. We’d become enamored by Celtic music on the radio and stopped to catch a live band and purchase CDs at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre.
We arrived at North America’s First Single Malt Whisky Distillery just in time to catch a tour in progress. Glenora Inn and Distillery operates in the Mabou Highlands.
Many say the Gaels invented “Uisge Beatha” or “The Water of Life,” but our Scottish guide ceded the first drams originated in China. Glen Breton Whisky is made from only barley, yeast and water in traditional copper pot stills. We’re not Scotch drinkers, but agreed that this was tasty stuff!
Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada covers about a third of the islands land. The cliffs get steeper, the mountains taller and the forest prettier when you reach the Cabot Trail.
The Park is hiker’s heaven. We walked the the boardwalk of the Bog in hopes of a moose encounter but settled for orchids and insect eating plants. There were small falls on the Macintosh Brook trail and a replica of a 300-year old Scottish crofter’s hut here on the Lone Shieling trail.
Amenities are few inside the park and we were told to eat at the Rusty Anchor Restaurant prior to arrival at our Inn for the night. Without a doubt they served the very best Lobster Roll either of us had ever eaten. No minced lobster or frills in this sandwich, just huge chunks of succulent lobster meat and a subtle sauce on a fresh roll. Scrumptious!
The Four Mile Beach Inn on the northeastern tip of Cape Breton Island dates back to the 1880s. It’s situated at the base of Aspy Mountain Ridge by North Harbour and Aspy Bay. Our room opened off the former general store that operated in 1898. It was rustic, quirky and home for the night.
With a few hours of daylight remaining we vistied Aspy Bay where John Cabot’s ship “The Matthew” landed in 1497.
The 4-Mile beach was a peaceful place to rest from the day’s adventures until a light rain chased us off.
I’m glad that I didn’t have to fire up the wood stove in our apartment unit’s kitchen to make dinner. Breakfast the next morning was an all-you-can-eat buffet supplied by our innkeepers. It was dark, quiet and peaceful when we turned in for a well needed rest.