Nova Scotia / Canada Homepage - very good stuff


This is our Canada Tour Diary Homepage. First of all the idea of this trip started in September 2000. During a weekend visit of Axel at my Hotel in Fishkill,NY (I've been there for 5 weeks..work...) he mentioned Nova Scotia. 
Where the heck is Nova Scotia... thanks to out good education at school I knew it's not in the North Sea. I remembered the map I saw during my flight on the airplane:
Ok, it's north from New York and it belongs to Canada. All we knew was, that it should be a beautiful place to go. Friends from Canada told us. See these two great Homepages:
Well, that was our idea. That was our plan for 2001. 
Early 2001 we finally made a appointment for the time of year we plan to go. The date was August 17th when I will arrive in New York and Axel will pick me up and the trip will end around September 1st or 2nd.
Axel moved to the USA in October 1999 with his lovely wife Tatjana. She studies at the Princeton University. Smart girl I can tell you. 
Our plan is now to start Aug.18th and drive up to Canada and then to Nova Scotia.
We will take Axel and Tatjana's Jeep Cherokee 4L V6. But Tatjana can't come with us. We don't know if that is good or not :-) hehe Two germans in the wilderness of Canada.
Axel will carried his top of the art Laptop with him and between camping, driving, hiking we uploaded pictures and text. Now we will finish this site with all our information, our experiences we had.

Many greetings  Axel & Marc

If you have questions about Nova Scotia and travelling you can contact Axel & me !!!
Our trip:
1) Nova Scotia Welcome Center August 20th
2) Hostel in Pictou August 19th
3) Pleasant Bay Motel - Cape Breton August 20th
4) Several days hiking in the Cape Breton National Park
5) Hideaway Camping Cape North August 21st
6) Broad Cove Camping 2 days August 22nd+23rd
7) Louisbourg Historic Site August 24th
8) Quest Motel Antigonish August 24th
9) Halifax August 25th
10) Lunenburg August 25th
11) close to Halifax. Steffen & Kai's nice house, August 26th -> 28th
12) Kejimkujik National Park & Raven Haven Hostel, August 28th 29th
13) Digby, August 29th
14) Yarmouth, August 30th - 31st. The Cat Ferry to USA
Friday, August 17th 2001:
After a night in Offenthal (thanks Olav for the bed and breakfast), I (Marc) flew from Frankfurt with Iberia Airlines to Madrid. The flight from Madrid to New York was delayed due to a safety reason and I arrived almost 2 hours later than expected at JFK. Axel was waiting there for quite a while and we finally got stuck in the wonderful friday afternoon traffic jam down to Princeton,NJ. But after 2 1/2 hours we arrived and ended the day together with Axel's wife Tatjana with a BBQ Rib Dinner and some Margaritas. Hmmmm

The 747 in Madrid
Saturday, August 18th 2001
The Tour officially started at 9:22am from Princeton. 108903 miles are shown on the Jeep Cherokee tachometer. 
Equipped with a Dell Laptop, GPS Navigation System plus Software for the Laptop, Digital Camera {Canon S10}, Video Camera, Handspring Visor PDA and a Radar Detecor we were ready to hit the road. So we were guided by the GPS Navigation and thanks to the Radar Detecor no police caught us. Not that we were speeding but sometimes we were to slow to hit the brakes. 
Unfortunately there was a major traffic jam on our route I95 through NY City. That costs about 2 hours that were missing at the ewnd of the day. After several hours, 510miles through New Jersey, New York, Conneticut, Massachussetts and so on,  several Windows reboots of our laptop (it exactly crashed when we needed a route), we arrived in Bangor, Maine. Maine is a very green state. Lots of woods... 
See the Motel:
At the evening we checked in to Budget Inn Motel and had Dinner at a Ground Round Restaurant. We were pretty exhausted and fell to sleep fast, ready to start again the next day.
Sunday, August 20th 2001
After checking out at 7:30am and some breakfast at Dunkin Donuts we hit the road. We drove through Maine from Bangor to Calais. Again, we saw almost only GREEN:
In Calais.Maine we had coffee and some shopping. At 10:30am EST we crossed the border to Canada.
Arrived in Canada we were back to our usual measurements like Liter and Kilometer instead of gallons and miles. We saw the mystic Magnetic Hill where cars drive uphill without using the engine. 
That was funny. We also made jokes about our Radar Detector. We were not sure if those little gadgets are legal in Canada or not, because we heard from some people that they are totally illegal. Hmm, ok, so we drove through Canada and then in a sudden at around 3:30pm close to Sackville,New Brunswick a Police car followed us and drove by. Then he slowed down, drove behind us and started he lights. Well, that was it. He was very polite and he asked us if we are ok and so on. Then he told us that the Radar Detector is illegal and that he can seize the thing and give us a 144Dollar (Canadian) fine. Oooops, we were really shocked and he saw that we were surprised. So he took my german drivers license and Axels Car owner license and he gave us a warning. 
> See it here, the OFFICIAL TOUR TICKET <
So we removed the detector and moved on. . We also got a second warning Ticket later on in the Kejimkujik National Park on August 29th for speeding in a 20km/h zone. It was accidently, because we again mixed up with the MPH on the speedo instead... well, was just a warning. :-)
At the evening we arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is really wonderful. In Pictou we went to the Hostel in Church Street. Very nice, clean and located close to the Downtown of Pictou.
While we were waiting for the Hostel Owner to come back we went to a wonderful Restaurant called Fugere's
There we had our first Lobster. That was so delicious. We never had lobster before like that. It was really very good.

Here are we, dressed to eat :-)
After Dinner and evening in two nice Pubs in Pictou we had great night at the Hostel.
Monday, August 20th 2001
We found a place to connect to the Internet. http://www.cabottrail.com.
Today we hit the 110 000 miles with the Jeep. 
Here are two pics from Cape Breton National Park:

After all that driving the last days we finally arrived in the Cape Breton National Park.  Before that we visited a North Americas only Single Malt Whiskey Destillery. The Glenora Destillery.

Axel, who already spent a lot of time on Scotland and their Destilleries said, it was ok, but nothing compared to the original Scottish Destilleries. This one was established in 1989. So they had just offered their first 12 year old Whiskey.
In Pleasant Bay we checked out the Hostel first but there were already almost all beds booked and they were also pretty short. My (Marc) long legs wont be that comfortable in those small beds. So we took a Motel in Pleasant Bay just a few hundred meters away from the Internet Hostel. 
After checking in we went to the harbour and visited the Whale museum. We descided to make a whale watch tour the next day. At the eveing had a great Crab Dinner at the Black Whale Restaurant. There is not much to add. This day was a lot of driving and some sightseeing. The following days we will hike and enjoy the nature.
See the pics from the Motel and scenic view of the Bay.

Have fun... feel free to send us Emails:

Tuesday, August 21st 2001
We got up pretty early. We packed all our belongings and had a breakfast. We wanted to be early enough for the 9:30am Whale Watch Tour with Captain Mark. We paid $25 (canadian of course) per person and were very excited. We never saw whales before. Capt. Mark started the Tour . It was beautiful day. We saw some whales the day before from our Hotel, but far away. Today we will see at least some Pilot Whales. All the others are on their way to this area. But anyway, we can't wait to see our first whales.
Here is the boat

and the Captain Mark

and Axel :-)

and the whales

After the great Whalewatching we drove into the National Park and did our first hike. The MacIntosh Brook trail. 2.8km with a waterfall and some off trail hiking.

Then, after our first sweating trail we drove to a even longer one, the Beulach Falls North Aspy trail with 9.6km. It took us 2 hours and 4minutes. It was only uphill and we made around 200m height difference. Not bad. We were very exhausted but happy. See the pics:

After all that we drove to the Cape North Hideaway Camping. It was a very very clean and wonderful campground. We can highly recommend it. We had dinner at a nice restaurant in Cape North. That was our first hike day. See pics from the campground:

We and some Glenlivet Whiskey
Wednesday, August 22nd 2001 to Saturday August 27th

We still had no Internet connection since last weekend, so we decide to skip those days and add all the pics from the hikes later when we are back. We will just make a small update now. Overall, Nova Scotia is great. We enjoy every day. People are friendly and the nature is fantastic. We saw Moose, Bald Eagle, Pilot Whales, Fox, Frogs, Snakes and we heard Coyotes at night. While driving we saw a LOT of trees. For hundreds of miles:

After hiking and visiting the french Fortress Louisbourg we drove down to Antigonish and then to Halifax. Well, in Halifax were no room available so we decided to go on to Lunenburg. That was a great decision. It's is the oldest german settlement in North America. 
Lunenburg is the home of the undefeated Schooner BLUE NOSE II. More later. 
We had our second Lobster at the OLD FISH FACTORY. It was soooo delicious. It was not cheap but it was worth it. Here we also met two other guys from germany. Steffen and Kai from Osnarbrueck. We all went to the nice Pub 'The Knot'. See the picture below:
Kai and Steffen invited us to their beautiful house close to Halifax. We thank them sooooo much. That is so great. After we met again in Lunenburg and having another delicious Dinner at the Old Fish Factory we had a BBQ at their house. Today Axel and Kai, they are both addicted to fishing, go to the nice lake  at the house and they try to catch some fish.
We will finaly update this page back in germany. But for now we can say that Nova Scotia, the people and the nature is great. We can highly recommend this place in the Atlantic where Moose, Coyotes, Bears, Whales and so on are home. Axel and I will spend the next days here and enjoy this place. We will return this coming weekend. Perhaps we are able to update again. Anyway... Many greetings from us to the rest of the world.
Saturday, September, 1st 2001 1:50pm
Axel and I arrived back in Princeton,NJ. After two weeks, 4hours and 28 minutes we were back on the parking lot. Our last two days were still great. Nova Scotia is sooooo wonderful. We stopped in the Kejimkujik National Park, Digby and then in Yarmouth. Here we took "THE CAT" to Bar Harbour, Maine. "THE CAT" is a Katamaran ship which cruises across the atlantic with impressing 55MPH. So it only took us 3 hours 20 minutes and we saved many miles with the car.
See the pic of the ship:
Then, back in the USA, we stopped for a night in the a real Hotel. The Fairfield Inn in Tewksbury close to Boston. We were so tired and hungry. 
The best thing was, they had a OUTBACK Steakhouse close to this Hotel. So we went there and had excellent Prime Rib's with a Bloomin Onion. After two weeks with almost just Seafood this was a great alternative. We loved it.
Today we finally arrived. Yeah. 2715 miles later. It was a great time. We will be back there in Canada. Perhaps also with diary. Ok, we had not much time to update this site, but all the Campgrounds and Hotels had no Phonelines... That was relaxing :-)
We met very nice people and had such wonderful experiences. Here is our final pic, we are again wearing our selfmade Tour Shirts. A glass of rum in our hands. Hmmm. Check back soon for a complete update with pics and complete Diary of the tour. C ya

Axel & Marc

Tuesday, September 4th 2001
Ok, on sunday, Sept.1st I took the Shuttle Airporter to JFK in NY. It was good idea from Axel, because traffic due to Labor Day weekend was pretty bad. The American Airline Terminal is not looking very nice. Also the cooperation Airlines with AA are Iberia (spain), LOT (poland), African Air and some other. All names that are not very well known for the best Airlines service. When I arrived the line on the Iberia counters was long. Not too long, but already pretty long. Only four check In counters were opened. So it took a while. They opened some more counters later on when the line was extending too much. When I checked in I got my boarding pass and the info that boarding time is 5:35pm. Ok. I went for a beer at bar and waited. When The time came I waited in line for the boarding on gate 22. There was NO scren showing the flight details or anything what is going on there on the gates, NOTHING
I finally found out that this was not the flight to Madrid, it was the fligth to Barcelona. My flight was delayed til 9pm. Hey, great. Nobody told me 1 1/2 hours before while checking in. Damn Iberia. Ok. I finally went to the information/ticket booth and some other pepople got even worse problems. When I asked whats going on, the woman looked surprised that I was asking. Hey. Nobody told me about the delay. Also my connecting flight to Frankfurt was a different one now. She finally told me. Great. 3 hours delay. A different connecting flight. I asked for my luggage and she said it will arrive in Frankfurt. Right, but will it arrive with me ? That would be the question. I changed my rental car appointment.
At the end the flight had 3 1/2 hours delay. The crew was totally unfriendly, the dinner and breakfast was also terrible and I barely got my connceting flight due to again unprofessional Iberia Staff in Madrid. My luck during the flight was that I had a nice and funny old man sitting next to me and our middle seat was empty, so that we were able to stretch our legs.
When I arrived in Frankfurt I had NO luggage (like several others) but two rental cars ( Hertz screwed it up in a good way :-) I was able to chose between two cars. hehe
Today is Tuesday, almost wedneday. I made several calls to the lost and found counter in Frankfurt and Stuttgart. All I know is, that my luggage is already in Stuttgart, but they were not able to deliver it already. i am in a little stress now, because on wednesday I wanted to drive to my parents, brother in Hanover. That has to wait now. I will hopefully get my luggage on wednesday. I was still lucky. I only paid around $430 USD for my roundtrip with Iberia. Others, I found out, paid up to $1500 USD for the same flight . I'd rather pay that much when it is a Lufthansa flight or better in business class. I can definitly NOT RECOMMEND IBERIA. Only when you don't care about service, food, friendly crew you can save a few hundred bucks.. I had 2 1/2 hours delay on my lfight from germany to NY and 3 1/2 hours delay on the flight back. Is together 6 hours. And from what I heard from spanish people and other friends  this is used to be normal with Iberia. 
Spend some bucks more, I can recommend Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines (best), Swissair, Scandinavian, KLM, Northwest, Continental, Air France, Alitalia, even Delta (was also not the best but better than Iberia).
Also, when you go to Canada make sure you have enough money to change, Traveller checks or Visa Card. I had Mastercard and this card is not very well accepted all over Canada. Visa is a better choice. Mastercar still works, but not everywhere.
See some pics from Cape St. Mary close to Yarmouth

more soon...