This is our last Canadian port of call and we are being tendered the long distance from the ship to the port; Florie and I were among the first on the tender and just before we cast off, a lady who was sat in front of us, told us that her husband had forgotten his cruise card and was still on the ship so he had to go back to the cabin for it, why she had got on the tender without him I don’t know, but her husband didn’t have a tender boarding card and he didn’t have a tour ticket as his wife had it in her bag on the tender so he wasn’t going anywhere, we don’t know what happened after that.
Once we got on the rain drenched dock of Cape Breton Island we went across to our coach that was taking us to explore the Bras d’Or lakes region, our coach tour took us alongside the St Andrews Channel on a tree lined road with lots of drives going up to houses in amongst the forest, to our right we got intermittent views of the lake; on our hour’s drive to Iona the Highland Village.
Pic View from Iona
Which consisted of a historical recreation of houses on the island inhabited by the immigrants from Scotland in the 1700’s they have recreated everything from a crofters cottage to present day buildings, a very interesting experience ending in complimentary coffee and homemade biscuits being served, there was a film of the community and how they lived singing songs and speaking Gaelic which they do to this very day, even their road signs are in Gaelic, we were lucky here because it had stopped raining just before we arrived here but then all of us in the coach were delayed here fifteen minutes by three inconsiderate people being late back to the coach.
Pic Breton Ferry
We left there and took the road to Baddeck on the other side of St Andrews Channel on the way we had to take a ferry across the water to meet up with the Canadian 105 highway that runs the length of the Island to North Sydney, but we were stopping off at Baddeck a picturesque little village of 800 souls (without visitors) in the forest, on the banks of the Channel, there is a main street with cafes restaurants post office souvenir shops and official buildings,
Pic Wet Baddeck
unfortunately it was raining again when we arrived, we were dropped here to explore the area, we found a coffee shop that sold fresh fruit scones that were delicious and they had nice coffee too; the main claim to fame here is that Alexander Graham Bell lived hear a lot of his life and is buried in the town, there is a Museum but unfortunately we were not on the tour that went there.
Soon we were back in the warm dry coach on our way to a viewpoint on our way back to the port so that we could take photo’s there, yes we did stop and yes two misguided people got out to take photos of the mist in the heavy rain, the stop was a useful as a lighthouse in the desert; we were soon on our way back to the dock again, when we arrived there three other coaches had arrived before us so the dock was full of people stood in the rain waiting to get on tenders to their respective ships, a long cold wet unpleasant experience.
Having said that about the weather, our tour guide was excellent giving us the background to the islands population based as it is on ancient Scottish language and customs, seemingly more than the Scot’s in the UK at the present time; so it was a memorable day overall and back on aboard our ship we were now starting our long journey back across the Atlantic Ocean.
Don all dried out