Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
7Trip End Aug 03, 2008
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Fort Anne (or Port Royal, depending on whether you are English or France) exchanged hands between the French and the English about 7 times, and 13 battles took place there. It is one of the most contested pieces of land in Canada. The first Europeans to lay claim to Nova Scotia were the French. Then, England sent some Scottish settlers (hence the name, Nova Scotia), who only stayed for about 3 years before France was given back claim to the land. A group of French settlers eventually formed a large group of people called the Acadians. During the 1700s and 1800s, there was a lot of fighting between the English and French for the place because it was a key stop in the fur trade, etc. Eventually England got the place, and the Acadians were deported to the American colonies. Many of them headed from there to French-ruled Louisiana, and that is where we get the word "Cajun." Who knew I would learn so much Nova Scotian history?
The graveyard tour was of the oldest English graveyard in North America (with the oldest stone being from 1720). There were actually Acadians buried there even earlier, but for markers they used wooden crosses, that had since rotted away. The tour was lead by the head of the Annapolis Royal historical society, who was actually a wonderful tour guide, and we learned a lot about Annapolis Royal history, and gravestone art. We enjoyed the tour so much, we ended up heading back to Annapolis Royal the next day to explore the fort and the graveyard in the light of day. We also went to our tour guides Acadian tour, but I didn't feel like I learned that much new stuff after visiting the Fort. After lunch, we decided to head south of Digby to Yarmouth, and took another drive down the coast. We stopped to see the largest wooden church in North America, founded in 1799, Saint Marie's Parish. We found a nice swimming beach (I believe the town was called Saint Mary's Cape) with actual SAND on it, and spent some time there. This beach also had some interesting river type things that cut through the beach. Both of these stops were in the French speaking county of Clare. We made it down to Yarmouth by dark, although it was a bit disappointing. They did have a TACO BELL, which I was very excited about. But Gabe is on a mission to eat seafood at every meal, so we went to a Brewery restaurant called Rudders, that was actually quite nice, and had live music as well. After dinner, we drove back to Digby, slept, ate breakfast, and boarded back on the ferry.
I think Gabe and I are both agreed that we had a better portion of our trip doing the adventurous type things over in New Brunswick than here in Nova Scotia. However, we were told that the East coast of the country is better to visit than the West. All in all, we are sorry to have to start the trek home and wish we could go on another week of vacation...somewhere warm . Gabe claims that he can sit still for the long, but I'm not convinced. :-)