Monday, July 17, 2017

O Canada

Before I headed off to the Specola for a couple of weeks of science, cappuccino and gelato, Math Man and I went off to Canada on holiday, Cape Breton Island. We were there for Canada Day (the 150th), where Math Man was bemused by all the people wearing red in the little town park, waving tiny Canadian flags.  It seemed so...unCanadian to be so flamboyantly Canadian.  There were fireworks.

I saw a bald eagle, my first ever in the wild, 30 feet over my head on the 5th hole at the Highland Links golf course in Ingonish.

Parks Canada has put red Adirondack chairs out in national parks all over Canada to encourage people to sit and admire the view.  There is a nice view behind Math Man, but he is also facing a gorgeous view.  We are on a small peninsula poking out into the Atlantic.  Some of the red chairs are pretty remote, a couple even helicoptered in according the Park Ranger I met atop Mt. Franey, 1400 hard won feet above sea level.

Speaking of Mt. Franey, I climbed it while Math Man played 18 holes of golf on the course below.  There is a red chair on top of it, which I was determined to sit in. The trail is steep, and after the first half kilometer, quite rough.  I made it to the top, enjoyed the view, sat in the red chair and chatted up the ranger. How did the red chair get up there, I wondered. In pieces?  No, no, we drove it up the road.  Yep, that's how she got up there.  She drove.  (I couldn't have driven up the road, but I could have walked down it.)

Math Man and I hiked on the other side of Cape Breton Island, on the Mabou mine trail.  It follows a track that was used by carts (hard to imagine as it clung to the edge of the steep cliffs) to go from house to house. Not much sign of the houses left, except the occasional rose bush gone feral along the way.

And there was Tim Horton's. A red sprinkle donut.  O Canada!

5 comments:

  1. As a proud Canadian, I thoroughly enjoyed this post about a small corner of my country. So happy you had a great time!

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  2. Ceud mille failte to Nova Scotia, my corner of Canada! (though I was in Germany while you were here...)
    I was happy, in a way, not to be here for the Canada 150 celebrations due to the overtones of colonialism and a Eurocentric spin on history - they tended to ignore the fact that Canada's Indigenous People have been here many millennia longer than the meagre 150 years that was being celebrated.

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    1. Similar to our 4th of July...a sense of what, the place was inhabited when we arrived?

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  3. You bring back memories of two long-ago vacations to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Truly, God's country! I love the 'ordinariness' and humor in your storytelling!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, it was a place I could go back to again and again (and so could Math Man, for the golf alone)!

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