Sunday Drivers - The Holy Tour and Lighthouse Extravaganza 2013

Laur woke up this morning and said, "Why not Yarmouth?" To which I replied, "Yaaaarr! Why not?"

So, we packed some sammiches and headed off into the wild grey yonder.  It's been very rainy here the past couple weeks, and today was no exception.  But for a few blissful sun breaks, we spent the day tiptoeing through the raindrops.

As always, you can click on the photos for a larger version.

We followed the yellow route.

We started our journey on the 101, stopping at the Lequille Country Store for a few provisions - namely some Pop Shoppe (pineapple...mmmmm!) and dried meat (jerky and a piece of garlic sausage).  We continued on 101 to Weymouth, our most southerly destination thus far, at which time we jumped onto scenic highway #1 and The Acadian Shores.  We quickly came to the realization that the Catholic Church was very important to the Acadian settlers (duh!).  And thus began The Holy Tour - 2013 edition!

St. Bernard. Constructed 1910-1942.
Weymouth, NS.
Église Sainte-Marie, Church Point, Nova Scotia, Canada

You are standing in front of the largest wooden church in North America.  Leo Melanson, a local Acadian, masterminded its construction from blueprints of a stone church in France - Yet Leo could not read or write!  This azmasing structure was built between 1903 and 1905 with the help of 1500 volunteers.

(It's not actually crooked on the right side there, I merely messed with the perspective tool.  Badly.)

Église Sacré-Coeur in Saulnierville. We did not go inside, but there are tons of amazing photos of the interior online. We'll get some of our own on our next trip down (not on a Sunday at 11am!).

Église St Alphonse in Bear Cove.

Our first lighthouse of the day!
Being somewhat famished from our hour's drive, we stopped for a crème glacée at Chez L'Ami in Church Point - all enjoyed a vanilla/chocolate twist dipped in chocolate.
Not far from the ice cream stand was this building. Looks like an old school.  We've been bookmarking places to which we'd like to return, and this is one of them.
From a plaque at the park:
"This cove has had many names throughout the years. Pere Degnaud, a historian and writer, often referred to this location as L'Anse aux Hirondelles, or Swallow's Cove... the name has been used in songs and poetry.

Comeau Cove is the official name for this location that is listed in the Royal Gazette, making reference to the large number of Comeau famileis living around the cove.  The name for the cave itself given by the locals is Le Fourneau.  In early Acadian fireplaces, special compartments in which bread was baked were also described by this word...

Smugglers Cove is the most common name, a reminder of the cove's running connection during the Prohibition."

"As the legend goes, the sea carved cave was well hidden in the cove, making it an ideal spot for rumrunners to hide contraband liquor during Prohibition in the United States.

The cave itself is about fifteen feet high and runs to an approximate distance of 60 feet inland before coming to an abrupt stop.

Ironically, one of the most interesting lures of the cave is not a natural one. Initials, names and dates of various explorers from different years are engraved into the rock.

Oddly enough some of the engravings are up to fifteen feet from the ground. It is not know if these were engraved while in a small rowboat or whether the pounding surf has eroded the floor of the cave during the years."

To take this photo, I crept through a barrier which explained that the trail was closed due to "active erosion". From the state of the roiling water, it's easy to see why!  I plan to return one day soon, at low tide, to investigate the cave.
Cape Mary's light.
"The ugliest lighthouse in Nova Scotia" - Laura
On our way to Cape Forchu we passed Stanley's.  After watching the lobster gently move the starfish out of its way in yesterday's video, I've been rethinking my lobster-eating habit. I think I'm turning into a lily-liver.
We passed several sandy public beaches on our way to Cape Forchu.  This however, was not one of them!  Nova Scotia is almost entirely hemmed by a barren-rock coast line.  This was taken at Cape Forchu itself, with the lighthouse right behind me.

On our way up to the light, there were several old-style lobster traps set about for people to look at.  A careful examination by The Boy did not yield any lobsters, however.
The light, light station house and residences at Cape Forchu.

The lightkeeper's (and lightkeeper's assistant) residence has been turned into a museum and tea shop.  This plaque was in the museum and I took a photo for obvious reasons.

There has been passenger ferry service between Yarmouth and Massachusetts for decades.  The Cat service was scheduled to be reinstated this year after a several-year absence.  However the provincial government scuttled this plan at the 11th hour. As you can imagine, the service was very important to the entire province and the decision to discontinue service was described by many as "mind-boggling".
On our way out of Cape Forchu, I stopped at the wharf and asked where one might acquire some discarded line from the fishing boats. The gentleman operating the forklift pointed to a fishing tub across the road and said he'd just thrown some away that very morning and that I was welcome to it.  Hurray!   I got a couple hundred feet of good rope from which I intend to make a few recycled, weather resistant door mats for outdoor use.  That was my first taste of Nova Scotia generosity of the day.

In retrospect I should have offered him some money for the rope, and I should start carrying some cash on our adventures for that very reason.  I've given it some thought - I'll make a prolong and give it to him next time we're down that way.

The second tasted happened when we stopped in at the tourist information building in Yarmouth. I've been looking for the 2006 Nova Scotia Atlas for some time now (2006 being the most recent) as it's a comprehensive road map for the province. It retails for $50 and I'd been having a hard time with the GeoNova website from which it can be ordered. The wonderful ladies at the info centre allowed me to use their computer to complete the transaction (using the GeoNova website is a whole other frustrating story), but in passing indicated that they had one atlas (1992) which was scheduled for replacement by the newer spiral bound 2006 version.   Apologizing to me for it's age, and indicating it may no longer be accurate, they offered the older edition to me.  I enquired as to it's cost and they told me that because of its age, it would likely be recycled and that I should just take it.  Free. Gratis. No charge.  Wow! We now have a really great road map for our Sunday Adventures! Thank you Nova Scotia Tourism!! 

We spent but a brief hour in Yarmouth before a niggling doggy guilt turned our tires homeward.  After a day of scouting future day-trips, both Boy and I were exhausted and fell asleep on the 1.5 hour drive home.  Later in the evening, The Boy was adamant that Laur had also fallen asleep on the way home, but the pristine condition of both ourselves and Ingrid (the car) proved him otherwise!

With our list of PTRs (Places to Revisit) growing weekly, we'll continue Sunday Drivers with an new episode next week. Stay tuned!

Oh, and congratulations Mooseheads!!


  1. Nice I love the oldness of Nova Scotia.

    1. It's amazing to think that Nova Scotia has the oldest continually inhabited settlement in North America - Annapolis Royal has had people for well over 400 years! Crazy!!