Day 17-20 Hilden & Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia   2 comments

Driving to Nova Scotia, we went off track a bit to help a guest, but we didn’t mind because we got to see the canola fields.

And what do you think about having to come down this street, straight ahead, in the winter.

As we traveled over one of the mountains, or hills, or whatever you want to call them, we hit fog! We could barely see the car in front of us. The whole time I’m thinking this isn’t good if we are going to do the Tidal Bore Raft trip the following day. We want to at least see the tide come in!

The town of Hilden had a lot to offer sight-wise, but we didn’t get to experience it because we opted for the Tidal Bore. Below is a photo “prior” to the tidal bore.

The tidal bore is a natural phenomenon which is seen in very few parts of the world. The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is noted for its extremely high tides, the highest in the world, and for its tidal bore.

As the ocean tide comes in, at the very head of the bay, the advancing tide becomes a wave varying from just a ripple to several feet in height, and this wave continues into and up the rivers which empty into the bay. This wave is referred to as the “Tidal Bore.” We saw the river change its direction of flow right before our very eyes, created by the tidal wave, or bore, flowing in over the outgoing river water.

The height of the tidal bore varies with the range of the tide. The range of the tide varies with the phases of the moon, the distance the moon and other factors.

We arrived in plenty of time to gear up for our tidal bore experience. We piled into 2 rafts. Corey was our captain, and was more “gentle” than our captain from the previous year. Corey was born and raised around the Shubenacadie River and says the tide comes in just over 30 knots. The river only travels about 12 knots going out, so that’s quite a change coming in!

The area where we rode the waves is known to the locals as the “washing machine” because of the cliff (referred to as someone’s nose – can’t remember the name) on one side, it produces a washing machine effect.

After we had enough of riding the tide (which was quite a bit), we went “mud sliding.” If you have never done it, you are missing out! The wetter you are, the faster you go! The mud is red and anything you are wearing is forever muddy red. We had so much fun! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pictures of that. Corey gave us an adventure we will never forget.

If you would like to see a video of a rafting trip, check out

I have now seen the 2 main things I wanted to see on this trip; St.Anne Basilica and The Bay of Fundy.

While driving to Annapolis Royal, we past half-way to the North Pole and Equator. What a weird feeling that is!

We also saw a few places where the tidal bore comes through.

The St.Croix River

The Avon River

As we topped a hill we had a beautiful view of the Minas Basin. In this area of the Bay of Fundy, the tide comes in at 50 feet in a very short period of time.

We stopped at the Grand Pre National Historic Park where we found out what really happened to the Acadians.

What a sad story. When we were at their Village in the New Brunswick, I thought when they were deported, they were deported “to” New Brunswick. But in actuality, they were deported “from” all of their settlements here in the “New World” down to the English colonies. Many of them settled in Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Louisiana. They tried to stay neutral which didn’t work out for them. The British didn’t trust them, and the French wanted them to choose their side. The British and New England troops launched the forced removal of the Acadian people from their homeland. Approximately 10,000 people were removed from Today’s Maritime Provinces. They burned down the villages to be sure that they would not return. They deported them back by boats to France. Many of them died at sea. Although the deportation officially ended in 1764, the Acadians searched for a new homeland for another 50 years.

In the 1920s, this Memorial Church was built on what is believed to be the ruins of the Acadian Church of Saint-Charles-des, Mines, established in 1687. It may have been destroyed during the deportation in 1755. The statute of Evangeline, heroine of Longfellow’s poem “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie” is a powerful emotive symbol of the deportation. It connects the story of Evangeline to the history of Grand-Pre.

This well, once used for watering livestock, was discovered in the late 1800s. Later excavations yielded a variety of iron artifacts. In the early 1900s, the well was promoted as “Evangeline’s Well,” in reference to Longfellow’s fictitious heroine.

When we pulled up to our campground we thought at first it was our “Wagonmaster” greeting us, only to find a “dummy.”

Garrison Graveyard tour by lantern at Ft. Anne.

It is the oldest graveyard in Nova Scotia. The oldest grave was a man who died at age 100 in 1720. Unfortunately it was too dark so you can’t read the inscription.

The second oldest grave was a child who died in 1729.

We were very lucky to have our tour led by Alan M. who is an Acadian descendent.

His ancestor was deported at age 71 with his 2 sons. They were put on a ship bound for S.C. and while in transit, they overthrew the ship. One of the sons came back to Nova Scotia area and hid out until after the war. Alan is a descendant of that son. Once the war was over, they still were not allowed to go to their big farm they once had. Instead, he left the Annapolis Royal area and settled about an hour’s drive away.

When the British had control of Ft. Anne they did not bury their soldiers in the cemetery as they didn’t want the people to know that they were dying off. Instead, they buried them in the mud on the shoreline, one of which surfaced in 1996. Many of the graves in the graveyard are no longer marked. The Acadians buried here are no longer marked as they used wooden headstones.

We spent our last day in Annapolis Royal at the Historic Gardens where we “stopped to smell the roses.”

In the gardens there is a German Bakery and a Garden Café where we enjoyed a delicious lunch, complete with a yummy dessert. German cooks are the best! Heiderose is from East Germany and is a master chef, third generation of bakers. She, her husband and daughter run the bakery and café.

On of our guests’ mother was from the very same town Heiderose was from. They had fun talking to each other in German and our guest was delighted to find “good” bread.

What a small world!

After lunch everyone crowded in to purchase their desserts to eat later, my guess is they’ll be enjoying their purchases at “happy hour.” All I can say is, it took them a long time to figure out what they wanted as there were so many choices.

Our tour of Fort Anne, built in 1702, proved to be very informative and interesting. The fort itself was a star shaped fort.

We discovered that the design was very well thought out. The fort itself was in a hole so that only the very top of the fort could be seen from the ground, so if they tried to shoot a cannon at it, they could not blast through the walls. The only way would have been to tunnel under the ground, which would have been nearly impossible without getting caught. The star design was also to make it more difficult for the enemy to blast through the walls if they were to be able to shoot at it.

I tried to take pictures so that you could see just how “hilly” the terrain is. I bet it would be fun to sleigh ride down these hills!

Inside the fort, houses a beautiful tapestry of four panels, depicting over 400 years of history in the Annapolis Royal area. There are 3.2 million stitches by over 100 volunteers.

Even Queen Elizabeth stitched part of the chain of the Queen’s gold necklace.

Our guests had a lot of fun dressing up

As we drove out of town, we passed by the oldest house in Annapolis Royal, built in the early 1700s.

As well as the oldest “working” courthouse in Canada.

Next on our list was Port Royal, where they have reconstructed a small French compound. It was home to one of the earliest European settlements on this continent, 1605. We had a wonderful guide who explained life as it was in the 1600s.

The Governor’s quarters were the nicest.

It survived until 1613 when it was destroyed in an attack by Captain Samuel Argall of Virginia. While the Acadians were up river tending to their fields, they came in and stole whatever they could use down in Virginia and burned what was left. The Acadians saw the smoke, returned to find nothing left. Luckily the Indians, the micmacs I think they were called, took them in (as they had become friends) until the following spring when they could rebuild what they lost.


2 responses to “Day 17-20 Hilden & Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

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