East Coastal Drive, Day 15, The Cabot Trail

The reason I had booked a hotel in Sydney was because I wanted to take the pugs to the Fortress of Louisburg – another national historic site. Now, I knew they would not allow pets in. But my hope was to get a photo of the fortress replica in the background. But the gates were not anywhere near the village. So I opted to spend extra time on the Cabot Trail.

For our morning walk we went down to the boardwalk. I could see The Big Fiddle in the distance and figured I would bring the stroller.

Raisin made it to the fiddle statue. We took our time. I stopped to get a sunrise photo because the clouds were moving in. Not the greatest foreground but you can’t control the sun.

The Big Fiddle is an 18 ton metal statue commemorating the role fiddle music and Celtic music has played in Cape Breton. It was created by Sydney artist Cyril Hearn over an 18 month period.

Canada Coast Guard ship was docked beside the fiddle.

After breakfast we headed out for the Cabot Trail. However, we stopped to look at one of the Bras d’Or lakes – called Canada’s Inland Sea, because of it’s mixture of salt and fresh water.

We entered the Cabot Trail by St. Ann’s so we would be going up the Atlantic side. I was so excited but the pugs seemed rather indifferent.

Our first stop was The Gaelic College (The Royal Cape Breton Gaelic College) It was founded in 1938 to promote the traditions of immigrants from Scotland.

The woman at the visitors center gushed over the pugs (Eve had chosen to stay in the car). I asked about a coffee and she pointed out where the refectory is for the students. We took a walk and the person was kind enough to give me a coffee to go.

If I ever wanted to learn Highland Step Dancing, this is the place I’d come. Next it was Ingonish Beach in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. There is a board walk and dogs were welcome. The beach is located just inside the park entrance.

I think Greta enjoyed the feel of the sand. She wasn’t running back to the boardwalk

They didn’t seem keen on going near the waves so we walked down the boardwalk a found a little platform for a photo op of the beach in the other direction.

I wanted to stop at Cape Smokey, the highest point on the island. I did it with Dublin and Raisin back in 2016. However there was construction leading up to it. It was down to one lane so we had to wait for the oncoming traffic to go by. That is Cape Smokey at the top.

The lookout points were not open because of the traffic having to wait and go. However I did stop at one lookout and Raisin offered to pose for the grand moment.

Now we headed up the coast to Cabot’s Landing Provincial Park. You may remember this picture from our 2019 trip in Bonavista, Newfoundland. It commemorates John Cabot and the site where he landed there.

Well, Cabot’s Landing also claimed that he landed in this spot in Nova Scotia with his son.

I figured we would just follow John Cabot about the Atlantic provinces.

The local historical society was adamant that this, “First Land Seen”, was the spot.

The Canadian Government admits there is no direct written evidence, but that could have been somewhere near here.

I thought this was the best spot to initiate Greta into the “Dipping of the Paws Into the Ocean” ritual. If the place was good enough for John Cabot, then it is okay for Greta. This will be Raisin’s 3rd time in the Atlantic. Eve did not want to participate. I decided to video the experience. No pugs were harmed in the making of this video.

Raisin went first and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I had put Greta back on the sand, I looked around and there was no Raisin. She had headed back on her own to the waves. I mislabeled the video. It is Cabot’s Landing beach.

We were going to be camping at Cheticamp campground on the Gulf side. I had got a notice that there was a lobster festival happening on the island and that different restaurants were preparing traditional and non-traditional meals. There was one in Cheticamp town, L’abri Cafe, that was offering lobster sliders. Went there for lunch before going to the campsite.

It turned out that the campsite I had booked did not have a fireplace. It was the first time that has happened. We walked over to the visitor centre and more gushing over the pugs. She explained that they weren’t very busy and I could switch my site for one with a fireplace. It was even better than the first one.

Drove back to Cheticamp for dinner. Decided to try the Harbour restaurant. They were not very busy and she gave me a table by the window.

Had a small spinach salad and the Seafood Sensation dinner – scallops, shrimp and pan fried haddock, mashed potatoes, veggies and cole slaw

All in all it was quite an invigorating day. The pugs were soon sound asleep. I had bought a new air mattress in Saint John to replace the broken one. I didn’t realize it was actually 2 single mattress. I put them side by side. However, I didn’t put enough air in them. Both Greta and Eve ended up sleeping in the crack between them. Raisin had crawled under the mattress and slept there. Tomorrow we head for Lunenburg.

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