Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail

Isn't it funny the things we do as tourists.  We travel to the farthest of most beautiful places on the planets then an opportunity like this presents itself and you go like lemmings to the slaughter.  In spite of my travel experience and what some might say refined taste, I am a bit of a sucker for something like this.  So give yourself a break and jump in with both feet when silliness comes your way. 

The Cabot Trail is often referred as Nova Scotia's masterpiece.  It is a two lane road that loops the northernmost area of Cape Breton Island.  This approximately 400 mile  kilometer road is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean the Bay of Fundy, the  Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  The landscape is majestic with rugged stones, an abundance of wildlife, and this summer as I looked for a cool place to escape it was as warm as Florida.  That aside, it was first circumnavigated in 1497 by Giovanni Caboto a Venetian on the sailing ship Matthew employed by Henry the VII who left Bristol England searching for a way West to get to the orient.  Why they don't call it the Caboto Trail only attests to how the English established first dibs on everything even when the deeds were undertaken by other nationals.

In a remote corner of the Cabot trail, one of the few places where Caboto is acknowledged

The majesty of the landscape is equal in beauty to its namesake of Scotland.  The cliffs are windswept with abundance of exotic birds soaring and diving into a sea filled with whales and what used to be the richest bounty of fish in the planet.  The road snakes up and down cliffs through ravines exposing fishing villages and cobbled beaches with all manner of luxury or plain accommodations.  The following are a series of images taken throughout our journey as far as the Ingonish Campground in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

The Celtic Lodge on Ingonish Bay offered a great contrast to what we were experiencing camping in the rain with mosquitos buzzing left and right.  I took a break from my outdoor life and got dressed in my finest and went to have a delicious evening meal and cocktails in this beautiful dining room.   You have to treat yourself whenever you can!

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