Trekking Tales: Quick quips in Nova Scotia

Quick as a wink, she had the solution: "I can mix them together!"

We were having our first meal in Nova Scotia, after leaving the ferry from Port aux Basque, NL, and had checked into our comfy B&B in North Sydney.

“A place nearby has good fish’n’chips,” said our hostess, “and you can walk easily there since you won’t have your rental car until tomorrow.” Perfect.

“Drinks?” asked the attractive young waitress.

“I’d like milk,” requested John.

“One per cent or two per cent is what we have,” she said.

“No three per cent?” responded John with an audible sigh.

Quick as a wink, she had the solution: “I can mix them together!”

The following day we visited Louisbourg Fortress, reconstructed back to the French city of 1745. Despite its being mid-September, a few players dressed in period costume still stood guard, welcomed us into their places of business and roamed the streets.

“It’s a bit windy today,” one of us said to a couple of ladies walking by, their long dresses and shawls being blown around them.

“It’s a great day for drying the laundry,” responded one, pointing to a clothes line behind one of the stone houses.

Our route took us on a wonderfully scenic route encircling Bras d’Or Lakes and passing through Big Pond, home of the late great Canadian singer, Rita McNeil. Our waitress had time to tell us of the shock through the employees of the Tea House at her unexpected demise during surgery. Speaking of “shock”, John and I had been there with other friends on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I’m sorry to be so distracted,” that waitress had said at the time, “but we’ve just heard the most dreadful news on the radio.” So much changed that sad day…

On a lighter note, as we continued looping Cape Breton Island, we closed in on Cheticamp a couple of days later. Here, a sign caught our eyes.

“Tourist Traps” it read, advertising an array of lobster traps for sale.

Back on the eastern side of the island at Baddeck a day later, we visited the museum exhibiting the history and amazing array of inventions and interests of Alexander Graham Bell whose stately home, now a museum, overlooks Bras d’Or Lakes.

We asked one of the Park’s attendants how to pronounce its name: “Beinn Bhreagh”.

After telling us, she explained, “The Gaelic alphabet has only 18 letters, thus many letters have to be added to provide a variety of sounds. My name is Jocelyn,” she added, “but Gaelic has no ‘J’ so my grandmother called me ‘Chocelyn’.”

Then came her clincher: “Don’t try to pronounce Gaelic words – or you’ll hurt yourself!”

Amazingly, in his studies of speech, inventor Bell trained a dog to say: “How are you, Gramma?” We heard the recording and the words were certainly recognizable. Grandma’s response was not recorded!

At the Citadel in Halifax where the help, like those in Louisbourg, are dressed in uniform to suit their jobs and the history of that fort. Thus, 78th Highlanders Regiment are part of the scene.

“If the wind blows any harder,” commented Joan with a wicked grin as a gentleman led a tour group past us, “we’ll find out for sure what Scottish men wear under their kilts!” Sadly for us gals, the wind, our constant companion throughout the Maritimes, remained gentle that afternoon.


We loved meeting Acadians, and were constantly amazed that, with a glance, they knew whether to speak English or French. Switching back and forth between two conversations, they never muddled their languages. And friendly smiles were always part of either one.



Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing senior couple found

A senior couple from the Lower Mainland have been reported missing

Clearwater RCMP weekly police report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 41 calls for service over this past week

Editor, The Times:

Proportional Representation Debate?

Hospice campaign goes into seventh year

Lights to Remember raises funds for needed training of Hospice members

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Most Read