Flying in an airplane for hours is not my idea of a fun way to spend my time, but that is what I did today. I have been vacationing in Nova Scotia, Canada for the past week with my sister and her husband, Stu. He is one great guy. My going along makes his job harder. He makes our travel plans with airline reservations and rental car. He makes sure our luggage gets where it needs to be and that we all get to the gate where we need to board.
Our trip began in Atlanta at the busiest airport in the world. We flew to Toronto, Canada where we had an hour and a half to connect to our flight that took us to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was unanimous among the three of us. Toronto airport is not very well organized.
Once we arrived in Halifax and loaded into our rental car, we drove to a hotel for the night. That was when I began my love affair with Canadians. No one seemed surprised when I asked for a chemical free room with no scented products. Unlike American hotels where the artificial smell of chemical fragrance hits me like a brick to the head, the Canadian hotel had no odor at all. My room was very clean and had not been sprayed with "air freshener" so I slept well.
On a trip out of the country we must have our passport up to date and be sure our bags don't contain anything that is not allowed. Since I don't fly that often, I need instructions and some help to be sure I don't cause any trouble with the security folks. Gay, my sister, knows the rules and teaches me what to do.
|View of Bras d'or Lake from restaurant in Baddeck where I ate fresh halibut fried to perfection. Seafood chowder is a popular item on almost all menus. I had scallops, fish, and a whole lobster during my week there.|
We had to go through immigration so we stood in line for a half hour until an airline employee came by and asked if anyone needed to make a connecting flight. Once she realized that we were going to be late, she rushed us along and we made our flight, barely.
I remembered there was a hospital in Halifax for those with chemical sensitivities such as I live with. Throughout the week we were all impressed with the cleanliness of the house we rented and the places we visited, while none of them smelled of synthetic scents. The ALTA hotel at the Halifax airport where we stayed Monday night, a modern futuristic building, had no odors in the elevators or hallways, nor in our rooms. We were told that only sanitizers were used in the rooms, not artificial fragrances to cover smells. I could breathe safely.
As I have felt in the past when visiting Canada, I hope, if I come back in another life, I come back to live in Canada, preferably in the Canadian Rockies or in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick.
We stayed in a rural area of Cape Breton Island, above Baddeck in a house right on the water. At night I opened my window to hear the waves lapping on the rugged shore. Far over the water we could see a blinking lighthouse The only sound other than the waves was the wind whistling around the corners. The only light was the moon streaming across the black expanse of lake.
The house had beds and a bath in the loft where sun spilled in through a skylight. The entire living and dining area looked out through floor to ceiling windows giving a view of endless water that opened to the Atlantic Ocean. My bedroom on the first floor held a most comfortable bed that begged me to climb in each night and held me captive in the morning even after I woke up.
|Here I am under an apple tree, little green apples all over the ground, bright flowers bloomed all over the place, in pots and wild along the roadside.|
If I could have, I would have stayed another week or a month. The peacefulness of that place and the friendly people we met in restaurants and shops convinced me that those who make their home on this island are very lucky folks. Though the economy is not too good in that far north country, they enjoy life by making and listening to their own kind of music, Gaelic or Celtic, made with piano, guitar, and fiddle. The fiddle is king and the kids learn to play when they are very young. I could not keep my feet still as a pretty dark haired girl and a boy entertained at the Red Shoe Pub. Those memories will stay with me for a long time.
|We spent an hour at the Glendora Distillery where these men made mighty fine music. The fiddler first played piano. The musicians pound the floor with one foot, hard, no matter what instrument they play. It seems to be an important part of this kind of music. |
Click on this link to hear some Cape Breton Fiddle music .