Thursday 8 February 2018

Planning Summer 2018: Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

In the past, we've only blogged trips on Little Rabbit's Planning. After a couple of days of migraine-inducing marathon planning for Summer 2018, I set myself a limit of 1 hour/day and decided to blog the process.

From Wikipeda: Main Street from the reconstructed part of Louisbourg Fortress.

Louisbourg Fortress looks to be Nova Scotia's prime attraction: the recommendation is to allow between 4 hours and several days to experience it. It is the site of an 18th-century French fortified town and commercial port, one quarter of which has been reconstructed. Also around Louisbourg is a particularly pretty lighthouse on some nice coastline. We're just going to get there as soon as we can, and leave around closing time, which is at 17.00. 

I don't have to do too much planning for this, as the site itself provides you with everything you need. We will probably take a guided tour (hopefully in French), look around a bit on our own, then start on the local walking trails. We will get lunch on the site, but I'm leaving it open whether we go for the amusing, but possibly gimmicky 18th-century tavern option, or the more modern sandwich shop. I do think the tavern's pain perdu could be worth a try.

  • 7.00 - Breakfast is included at our hotel
  • 8.30 - 10.45 - Drive from the hotel to the Fortress of Louisbourg: allow 2 hours 15 minutes, 170 km. I think our best move is to get this over with as quickly as possible, but if we leave early enough, we can make a short stop at St Peter's Canal National Historic Site which is free, and opens at 8.00.
  • 10.45 - Arrive at Louisbourg Fortress National Historic Site. The entrance fee is $17.60 each, opening hours are 9.30 to 17.00. After that, we see everything at the fortress, have lunch, take some local walks, and generally take full advantage of the place. Some of the trails, such as the Ruins Walk, are inside the park, but others, such as the Lighthouse Trail are across the harbor. Depending on time/weather we might do this before or after the fortress, BUT note that there is a 20 minute drive between them.
  • 17.00 - 17.50 - Drive to the supermarkets outside North Sydney, as we need to stock up on some food: allow 50 mins, 61 km.
  • 17.50 - 18.50 - Allow one hour for shopping. You never know, it might take that long!!
  • 18.50 - 20.00 - Drive from the supermarkets to the accommodation: allow 1 hour, 10 mins, 87 km. We might detour via the Englishtown Ferry, but this doesn't make a whole lot of difference to the time, though it knocks 20 km off the drive.
  • 20.00 - Arrive at the 'tents'. I was drawn to these because I somehow imagine that the night will be crystal clear, and that I'll get in some star-gazing (before the moon comes up 22.47) while enjoying a romantic picnic supper on the beach. We'll see what the weather has to say about that plan. There do not appear to be any cooking facilities at this place, which is a tiny downside, and means that the picnic supper will have to be cold. At any rate, these wooden 'tents' are very inexpensive, if rather basic. NOTE TO SELF: I still have to do some fiddling with this reservation. I need to cancel one day, which is a shame, and I need to ask them to give us a bed linen package, since this is not their standard option.

Obviously, this is another very long day. If it turns out that we leave Louisbourg a little earlier, and don't spend too long in the supermarkets, so much the better. 

TOTAL DRIVING TIME/DISTANCE: 4 hours 15 mins, 318 km
SIGHTSEEING TIME: about 5 hours

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