Dingwall and Cape Breton Island

I think I have died and gone to heaven  We drove another long day to get to our destination, Cape Breton.   Little did we know that Cape Breton was largely populated by Scots.  Oh my.

The drive here was along the Trans Canada Highway, and it was, for the most part, a dull drive.  It is a long straight road that we have been traveling on since we arrived in Canada.  We did find ourselves driving on pink roads today so that was rather interesting.   I think they use a pink quartz that is readily available in this area.

road

The closer we got to Cape Breton, the more mountainous it became.  Very similar to the rolling hills of the SE states.  We could see the tops of the trees and since there were very little pine trees, the landscape reminded me a bit of broccoli.  Yup, the stuff you eat.  The trees were so tightly packed together it was like looking at a head of the green stuff.  We hear that the colors in the fall are magnificent.

dingwall-fishing-boats-nova-scotia3

We eventually made it to the Canso causeway that took us over to the island.   And what a pretty place.  There are gorgeous cliffs and blue water, and lots of quaint homes.   I noticed that signs were subtitled in Gaelic.   Gaelic???  What is up with that?   Then we saw McThis and McThat and I had hopes of seeing some McOhMy. Hmmm….I think I like this place.   Turns out that during the first half of the 19th century, Cape Breton Island experienced an influx of Highland Scots as a result of the Highland Clearances.  Today, the descendants of the Highland Scots dominate Cape Breton Island’s culture, particularly in rural communities. To this day, Gaelic is still the first language of many of the older residents.

imag0783

So when around the Scots….do what they like to do!   Head off to the nearest distillery.   We enjoyed a nice time here where there was good music and good drinks.  These two below were awesome with the music.   A beautiful and peaceful area and we enjoyed our stop here for lunch.

violin-players

We drove on the Cabot Trail which takes you through a huge park where we will be hiking tomorrow.  The roads are under construction in anticipation of  the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017.  We pulled up to an area and had this car in front of us.   Had not seen this before!

constuction-cars

Sooo…we followed him.   Good thing too, as there were a few tricky spots where we were close to the edge of the road.   This is a main road so I am sure the locals are just thrilled with all the construction.

dingwall-sign

We are staying at a the Channel Breezes B&B in Dingwall, which is close to the top of Cape Breton Island.  Home to approximately 600 permanent residents, it manages to attract tourists from all over the world.  Primarily a fishing village, it is located close to the Cabot trail, allowing easy access to hiking trails and great views.  They had a nice restaurant down the street where we enjoyed a fresh lobster dinner, one of my favorite meals.

lobster-dinner-dingwall

When we went back to the B&B we were greeted by this cutie on the stairs.

cat

Not sure if he is happy to see us or not!

dingwall-nova-scotia-moose-antlers

When we passed this house and I felt that a moose would surely be in our future!

Moose sightings:0

Scottish men in kilts sightings: 0

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