Canadian Maritimes - Summer 2015 travel blog

L'Hermione sails in

L'Hermione with fans


Mahone Bay

Mahone Bay

wine store




One of the largest tall ship replicas ever built sailed into Lunenburg today. The French ship L'Hermione is a replica of General Lafayette's 18th century ship that carried him to the United States from France to announce his country's support in the fight for independence. After crossing the Atlantic, L'Hermione began her journey up the east coast of the United States in June. The ship was led into the harbour by another famous replica — the Bluenose II. And we all sat on a hill overlooking the harbor, a short walk from the campground and enjoyed the spectacle. The 200 foot long French ship was completed in 2014, after 17 years of construction. The project cost $34 million dollars. The majority of the funds used to build the ship came from supporters and visitors to the shipyard who donated small dollar amounts at a time. She gave a 21 cannon salute, the fireboat shot a plume of spray, and the Bluenose hung back giving the L'Hermione center stage.

Then it was time to leave the campground, but we only had fifty miles to drive and the next campground was not ready for us. We paused in Mahone Bay, another cute town on the coast, pulled out our lawn chairs and read next to the peaceful water.

Now that we are in the big city of Halifax (population 390,000) we are getting a big city fix. We stopped at Costco, but the real treat was the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission store. Prices in Canada are high; liquor especially so. I haven't whined about it on this trip, because the US dollar is so strong, but we are glad that we stocked up on provisions in Maine before we left the US. But the NSLC has a special area where you can bottle your own wine and that makes the price per bottle much more reasonable. Before you bottle you can sample all the wines and decide which you like best. A case of empty bottles cost $4C and the wine was $7 - 8C. After copious sampling, we poured in the wine from a tap, affixed a label and smashed in a cork with a machine after the store staff gave us a lesson on how to do it all. It was the most fun cocktail party we've been to in a long time.

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