Monday, September 28, 2009

Historic Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Monday, August 31, 2009

Woke up to a picture perfect day, just in time for our visit to the Louisbourg Fortress. After a late start but a hardy breakfast we set off for the fort. The actual nearby town of Louisbourg had clearly seen better days. However, it was charming in a needing a second coat of paint sort of way. Anyhow, the fortress was great. It was sort of a Canadian version of a Williamsburg in Virginia. The staff were all dressed in period costumes and spoke accordingly. We learned about its history and of course the battles fought outside the walls between the French and English forces. One must still marvel at the bravery of the British troops as they must have faced a withering fire approaching the walls.
One of the demonstrations we watched was the firing of a long cannon. Obviously they fired a blank, but regardless, was it ever loud. One can only imagine what it must have been like when a hundred or more of these, on both sides, were going off. No wonder battles back then were so chaotic. The soldiers and sailors were deafened by the sound of the explosions. Nobody could hear a thing. It was every man for himself because anybody shouting orders would be wasting his breath.
We had a long conversation with the village blacksmith and watched while he made hooks and other pieces that were used by the establishment or sold in the gift shop. Standing in his workshop I thought about building a similar forge in Arizona. For years I have collected ore bearing rocks from the various mines I have visited. One of these days I'd like to smelt it all down and pour my own metal. That would be awesome.
After several hours wandering up and over the battlements we stopped in a restaurant and had a terrific authentic 18th century meal. Fresh haddock, carrots and potatoes. It was great. We were given one large pewter spoon for the entire meal. We had to cut the fish with it as well as use it for the vegetables and soup. We sat at a long common table and were served by women dressed in outfits of the day. Truly, one of the best meals I've had anywhere on this trip. And that's no fish story.
All in all we had a great day. Around five o'clock we had to leave to get on the shuttle that brought us back to the visitor center.
Back in the town of Louisbourg, we stopped outside a campground located next to the fishing pier and hooked into their wi-fi. For an hour or two we sat in the van, checked and sent emails, updated the blog and enjoyed the infrequent opportunity to surf the Internet. Then we headed home.
Back in the Casita, tired from the expedition, I at least went to sleep early. Carol wound up staying up most the the night. Unbeknownst to me there was a regular cacophony going on in the woods outside. She later reported listening to loons and wolves crooning for several hours. I hear storms, she hears wildlife; between the two of us we've got it covered. What a pair!

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