Posted by: James Shannon | November 8, 2010

Nova Scotia in 27 Pictures, 5 Videos, and 1080 Words … Or How I Spent My Last Day At Home Blogging For Five Hours Straight

As I write this, my nearly 3 week stay in Nova Scotia is drawing to a close … at around 6 AM tomorrow, I will leave for the airport and hop a plane to Vancouver, British Columbia, where I will chill for a day and a half before making the big hop over the Pacific to the enchanting lands of Southeast Asia.  I’m so excited/nervous right now, as I am about to enter some seriously unknown territory!

But back to the present, and more interestingly, the last three weeks at home.  In addition to hanging around the house, I have:


  • Gone out to my father’s coffee sessions with my grandfather and their friends a few times, enjoying the random conversation … I also got to see two of my aunts, who live in Port Hawkesbury as well.


  • My parents and I rounded the Cabot Trail just after the peak colour season, meaning most of the leaves were still on the trees, but nobody else was around!


  • In order to touch another body of water in my journey around my home nation, we went out to Canso for a look-around … charming town that has seen much better days, no thanks to the collapse of the groundfish industry.


  • Finally, we travelled up to Sydney, the largest community/only city on Cape Breton Island, where my older brother works as a newspaper journalist for the Cape Breton Post.  He recently bought a charming house right on Sydney Harbour, with a location that is quite handy to the downtown core.

At this point, I’ll let the pictures do the talking, starting with…

All ‘Round the Cabot Trail!

Starting out on a wet morning; a recurring theme throughout my stay in Nova Scotia

The essence of Nova Scotia: the seacoast of Grand Etang, south of Cheticamp

Nova Scotia has mountains too: a view of a cliff face from the trail “Le Buttereau”

Idyllic Autumn Scene in the Cape Breton Highlands

The MacKenzie River Valley wending its way from the interior…

… emptying its waters into the Gulf of St. Lawerence

Coastal headlands, East of Cape North

The angry sea in White Point


At White Point, we stopped to see some of my mother’s family; the above picture is taken from the front yard of my Uncle Dan.  When we were inside talking about Dan’s recent recovery from cancer treatment, the wind, which was blowing steady at 40 km/h and gusting to 60-70km/h hammered the walls of the house, and the waves in the harbour were throwing up immense columns of spray as they broke on the shore.

Intense weather, but unreal in its raw beauty.

Black Brook and Black Brook Beach in the late afternoon sun; timeless view…


Shortly after taking the above photo, Dad decided to get a closer look at a waterfall at the other end of the beach (didn’t know its name, so we’ll refer to it as Black Brook Falls)  Waterfall –> Fresh Water River –> Ocean Swells … This is what surreality feels like …

Beach at Ingonish near sunset

Sun slips behind the dark clouds near sunset at Ingonish

Good night, Cape Breton Highlands!



Havre Boucher and Vicinity


Most of the time I spent home, as mentioned before, was spent hanging at home with my folks, watching movies, TV, playing Wii, etc.  But I did get out to explore and photograph the surrounding area, so all of you out there in the blogosphere could get a feel for what life is like in my small corner of Rural Nova Scotia…

Best pic of Havre Boucher by far … reason for this (aside from the elevated view of the harbour)?  No F**** power lines in the shot!

Hear me rant more about power lines in the video that followed the above pic…

Urban rural decay; depopulation in rural Nova Scotia has left its scars, such as this gutted fuel pump


Cape George Side Trip


After getting the last of my travel vaccinations, I figured I had time to see some of the more spectacular St. George’s Bay scenery, found on the westerly shore of this tumultuous body of water (on this day, anyhow).  I got so caught up in the sights though, that I was late for dinner and in doing so, worried my Mom sick! 😛

Fish carving on the stump of a fallen tree near the shore @ Cape George

The boiler of a sunken ship sticks up above the waves on a chilly day @ Cape George

Nature’s infinity pool: a brook meets the ocean near Cape George

The lighthouse that stands guard over Cape George … no, I didn’t talk to the lightkeeper; it’s been automated since 1968!

Waves crash into the shore @ Cape George: watch the video below and listen for the sound of the wave buoy clanging offshore!


Trip down to Canso

Another great Fall view,  from the shore of Chetabucto Bay at Halfway Cove

Another great Eastern Shore sight: a lonely light on a granite island; imagine what it would’ve been like to be the lightkeeper at this lighthouse back in the day!

The building where undersea telegraph cables came ashore from Europe; like most of Canso, it has seen better days, and it has been in the throes of decline for some time…

There it is! Book it, ocean #2 of 4 in Canada down, 2 more to go (Pacific, Arctic)


Trip to Sydney


This trip, taken just last weekend, was to see my older brother in his new digs, purchased in the past year or so.  It was a rainy day, as a storm system of epic proportions bore down on Atlantic Canada.  SW Nova Scotia got the worst of it, but we still saw some wet stuff and alot of wind!

The Bras D’ Or Lakes all stirred up as the aforementioned storm roars through…

… but at least it was warm out (take that West Coast!)

My brother’s swimming pool: a little late for a dip it seems…

My brother Chris, his dog Luke, and my mother lounge in my brother’s stylish living room.  Dad is also on the couch, out of the shot unfortunately…

To make up for the last photo, here is a pic of my Dad standing outside on the street by my brother’s house — Sydney Harbour is in the background



What a monstrous blog post!  I feel ridiculously exhausted after all that 😛


Next update will be from Van City, the one after from the opposite end of the world.  My head is officially spinning…!

P.S. Two of the videos are misbehaving, so until I get it sorted out, there’s only *3* videos in this post … darn 😛



  1. Great blog, James

    • thanks!

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