JULY 1, 2000
MY VISIT TO
I entered Canada at St.Stephen's New Brunswick.
The Customs people were rather surprised to have a bear
show up at their border crossing. They said all the local
bears just crossed back and forth whenever they wished;
usually at night and in a wooded area. Besides they were
unsure just what paperwork to fill out and how to explain
my not having any birth certificate or identification. So
I went back out the door and walked around behind the
building and into Canada. I was now officially on
Six of the main Magdalen Islands are connected by sand bars and bridges. One other (pop 172) is reached by boat in one hour. The coast is either rugged red cliffs or long sandy white beaches. I quickly learned the French words for fish, and mussels, and clams, and lobster. The summer tourist season was fast approaching as I left this storybook land and headed south for Nova Scotia and some of their ocean delights.
Most of Nova Scotia was very rural and everbody on the coast fished, much to my enjoyment. All the people were very polite and friendly: in two weeks I only heard a horn blow, and tires squeal once; some different from the US. I saw many historical settlements and forts where the French and English were constantly fighting years ago. I can easily understand why this country was so heavily valued.. I even ventured into the city of Halifax; FANTASTIC! Old and new, new and old, and it all fit together perfectly. I even found plenty of beautiful parks and open areas to keep from feeling claustrophobic from the skyscrapers which were intermingled with the many historic structures from yesteryear. If I had to live in a city, this would be the one. I enjoyed all the many lighthouses and wish Beartown would have a use for one.
It was all too soon when I realized I must return to Beartown and my job. I went along what was called the French shore where the ocean waters were rising and falling dramatically every six hours. I was told that the moon did this. I think someone was pulling my leg. I passed by Digby, the scallop capital of the world. I wondered why the boats were dragging the bottom of the sea and pulling up ROCKS! Then I saw why; they opened them and scraped out a delicious scallop. When I reached Yarmouth the land ended and I took my last of 14 boatrides. This was the longest by far; 11 hours. Many passengers were busy with odd machines that ate coins, blinked lights, made weird sounds and occasionally regurgitated some of the coins that they had been fed. People can sure be strange sometimes. On the top deck, with my back toward Portland Maine and my eyes overlooking the ships wake, I exclaimed "I shall return!"
Copyright 2000 Claude Dern, All Rights Reserved
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