Growing up on the west coast of Canada, I had never seen the east coast. My youthful mind assumed that it was just like my coast – rugged, windswept and wild. Despite what I was told and what I read, I was thoroughly convinced that the Maritimes would be just like home.
As it turns out, was I ever wrong!
By my late teens, I was fairly convinced that I would never have a reason for visiting the Maritime provinces of Canada. My travel hopes and dreams were pinned to much loftier destinations – the sophisticated cafes of Paris, ancient roads of Rome and the royal gardens of London. I didn’t see the appeal of travelling in my own country, especially as far as the other side of it.
Having moved to Ontario at the age of 17, that was the farthest east I’d ever been in Canada. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. There was no ocean air! No majestic mountains! Whatever was a west coast girl to do. I began exploring the surrounding area – Montreal was nice for a break and it felt mildly European. Soon, I began meeting more and more people from the eastern parts of Canada and they all recommended the Maritimes. My interest grew, but still I lacked the motivation to take the trip.
In my early 20s, I began dating a boy. A very, very nice boy. He was handsome, smart and had a great sense of humour. There was just one thing different about him – he had this accent; a certain way of socializing that was unlike anyone I’d ever met. This was all because he was from Nova Scotia. I soon came to realize that the popular stereotype of Maritimers as easy going, laid back and fun was, in fact, quite true!
My first trip to Nova Scotia was with Patrick. He brought me to his hometown of Windsor, Nova Scotia to spend Christmas with his family. Travelling to Nova Scotia at Christmas was like taking a trip into a world where the sun barely showed, the snowstorms raged and the slush and sleet made sightseeing a nightmare. However, we made a trip into Halifax and I walked along the docks in the harbour, visited the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and shopping for goodies at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. It was a great introduction to this Atlantic city but there was just a couple of things missing…. Sunshine. Peggy’s Cove. Lobster. Lunenburg. Fishing Boats.
Thankfully, we travelled to Nova Scotia again the following Thanksgiving and I got an even better taste for this beautiful province. The sun was out and the leaves were spectacularly turning from green to red to gold. I was thrilled to spend an afternoon at Peggy’s Cove, a delightful town less than an hour outside of Halifax. With the wind whipping around me, I felt awestruck by the sloping granite rocks, the wild Atlantic Ocean and the quaint fishing village.
Although Peggy’s Cove may be taken over with tourists in warmer times of year, I was thankful to visit on a cool autumn day. There were no crowds and there was so much room to explore uninterrupted. The tiny village and iconic lighthouse made quite an impression on me. I won’t ever hesitate to recommend this lovely village to anyone who’s making a trip to Nova Scotia.