Tancook Island, Indian Falls & Blue Rocks

On Friday Eddie and I had planned a trip to Tancook Island which I was really looking forward to. Even though we left on time and should have got there in time ended up driving around looking for the ferry and then parking and ended up missing it by 2 minutes! I was so mad. It was my own fault. I got us lost and I stopped at Tim Horton’s to send him in to get himself a coffee and to ask for directions but somehow we ended up just missing it. After parking and walking 5 or so minutes down to it we watched it pull away :( At first I was just mad and wanted to just go home. It was a 40 minute drive from Halifax though and I was really in the mood to be outside and walking and taking pictures.

Initially we were going to do this on Tancook, it’s not a large island, it’s actually two islands, Big Tancook Island and Little Tancook Island and the only cars really on the island are unregistered cars that are just used to get around the island. Residents leave their cars in Chester where the ferry goes to the island from. It’s really kind of neat from what I have heard. They have one of Canada’s last one-room schoolhouses which is from Primary (Kingergarden) to Grade 5 and only has 5 students. I assume older students go to the middle school and high school in the Chester area.

Since we didn’t end up going we decided to go to Indian Falls instead. We are going to attempt Tancook Island again in 2 or 3 weeks. I literally just googled waterfalls near us and that was the first one that came up. We decided to make a day of it and then go to Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia and then Rissers Beach which is one of my favorite places in Nova Scotia. I am going to split this up into two posts. Indian Falls and Blue Rocks in this one and Rissers Beach on it’s own.

Indian Falls is pretty, it’s not the most beautiful waterfall I have seen but it is still really pretty. The picture below is from below the falls, there is a little path and stairs down the side of the falls which goes to the pool below which you can swim in in the summer.

This image was from the top of the falls, there was a little picnic area and a bench to sit on before going down the path and stairs I mentioned above. It was amazing the volume of water flowing through the falls, though it is not a large falls it has a lot of water flowing through it right now. Likely because it’s still spring.

This next one is my favorite picture from Indian Falls. I was trying to figure out how to capture the water and make it looks silky. Still a work in progress. I still don’t have a tripod but I rested it on a rock for this one. This was just at the top of the falls to the right of where I took the picture above. There was little rapids just before the falls.

Last one is the same spot as above but zoomed in a bit more, again I was just playing around with the settings on my camera to try capture the waters flow and in some spots like this it was sort of flowing back on itself because of rocks in the way. It was pretty.

After we left Indian Falls we headed to Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia, a quaint little fishing village outside Lunenburg. We didn’t time it very well because the tide was really high covering the rocks so I didn’t actually get any shots of the rocks. We will have to try that one again as well some other time. It was still really pretty though and we caught this coming into Bridgewater, Nova Scotia (sorry the image is a little fuzzy because I zoomed in and was sitting the camera on top of a running car :

I am not a 100% sure but I think that is the Bluenose II tall ship which was launched in 1963 and was built by many of the same people who built the original Bluenose which was launched in 1921 from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and sunk in 1946 near Haiti. She’s a beautiful ship! I have had the pleasure of seeing her in the Halifax Harbour a number of times and have been on her once in the Harbour (while docked). Below you can just see her in the right hand side at passing by us at Blue Rocks:

That’s it for this post. I will post a second post with the pictures from Rissers Beach in a few days. There is too many photos to put them all into one post. I will group them all together in the gallery later when I add them. This coming weekend will be a bit of a break because Eddie works Saturday. I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off but we are going to a friends birthday party Friday, Eddie works Saturday and he works Sunday. So only Friday we have off together. We will maybe do something more local like a walk at the Salt Marsh Trail maybe which happens to be one of my favorite trails within the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Pockwock Falls & Halifax Public Gardens

Edward and I hiked early this afternoon to Pockwock Falls and then went to lunch at Vernon’s Thunderbird Diner and ended the afternoon at the Halifax Public Gardens. This was my plan since last weekend. With the exception of Vernon’s Thunderbird Diner which was sort of a spur of the moment thing. I already have next weekend planned as well, the Chester Connection Trail and a walk through the Town of Chester. I am excited to walk the Chester Connection Trail again. I used to walk it a lot when I lived in Chester a few years ago. The featured image above was from the Halifax Public Gardens. I have to work a little more on my focus and lighting but I really am enjoying macro photography the most.

This is pretty much the only photo I got of the Pockwock Falls and it is not the best photo because I was literally on a small rocky cliff over the water that was all mossy and wet and so full of bugs that I had a hard time standing still as I was getting eaten alive. It was a bit of a boring walk to the falls but it was down a road called Camptown Road which is part of the Old Annapolis Road. According to Wikipedia:

Work began in 1784 and was resumed in 1816 as a military settlement plan for Napoleonic War veterans. Known various times as the Annapolis Military Road, the Dalhousie Road and the Kempt Road, it led to some successful settlements but was never completed and was abandoned in 1829.

It just looks like a trail now but you can almost imagine the horse and buggy’s traveling to Annapolis on it! It was a bit of a boring but quick walk down only about 30 minutes. Then another 5-10 minutes following the river upstream to the waterfall. It was just before an old coach bridge. When we stepped off the path to go into the woods it was muddy and I just about lost my sneaker in the mud and went right over my ankle in the mud but it was worth it We are going to have to go back before the summer is out, covered in insect repellent and hike the other side as you can get to the top of the waterfall.

After this about 2:30 pm we headed for Vernon’s Thunderbird Diner and I am sorry to say that once again I did not think to take any pictures there, not even with my camera. The food was pretty good, no the best I have had at a diner but by far not the worst either. I had the classic burger and fries and a chocolate milkshake and Edward had a monarch cheeseburger and fries and a coffee and we shared potato skins.

After that about 3:30 or 4 pm we headed back into Halifax to the Halifax Public Gardens for a nice stroll through the gardens. I got a lot more pictures at the Public Gardens. I will admit I do not know the names of most of the flowers with the exception of the tulips. Maybe Susanne might. I am hoping Here are a few of the nicer ones I took.

There are a few more as well. If you would like to see the rest you can see them here. I am pretty satisfied with how most of them turned out. There is even more then what is in the gallery as well. I just didn’t get them all edited in Lightroom. I just tackled my favorites. All in all it was a wonderful weekend.

Yesterday we changed the tires over to all season ones on our car. We had 3 good tires and one passable one so we put them all on without having to buy any yet. This year we will need to get 2 new winters and next year 2 new all seasons. We had another piece of metal in one tire though and had to have it plugged We also worked in the backyard with my Dad, well Eddie more then me. There wasn’t much I could do really. They are pretty close I think to being able to get the pool up. I can’t wait! I love to swim Friday we went to the Casino Nova Scotia for my Dad’s 66th Birthday. It was nice to have today off. My next long weekend is the weekend of June 10th, Mom’s Birthday. I always have the Friday & Saturday off and I took the Sunday as well and as well as Sunday June 27th I believe. I know I have 2 Sundays in June.

Oh and I did a new theme. I used the Underscores starter theme and designed it myself. I still need to tweak a few things like the comments layout and there is no search which I want to add it somehow. I will figure that out at some point this week. I am going to keep using Underscores I think. I like it. There is a lot you can do with it and it saves from making everything from scratch, it is mostly just adding CSS and changing a few things or adding a few things. It’s a simple theme but I like it.

Well that was my weekend in a nutshell. How was yours?

 

 

Europa Park

When I was 5 my Dad was posted to CFB Baden Söllingen in Germany. One of our favorite places to visit when were were there was an amusement park called Europa Park in Rust, Germany. We went a few times a year each year that we were there, which was 6 years in total from January 1985 to July 1991. Every year I would look forward to our trips to Europa Park and to going on the rides. I am a huge amusement park fan and fan of roller coasters, flume rides and most other rides with the exception of ferris wheels or anything similar.

My mom told me today that one of my favorite rides Piraten in Batvia which was built in 1987 is on fire. I remember going on it when it first opened. It was a large water ride with big pirate ships that you get into and ride through a large building through a pirate themed land. Apparently the fire has completely destroyed the ride as well as apparently a large section of the park and damaged other rides as well. I was really sad to hear this. It was one of my favorite rides and I was looking forward to visiting again someday and seeing all the old rides I used to enjoy as well as the newer ones.

Europa Park is the most popular amusement park in Germany and second most after Disneyland Paris (formerly Euro Disney Resort) in Europe. From the media it says that no one was injured. Which is really a miracle since the park was full of people and from what I understand the ride was in use and people were on it when the fire sparked. A large section of the park the Scandanavian section was badly damaged or destroyed. I’m not sure if any other sections were destroyed or damaged.

Below is a video of the ride:

I remember other rides and sections of the park as well. I remember a flume ride and roller coaster that went through part of the same building as well as a bobsled themed roller coaster as well. It was always a part of our summer traveling while we were there to go to Europa Park with friends of the family and some of my school friends. I think I even went on school events there as well.

I am sad to here that such a big part of my childhood is gone and may never get to be enjoyed by future generations (including my own kids someday I hope) in the way that I got to enjoy it. Hopefully they will be able to rebuild it exactly as it was but they may not. Only time will tell. I am just glad to hear that no one got seriously hurt though terrified locals and tourists alike had to run away from the fire, heat and smoke. That would have been truly terrifying. I know every time I get on a ride from here on out it will be in the back of my mind.

Quebec City & St. Lawrence River in August!

I have a week of vacation booked from August 26th to the 30th and I don’t work the 24th and 25th or the 31st and 1st of September either (weekend before and after vacation) so that is 9 days in a row off. I mention this to my Mom as I wanted to see about borrowing their camper for the week to go camping somewhere close by. Instead my Mom came up with the idea that her, my father, Edward and I go camping along the St. Lawrence River in New Brunswick & Quebec all the way to Quebec City.

I have been through Quebec City before mostly just driving through it or around it or going through it on a train but I have never really walked around in Quebec City or seen any of the sights. I am really excited to go. My parents have been before buy my husband has never been near there. Neither of us have been along the St. Lawrence river, though my parents have.

Last real vacation I had for a week at a time that I went anywhere was 2 years ago when Edward and I got married and we went camping for a week at Falls Lake. Last year I took a week but stayed at home and Edward worked so I pretty much just watched tv at home. This will be a lot more fun

I plan to bring my camera obviously and take lots and lots of pictures. We will all be going in my parents van together and leaving our car home. My brother also likely will not be able to come as he will need to work. I also forgot to mention Mary Ellen who is a family friend who was here for a few months in 2016 when Eddie and I got married is back for two months this summer. She arrived on Tuesday last week. She will already have gone back home to Ontario by the time we go though.

Valley, The Lookoff & Cape Split

Today (well as it is after midnight technically it was yesterday) Edward and I hiked Cape Split in Scott’s Bay, Nova Scotia. It is 8 km each way out and back which turns out to be a 4-5 hour hike. It took us 4 hours and roughly 15 minutes. It was a beautiful but exhausting walk/hike. Neither of us had ever done it before. We love walking and hiking but have only every really done easy ones. This is classified by the provincial park system as a moderate hike. Now I know why. Wow was it ever long!

We started out at a place called The Lookoff which was on the road to Cape Split. I have taken pictures there before but not for a long time. You can see the whole Annapolis Valley from The Lookoff.

 

Next we drove on to Cape Split, we had some sandwiches and pop and chips that we brought with us as a picnic lunch in the car before we set out. There was no picnic tables out yet or we would have sat outside. We started out walk at 2:45 PM.

The trail went through a very woodsy area which was nice and cool and blocked out most of the sun. The weather wasn’t all that hot anyways. Only about 13°C and sunny which was perfect weather for a hike. We made sure to bring along sweaters with us and I had a windbreaker/raincoat as well.

In the beginning the trail is very rocky and uphill. I’ll be honest we thought about turning back since no washrooms were open and after 15 minutes we were already tired from the steep uphill but I was determined I wanted to keep going. There was lots of buds and some flowers. I decided to try out some close ups with the macro settings on the computer. For a first try I don’t think they turned out too bad. What do you think?

The rest of the trail evened out and turned into a lovely woods that was filled with squirrels and birds and other small animals as well as more flowers like the ones above. It was really quite beautiful and serene. It was so lush and green and honestly one of the most beautiful woods I have ever been in!

I honestly loved it, it felt like we were in a whole different world from our every day city lives

I love trees. Especially gnarled old twisty ones like the one below.

Not long after I took a picture of the tree above the woods opened up into a field of green with cliffs and ocean. The picture below was just before the green fields and was part of the path we were walking on I am standing right at the edge of it when I took the picture. I figured my vertigo and fear of heights would kick in but honestly I was fine. It was Eddie that was more cautious and he actually was telling me I was getting to close. Which I wasn’t. I was fine and was not off the path.

There was a lot of birds everywhere. Seagulls mostly. Which I love. This is my first picture of a bird in flight that really turned out and somehow I actually got 3 at once! I was really impressed with that.

The view was just amazing! I couldn’t believe I had never hiked this before. My parents and brother and I used to hike all the time when we were younger. Especially during the time we were in Germany and Calgary.

The tide was going out when we got there as you can see on the rocks. It was about 6 PM by the time we got to the edge of the cape. It was really pretty but cool and windy.

I took this next picture when I went down to get the one above, on my way back up Edward was sitting looking out over the ocean so I decided I snapped a quick picture of him before he noticed

Overall I was really happy we kept going. Even though the way back was awful at one point because I was hurting so bad, my back, knees and ankles that I didn’t know if I could go on. On top of that my blood sugar dropped suddenly but we were prepared with glucose tabs, candy (rockets) and with lots of water, peanuts, crackers, chips and popcorn. So I managed to bring it back up to a safe level and continue on. When we saw the washrooms at the end it was such a relief

On the way back we stopped in Scott’s Bay and I took a few more pictures along the road and beach area. It was starting to get dark and we still had a 2 hour drive home (yes it was 2 hours each way so on top of a 5 hour walk I drove 4 hours, Eddie was nervous to drive it so I did all the driving this time). I have to say these next two are my absolute favorites of them all and I am really proud of myself!

If you would like to look at more photos from the trip/hike you can find them here. Most of them are in this post but I think there is still a few that I did not add here.