Nova Scotia: big in beauty and size

“Where they Went” by Diane Daniel
(Published Jan. 4, 2009, in the Boston Globe)

I haven’t been to Nova Scotia since my parents took me as a kid. This piece reminded me how it’s time to return, preferably on a bicycle!

Jane Killeen (left) and Robin Killeen at the colorful Tin Fish restaurant in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Jane Killeen (standing) and Robin Killeen at Tin Fish restaurant in Lunenburg

WHO: Sisters Jane Killeen, 60, of Lynnfield, Mass. and Robin Killeen, 54, of Kirkwood, Mo.

WHERE: Nova Scotia

WHEN: One week in July

WHY: “Robin and I live halfway across the country from each other so we try to connect once or twice a year,” Jane Killeen said. “We were both on a budget and wanted to stay closer to home, and everybody said Nova Scotia was so beautiful. At first I thought it was going to be pretty small, but we ended up driving 1,100 miles.”

Robin (left) and Jane loving the lobster at The Fish Factory in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Robin (left) and Jane loving the lobster at the Old Fish Factory in Lunenburg

LOBSTER LAND: From Killeen’s home north of Boston they drove to Portland and put her car on “The Cat,” the high-speed ferry to the southern tip of Nova Scotia. From there they drove north to Lunenburg, where Killeen had her “best lobster dinner ever” at the Old Fish Factory Restaurant. “Lunenburg is on a lovely harbor and is a World Heritage Site,” Killeen said.

Robin is ready for bicycle ride in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Robin is geared up for the sisters' bicycle ride to Mahone Bay

PAINFULLY PICTURESQUE: From Lunenburg, they visited nearby Mahone Bay, where Killeen wanted to photograph the town’s row of three historic churches. “Robin is a big cyclist so we decided to rent bikes and ride the 10 miles there,” Killeen said. “Although I quickly got my bike legs going there, the way back was like pushing against concrete. Afterward I learned I was in the wrong gear.”

Jane (left) and Robin kayaking with guides Gordon and Mike Crimp (center) of Cape Breton Seacoast Adventures in Ingonish, Nova Scotia.

Jane (left) and Robin with kayaking guides Gordon and Mike Crimp of Cape Breton Seacoast Adventures in Ingonish

TO THE CAPE: An all-day drive got them to Ingonish on the lower side of Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail, the highway that hugs the coast. “The trail is a long, hilly, winding road that encircles the national park,” Killeen said. “It’s not as scary as they make it sound, but there were a few white-knuckle moments as we drove in thick fog. Without fog, it’s truly one of the most spectacular drives in the world. The whole time you’re on Cape Breton, you’re on the water. It’s very isolated, very pristine.”

OLD-TIME CHARM: They stayed at the Keltic Lodge Resort, on a cliff overlooking the sea. “It’s from the 1940s and just charming,” Killeen said. “The carpet is plaid and the staff wear kilts. At night there’s wonderful music. You could do things in the day, or just hang out in a lawn chair.” They took a three-hour kayak tour with a guide. “We started in shallow water and glided over oyster and clam beds. At night, it’s an activity just to look at the stars. We didn’t want to leave Cape Breton. On the way home, we were already talking about a return trip.”

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4 Responses to “Nova Scotia: big in beauty and size”

  1. karel Says:

    So much beauty and fine dining, but no crowd no mc donalds. Is that true? Now I understand why they will come back next year

  2. Darrell Keigan Says:

    Hello Robin and Jane….

    I absolutely love “Nova Scotia, Big In Beauty And Size”!!!!!! One never knows, just might see you guys back this way at some point, hopefully??

  3. Jane Says:

    Hi, Karel ~ yes, didn’t see one McDonald’s thank heaven! If you go, be sure to get out to the tip (Cape Breton Island)…very special place!

  4. Jane Says:

    Hi, Darrell ~ I’ve passed your nice comment along to Robin too! How’s your music…any CD’s yet? You can reply and advertise where your next music venue will be ~ (he’s a terrific musician, everyone!)

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