Day Eight – Real miners and fake frenchmen
Well, for our second to last full day on the island of Cape Breton, we went to two places: The Miners’ Museum and the Fortress of Louisbourg.
The Miners’ Museum was fascinating. It’s a tiny place but the really interesting part is that you get a tour of the mine. At first the height in the mine starts at 7 ft but quickly decreases to 5′ 5″ and ends at just over 4′. Our tour guide was one of the miners who worked the Cape Breton mines for 32 years. It was quite incredible to listen to the stories of working in the dark 2500 ft under the gulf of St. Lawrence for 14 hours a day for 5 days a week. The tour ended at the underground garden which had been started by a miner many years ago and continued by his coworkers after his death. The plants are small since there isn’t a lot of light down there but kinda neat. They had a bench there where you could kinda sit since here is where the ceiling was four feet high.
The entrance to the mine
“working” in the mine
Rocks on display in the Museum
Then we went to The Fortress of Louisbourg. It’s a recreation of the French base from the early 1700’s. It’s quite fascinating. They had some pigs, chickens, turkeys, and sheep on hand and the actors dressed in period dress. As we entered, we met the guardsman who promptly wanted to shoot me for being English but then decided I had too much rum to be approaching a French fort speaking English. He then demanded the people tell them what was their purpose today at the fort. When he asked me I told him “Spying on the French”, he recovered well, let us through the gate, and told me to once again lay off the rum.
You can opt for a tour or explore the place on your own. We both prefer exploring so we set off.
First, we had lunch at Grandchamp house. It was very simple and correct for the time. Each person is given only a spoon for a utensil and a cloth for around the neck. I had the sausage and vegetables which is served on a metal plate. It was not very flavourful, but it’s supposed to be the 1700’s. After that we began to explore.
Finally, we went to the Silver Dart for dinner again as Stef wanted to try another dish there. For me it was the night’s special — the fire grilled blue fin tuna. . . oh, was it good! They also had a live singer tonight. He was quite good and sang a couple of songs I knew: Barrett’s Privateers and Me and Bobbie McGee. We then went back to the motel and relaxed.
Tomorrow we have two final things to do. Go the opposite way around the Cabot Trail and go whale watching. Should be fun! Then Wednesday, we fly out of Halifax at 4 pm. I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed soon.