Saturday, 9 October 2021

Vacation in Atlantic Canada - Part 4

 12 September 2021
Riverside, NB - Mahone Bay, NS

     Those of you who have been following our trip via the installments on my blog will recall that we were not entirely delighted with our B&B for the New Brunswick leg of our journey. I think that Richard Pegler nailed it in his comment on the Part 3 installment when he figured that BnB stood for Basic n Bleak! Even the doors creaked - every one of them. A squirt of oil would work wonders.
     Our judgement was not enhanced when we went down to the kitchen to fix our own breakfast the second morning. Little had been replenished from the previous day; perhaps nothing in fact. There was but one single-serving tub of yogurt in the fridge, and the same sausages were still there. At least the fresh coffee we made was good.
     We were not sorry to leave.

     I could not help but note that the odd facsimile of a four poster bed looked like PVC pipe from the hardware store!
     The rural roads en route to the highway delivered some birding delights, including this family of Common Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

     The male seemed to be occupied with the care of the young; we did not see a female.

     This is a polygamous species with males known to defend a harem of two or more females, so perhaps we just missed them.
     We observed more Northern Harriers (Circus hudsonius) in this part of New Brunswick than we had seen for a long time and several birds were coursing over the fields.

     Bald Eagles were quite common throughout. Common they might have been, but never less than completely exciting.

     We did not have far to journey until we entered Nova Scotia and we stopped at a visitor centre to pick up a current map. 

     We had printed our Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form, were armed with our proof of vaccinations and ID, but were not required to present them to anyone. We just sailed right on through.
     The journey to Mahone Bay was uneventful, and we arrived at this beautiful coastal community before lunch. It is known for three churches along the shore; they do indeed make quite a statement.

     We had lunch at Rebecca's, a delightful restaurant, where the meals, service and ambiance were all first class. Their menu was quite eclectic and dining there was an adventure.

     This is a very picturesque corner of the province.

     The Mallards (Anas paltyrynchos) were quite at home there.

     We were intrigued by what appeared to be little floating cabins.

     It was interesting to see this installation to encourage smokers to dispose of their butts in a clean manner.

     Judging from the ground it did not appear to be used much!
     It was time to check into our B&B.

     We were welcomed by our friendly host, Chris, who went through everything we needed to know, inquired as to how our trip had been so far, asked if we had particular interests he could help us with, and so on. Wow! This was like a real B&B!
     Our room was in a barn that had been converted to residences.

     We were situated in the room on the right corner on the lower balcony.
      This is the view from the side.

     Our room was called the Lion's Room, and I could never quite figure out how the image of a cow fitted in with that.

     The room was a little dated, but perfectly comfortable, and we even had two chairs to sit in!

     There were chairs outside on our portion of the veranda, where we could be comfortable while enjoying the view.

     We walked down to the bay and did a little exploring. An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) was patrolling overhead.

     Having had a very good lunch in town we had stopped by the local supermarket before finding our B&B and bought cheese and pepperoni. Along with a bottle of Malbec this made a fine dinner, which we ate looking out from our deck.
     We were happy to be in Nova Scotia.

13 September 2021
Mahone Bay - Lunenburg - Bay to Bay Trail - Mahone Bay - Bayview Pines B&B

     Sunrise was spectacular and Miriam was out on the veranda to capture it.

     We went over to the main building for our first breakfast here.

      The dining room was charming.

     Breakfast was nicely presented and consisted of a choice of cranberry or orange juice, a small inverted pyramid-shaped dish of yogurt/granola which looked attractive, but it was difficult to get the spoon down to the bottom, bacon, two slices of fried tomato and poached eggs. Hot coffee or tea was available; of course we always chose coffee.
     The only minor quibble that I might have had with Bayview Pines was the fact that other then the eggs, breakfast was identical every day, poached eggs one day, scrambled the next, and so on. It was always well prepared and tastefully served, but entirely predictable.
     When initially planning our trip we had looked forward to a visit to the old town of Lunenberg, home of the fabled Nova Scotia schooner, the Bluenose, which is inscribed on our dime coin. 

     The Bluenose was out at sea during our time in Lunenberg, but to wander around the ancient streets with their original buildings was to experience great pleasure.

     The view out over the bay was very agreeable.

     The dockside area was picturesque, but almost completely devoid of birds, hardly a gull in sight or within earshot, the odd cormorant perched on a buoy, but nothing else.

     Actually many areas were closed off, and entire stretches of parking spaces unavailable. The TV show The Sinner was being shot there. I suppose that the revenue such an event brings to the town trumps the convenience of the regular tourist, and the residents too no doubt.
     It was actually quite interesting to watch as they did take after take of the same couple of scenes.

     Periodically we would be moved as the cameras angled our way and we were not needed in the scene. 

     It seemed to us that it took a whole lot of people to shoot every sequence. 
     Due to the road closures and the lack of parking we had left the car on the outskirts of town and saw a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and a Double-crested Cormorant (Nannopterum auritum) on the way back to it.

     We discovered the Bay to Bay Trail and it looked appealing.

     We walked a couple of kilometres before turning around and it was very pleasant.

     There was a great variety of fungi and ferns, but little in the way of birds. 
     Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata) was seen; not often, however.

     American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus husonicus) was the most common species we encountered.

 It was late when we arrived at Rebecca's for lunch. We both had curried fish cakes which were made with risotto instead of potatoes as is customary, and they were quite fabulous. The chutney that accompanied them was equally delicious, with a great salad too.
     Back at our room we had cheese and crackers and a little pepperoni left over from the previous night, with a glass of wine, and that's all we needed for dinner.

Accommodation: Bayview Pines Country Inn B&B, 678 Oakland Road, Mahone Bay, NS B0J 2E0
902 624-9970, 1-866 624-9970,;
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.   


  1. Hari Om
    Well that was altogether more rewarding after such a poor couple of nights before it! I loved NS when I visited and your images readily evoke memories. Re the pheasant, David - given any juveniles would now surely be fledged, and those look very much like females, as you not sure that was the harem of the cock? YAM xx

    1. There were about ten of them scurrying around, YAM. We only managed three in the picture.

  2. David - I am enjoying this excursion very much! I like the combination of nature notes and B&B reviews! We have been to Nova Scotia once, and the architecture was so attractive, especially against the backdrop of water.

  3. Another delightful outing. I am glad that you have left basic and bleak behind.
    The white wash on the Great Blue Heron's perch suggests it is a regular vantage point.
    Thank you for taking us along.

  4. The view over the water are so beautiful, David. The sunrise was beautiful too.
    Hugs, Marit

  5. Hello David, I'm glad you eventually stayed in decent B&B's,They look very pleasant places, and in beautiful locations. Miriam took a lovely shot of the sunset, and the Osprey and Bald Eagle shots are also wonderful. I like the Lunenburg houses,The architecture is most attractive and they are so colourful painted in blues and pink The views over the water are picturesque and The reflection of the house on stilts in the water is unbelievably clear. The Bay to Bay trail does look inviting but I'm sorry you didn't see many birds!:=( I enjoyed your descriptive post very much David.and look forward to your next.:=)
    Take care my friend.

  6. Nice report. Sorry the first BnB was not good, but the next one made up for it. I have the feeling that birds know in advance when you are arriving and put themselves on display in order to be made famous on your blog! How fun to watch a film being made, that was a good extra! Have a great weekend, take care, hugs, Valerie

  7. The eagles seem to be watching the pheasants closely.

  8. We visited that area several years ago and loved it. Life by the sea is great to me!

  9. Beautiful photos!
    Many, many years ago and several years apart, we made two short trips to Canada. Your photos make me want to visit again!

  10. That shot of the eagles is my favourite.

  11. That poor actor is wearing the most uncomfortable version of a sling. Film or no, someone could have assigned him a belted sling that doesn't grind the shoulder.

  12. I wonder how many photos have been taken of the three churches. I took one once upon a time, I think in 2001.

  13. A good series of photos, enjoyed every one of them. Reflections are always pleasing to see, the houses there are looking good.
    Four poster beds, not a fan of any of them the one in the photo doesn't look exciting at all!

  14. I enjoyed this segment of your journey! Nova Scotia is on my list, and Lunenberg looks delightful!

  15. Great shots! You caught some remarkable reflections.

  16. La deuxième chambre est plus agréable avec en plus un petit balcon. Les pygargues à tête blanche sont très beaux. Il y'a de beaux bâtiments colorés, l'architecture est intéressante. Bon dimanche.

  17. The village where my mother lived was used for filming a TV series and the whole community did very well out of it - a friend of mine was given £100 to allow a van to park in his yard for a day. Glad you found better accommodation on this leg of your holiday.

  18. Quite agree with Richard’s comment about that B’nB – it seems appalling … so sad too – spoils that part of your holiday.

    Love these views of New Brunswick … gorgeous, especially with those floating cabins … I saw a programme on floating houses on Vancouver Island – interesting and pretty to look at … cheaper too: but I’d need to know more.

    Your BnB looks so much better … I wonder if that cow was called ‘the Lion’?! … and at least you have comfortable looking chairs to enjoy the view from.

    Still … beautiful part of the world, and you’ve shown us some amazing photos – I love those of the eagles. While the walk-around Lunenburg must have been interesting – lots of history – looks a pretty town. Beautiful red squirrel. The fact you went to Rebecca’s again – shows it was obviously a very enjoyable venue. Thanks for this update … I’d so love to visit – cheers Hilary
    PS - love Anvilcloud's comment and especially your reply!

  19. Hello David,
    Nova Scotia looks like a beautiful place to visit. I am glad you were happier with the B&B. Great variety of birds, I do not see Pheasants often around here. Awesome capture of the Eagles. The sunrise is gorgeous. Great collection of trip photos. Enjoy your day!

  20. With travelling, there is always plusses & minuses...but always filled with memories & being together!!

    Loved tagging along with you today. Beautiful scenes & birds. (Laughed at the pipe bed frame at the "bleak house"...wonder if Dickens was there...kidding)
    Now I see the previous post is all about your g-daughter...gotta go view the sweet photos.

    Thanks for joining us at IRBB this weekend.

  21. I'm glad your Nova Scotia B & B was an improvement on the previous one. What a picturesque place Nova Scotia looks to be.


  22. You had an amazing vacation full of adventures.

  23. Wonderful shots of what little wildlife you could find...and I love seeing architecture that is vintage. That sea looks so calm I would think the sailing ship must be under motor power (which hopefully it has.) Thanks so much!

  24. David this is a beautiful description of your trip. From the good to the not so good. Simply a wonderful trip.

  25. When you vacation, you absorb a lot! I want to explore such a lovely area...I like B and Bs if I don't have to talk to people at husband loves to talk to people.

  26. What an adventure. Those Bald Eagles look like they had something to say. :)

  27. We stayed in a lovely clapper boarded house overlooking the water in Lunenberg in the early 1990s where we enjoyed seeing the Bluenose Schooner on the the waterfront. We also learnt about the cod fishing off the Grand Bank which sadly had been catastrophically depleted re: over fishing.

  28. I love your trip. Beautiful areas. When Vic would have a vacation while working in Iraq and Afghanistan, we did B&B trips, but it wore me out trying to find a great bed and breakfast online. Our experiences were lovely, but to get that loveliness cost a small fortune.

  29. That area of Nova Scotia looks very attractive, David, even if the birds were a little thin on the ground. However, I'd have happily settled for the sighting of those two magnificent Bald Eagles. It sounds as if you had a very enjoyable time there.

    1. We has a great time. We hope to go back there sometime in the not too distant future.

  30. Nova Scotia looks beautiful. Isn't it interesting to watch filming? I always thought it must be glamorous but it actually looks a bit boring to keep repeating sequences. Thanks for sharing. It looks like a good trip, so far that you've shown us.

  31. I'm having trouble with disappearing comments today. So a quick hello to let you know I loved your photos.

  32. What a good thing that the B&B was nice this time as the birds were probably fewer than you had hoped for.

  33. Buenos días, amigo David, por lo menos esa estancia ha sido mucho más reconfortante que la anterior. La habitación anterior fue de pena, creo que fuiste un poco generoso en su puntuación.
    Nueva Escocia, se ve muy atractiva con sus singulares edificaciones y esas preciosas vistas.
    Habéis disfrutado de un lugar encantador, buenas fotografías y me encantan esas dos águilas calvas, es una preciosa estampa.
    Abrazos estimados amigos y compadres.

  34. Que lugares encantadores...os pássaros sempre me comovem...e suas fotografias são simplesmente perfeitas!!
    Semana de paz pra ti com abraços meus.

  35. Beautiful post of your holiday David. Nice birds, B&B. Glad they were filming. Have a nice week.

  36. You certainly had some ups and downs with your accommodation! The houses in Lunenburg are incredibly picturesque but it must have been odd to see so few birds especially on the waterfront. I don’t watch The Sinner but it always interests me to see things being filmed, one of our long running soap opera’s films in my town quite often, always causes a bit of a stir!

  37. So much to see and read in your post, I enjoyed it, thank you.
    That sunrise certainly was spectacular.

    All the best Jan

  38. Wow, what a lovely array of pictures. Enjoyed the colourful traditional houses in Lunenberg, the clear inviting waters in Nova Scotia, your "fat" American Red squirrel who looked it enjoyed a better breakfast than you (perhaps you should have exchanged the eggs for nuts?), the 2 bald eagles that looked quite menancing. The barn B & B is unusual - basic but with good views and the owner prob thought the cow pix looked more pleasing than a broody lion. I noticed the Northern Harriers have an eye-catching brilliant red appendage on its face, must be a male thing for attracting females! I miss travelling as we are still not allowed to, but looking forward to a good trip "one day."

  39. I confess I know very little about Nova Scotia, but it looks like a really beautiful place to visit.
    Wouldn't it be fun to have a holiday on one of those little houseboats? Or stay in one of those gorgeous historic buildings?

  40. Unas vacaciones muy bien aprovechadas y que has disfrutado lo máximo posible de ellas.

  41. So very much to love in every photo. I want to build a little floating cabin to put on our lake. How neat to come upon a movie filming. Your travels are colorful and wonderful.

  42. A fabulous series of photos, David.

    I enjoyed this leg of your journey.

  43. Going on vacation is wonderful :-)) These are beautiful photos. I am happy when I see the pictures. I'm also still in vacation mode.
    Thank you for presenting your beautiful trip. Many greetings from Viola

  44. Am enjoying this trip with you. Seemed surprising absence of birds in that one water area. Photos delightful.

  45. Very interesting to know these places where you have spent a few days on vacation, enjoying the landscape.
    Many kisses.

  46. What a nice time you were having. I would like to try those curried fish cakes with chutney. Sounds absolutely divine!

  47. Hi David, ten eerste: wat een fantastische foto van de arenden, erg mooi!
    Wel jammer dat de B&B zo tegenviel maar gelukkig werd het daarna beter. Het is leuk om foto's van Nova scotia te zien, lang geleden zijn mijn ouders daar geweest. De kleurrijke en oude huizen zijn erg mooi. Ik mis net als jij de vogels wel een beetje, waarschijnlijk had je er zelf ook meer van verwacht, helaas doe je daar niets aan en maak je er toch het beste van met fijne wandelingen en dan maar film kijken ;-).


  48. Great trip sorry about that BnB

  49. I enjoy following your trip, moving from one interesting place to another. I think it would be a wonderful experience staying in one of the floating cabins.

  50. Mucho mejor el segundo alojamiento David
    Bien disfrutásteis por ahí de la naturaleza. Mucho arte en esos edificios antiguos. Adoro el amanecer de Miriam.
    Que paséis buen jueves.
    Un abrazo.

  51. Your journey appears to become more picturesque with each additional stop. The strong fishing heritage would hold my interest and I would love to wander the docks and waterfront locales.

    Happy to hear the quality of your lodging has progressed from Mr. Pegler's "Basic n Bleak" to "Better n Better".

    All the best.

  52. I had to laugh at your thoughts on that 4-poster bed. It probably did come from the hardware store and they used brass fittings for the "detail" work.

    It would have been wonderful to see bald eagles and hear the talk to each other.

    Those three churches overlooking the water were quite a sight. It sounds like even the meals were better on this leg of the trip. Here in the states, those floating cabins are called "house boats." People live on them full time and they are equipped with all the modern conveniences. I have a friend in California who owns one.

    If you have ever been around a movie or TV show taping, they always do numerous takes of a certain scene. At times, they will splice two different takes together to get the "perfect" take. It's always important to have the person responsible for making sure everything looks the same for each take. I've seen scenes in shows where in one take, the hair was pulled back, but the next frame would show the hair in front of the shoulders. Even something as mundane as a pen in a pocket must look the same each time. I know a person who does that kind of work and it always makes her upset when she sees little bloopers like that in shows she doesn't work on. Because of her, I notice too.

    Loved your nature photos, too. I thought, based on your description of the B and B, you gave a really accurate rating.

  53. Me alegra que esta habitación fuera mucho mejor, se ve muy bien. Los paisajes que se ven son muy bonitos. Besos.

  54. I'm glad that you and Miriam enjoyed Lunenburg. It is a very special and historic place. It's too bad that you didn't get to see the replica of the Pride of Nova Scotia, the Bluenose. I've see it a number of time, but haven't managed a sail so far. You had a wonderful tour of the Maritimes, and I'm glad you experienced their hospitality.

  55. I'm glad that you and Miriam enjoyed Lunenburg. It is a very special and historic place. It's too bad that you didn't get to see the replica of the Pride of Nova Scotia, the Bluenose. I've see it a number of time, but haven't managed a sail so far. You had a wonderful tour of the Maritimes, and I'm glad you experienced their hospitality.

    1. I have seen the Bluenose on a previous visit, but Miriam has not. I hope there will be another opportunity.

  56. Hi David,
    hahahahahaha..... yes sorry but you told it so funny that I did laugh. I mean you liked your own coffee but that breakfast wasn't as replenished. The topper was that the four-poster bed looked like it was made of PVC pipes 😂 This is really bad when you're out for a while and then so sad with the B&B.
    The other photos may be there again. Beautiful buildings but the most beautiful is the closing with the beautiful squirrel :-)))
    Kind regards and a hug,