20 July 2007

Another Annapolis

It's just after 9:00 p.m. Atlantic Time (8:00 p.m. EST), and I'm sitting at a grand old Victorian roll-top desk typing on a high tech laptop, courtesy of my hosts at Hillsdale House Inn. I'm in another Annapolis, another city named for Queen Anne of England only fifteen years after my own was renamed in her honor, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The inn is full of charm and the proprietors are generous. King George V stayed here when he was a young prince.

Here are some brief observations I've made over the course of the 28 hours that I have been on the island of Nova Scotia:

  • People hang their laundry out to dry here and there are recycling bins in every tiny town in the province.
  • Drivers actually stop to allow pedestrians to cross the road--even when they aren't near a cross walk.
  • There are rich layers of cultural diversity here from the Native Americans, to French settlers of the 17th century (Acadians), to the Scots, to the English, to the American and African American Loyalists.
  • Acadians and Cajuns have entirely different cuisines; the Acadian cuisine is very meat and potatoes with little spice, where as their ancestors some of whom became Cajuns borrowed spices and cooking styles from the Caribbean and Spanish.
  • The local scallops are so incredibly tasty in garlic sauce!
  • This community of Annapolis Royal has world class walking tours and a compact historic district. The inhabitants are fierce preservationists and very enthusiastic to tell you all about their heritage.
  • The cemetery by Fort Anne has four centuries of graves; I went on a lantern-lit graveyard tour last night.
  • The Annapolis River has amazing tidal patterns--the change is over 29 feet between high and low tide. The salt marshes remind me of Maryland, except that huge dikes are used to reclaim the fertile soil from the brackish rivers.
  • This is one of the most hotly-contested towns between the English and French in the whole New World; the town changed hands seven times and witnessed 13 battles.
  • No matter how far away you travel in North America, Harry Potter mania is there.
  • The locals apologized for the "hot weather," which has been roughly low 70s F both days and a bit humid. Compared to 95-degree Maryland swampiness this is cool and comfortable. I don't even mind that it's been overcast the whole time.
  • Okay, the downside--mosquitoes out in the evenings are every bit as bad here as back home.
I'll post more as I can and eventually formulate my observations into proper paragraphs.
Au revoir!

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