Final port of call - Quebec

Sailing down the St Lawrence seaway is a treat in itself.
The trees were beginning to dress themselves in their autumn colours. Quebec is a beautiful city, especially the old town and its always a pleasure to visit there.  You could almost believe you were in Paris.

We spent a wonderful day roaming around this area, its lovely boutique shops and fabulous coffee bars and restaurants.
The first day we were there (we stayed over night), it was bitter cold, so our first thought was to find a shop selling hats and gloves!

It is such a gaily coloured area, my photos can only give you a taste of it.

As we wondered around the old squares and cobbled streets, Quebec was busy preparing itself for its Halloween celebrations.

We caught the local bus to the Montmorency Falls.
These falls are higher that Niagara but only narrow.  It was a beautiful spot with wonderful colours again. However all too soon it was time to make the journey home.

We are sailing Halifax part 2

We really enjoyed our visit to Halifax. It is a lovely city and harbour.

The city was founded in 1749 when the British built Fort St George on top of the hill.

The citadel is now a 'living history' museum with volunteer re-en actors giving visitors a real sense of what is what like to live there.   They fire the noon day cannon still.  It goes with quite a bang. I forgot this was going to happen and we jumped out of our skins!

The soldier in the dormitory was a young university student vounteer.

After visiting the citadel we strolled around the beautiful public gardens before finishing our trip with an ice cream sat on the harbour front.

Next and final port of call - Quebec.

We are Sailing - Sydney and Halifax Nova Scotia

There was so much to see, particularly in Halifax, Nova Scotia, (and I took so many photographs) that I'v decided to split this blog into two. I'll concentrate on Sydney, Cape Breton and the Maud Lewis exhibition in Halifax's Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The first thing you see on disembarking is the worlds's largest violin.

Sydney Cape Breton, is a small community, proud of its Celtic heritage. We could have gone on a number of nature trails, but decided to have a more restful day and explore the town. However I soon found a house to interest me and explore.
Cossit House Museum was the home of loyalist and rabble rouser Rev Ranna Cossit, his wife Thankful and their ten children. The house was built in 1787 and is one of the oldest surviving houses. Costumed guides give a fascinating insight into life as it would have been.

We left Sydney to sail onto Halifax. One of the main places I'd hoped to visit was the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, to see the Maud Lewis exhibition. If you've never heard of her, and I must admit I hadn't until recently, she is well worth your interest. You can find out about her life here.

 A few of my photos from the gallery

Maud's small home
Maud at work.

Next - Halifax.

We Are Sailing - Fourth Port of Call - Bar Harbour Maine

I loved Bar Harbour, I wished we could have spent more time there. It's a very pretty town, with a lovely harbour, set amidst a stunning National Park.
To be honest I had heard of the town but knew nothing about it. We did a little research before leaving home, but nothing prepared us for how attractive this area is.
Overlooking the bay.

Before we left home we had booked ourselves on a tour of the Acadia National Park, on Olies Trollies tours.
Our tour trolley
The view from Cadillac Mountain
If you ever go here we highly recommend these tours.

We were on a twenty seven mile tour of the park, including a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Eastern United States coastline.

Unfortunately the day was drizzly and misty when we first arrived. The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain was disappointing to say the least. These things can't be helped! The driver suggested not stopping but spending longer at other view points. The whole of the bus agreed.

Thunder Hole
The coastline is absolutely stunning.
It reminded me of Cornwall but with beautiful pink granite stone.
We also stopped at the lovely Jordan Pond Area, a glacier formed tarn, where there are walks, restaurants and a gift shop.
Jordan Pond.
Next Ports of Call - Sydney Cape Breton, and Halifax Nova Scotia.

We are sailing. Third port of call - Portland and Kennebunkport

Longfellow's home
Our cruise continues. We should have called at Newport, Rhode Island. Although conditions at sea were calm, the island was experiencing quite a storm. As we had to tender there it was decided (by the Captain) that we could not stop. So onto Portland and Kennebunkport.
We didn't stay long in Portland, Maine, but we visited  the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Our main objective was to go to Kennebunkport.

I'd heard about this place and really wanted to see it. It's the quintessential New England small town - quite beautiful.

It was a lovely day and we strolled around admiring the sights and eating ice-cream.
The Bush estate
One of the sight to see here (with some difficulty!) is the Bush family estate. It is on a small peninsula with houses for thefamily and the security agents. What a place to live!

Typical house
Kennebunkport was lovely. A marina, lovely homes, quaint shops, beautiful flower displays, and full of tourists!

Just like us!

As with many of the towns preparation for Halloween was well underway.


We are sailing - part two - Boston

Boston is a beautiful city. We enjoyed our visit there. It was definitely a place we could have spent much longer. One day was far too short.  We started off our day by finding the metro and journeying out to a suburb called Brookline. This was the birthplace of President John Kennedy.
  It's a lovely spot and it didn't take us long to find the house in which he was born in 1917. Yes., he would have been 100 years old last year. It seems incredible doesn't it?
Outside the Kennedy home.

The family lived in this house for about seven years until they outgrew it. The house is FREE to enter, which was pretty amazing!  After Kennedy's assassination his mother, Rose, assembled all the furniture that used to be in the house. She then recorded the commentary you can still listen to as you tour the rooms.
Listening to Rose Kennedy.
It was fascinating to listen to the snippets of every day life - mealtimes, school, and church

As you can imagine I took dozens of photos so I'll just share a few with you!

We had a short map to follow which took us around the area they lived. We saw their second home, the school and the church. Although all of these were private so not open to the public.

Boston is a very historic place, playing a huge part in the American War of Independence.  We followed the Freedom Trail. A well marked route around the city, making it very easy for the visitor to find the main sites.

Faneuil Hall was the site of many historic meetings during the war. It is still used for concerts and public events.
Paintings of all the main protagonists are around the upstairs meeting room.

By the Hall is Quincy Market and the market place on both sides of it.
The market hall was constructed in 1824. It is now a foodie's heaven with stall of every imaginable type of food from around the world, freshly cooked.  I couldn't forget all the fabulous ice cream and chocolate kiosks - could I!

 One of the most interesting buildiings was the Old State House.
This was constructed in 1712 and the seat of Massachusetts Colonial and State Government.
It was also the site of the Boston Massacre, when British soldiers shot and killed five people. They were defended in court by the future President, John Adams.
Read about it here

On this central balcony the Declaration of Independence was read out to the waiting crowds. 
This building is one of the oldest in the United States.
 The photo shows the meeting room and looks towards the balcony.
One interesting building (now a shop) was the Old Corner Bookstore. This was the meeting place of such writers as Emerson, Dickens, Longfellow and Stowe.
Of course with more time we would have visited the Boston Tea Party Museum. There are many buildings associated with famous people such as Benjamin Franklin or Paul Revere. We didn't get chance to visit the monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill either.
I think I really have to return to Boston as some time in the future. Next stop PORTLAND.

Meet Paul Smith

I 'm delighted to introduce the multi-talented Paul Smith to you.  Many Yorkshire writers (born or living here) are now familiar w...