Discovering Nova Scotia’s treasures

This post was written by Wendy on December 4, 2009
Posted Under: Featured

Excerpt from our column Let’s Ride, Wheels section of the Chronicle Herald, June 4, 2009

Warmer temperatures are finally here and the majority of riders have already logged on a couple thousand kilometers, and probably attended an awareness ride or fundraiser.

There are lots of rallies and events to attend this summer; but if you can’t escape for a weekend, plan an exciting day trip or two.

The month of May is traditionally a very busy time for us each year. Our new guide is hot off the press and being distributed to motorcycle dealerships and visitor information centres province-wide; we have travel articles to submit to various magazines, and tourism conferences to attend.

So we do what we try to do best…combine business with pleasure.

Our first conference entailed a leisurely ride to Lunenburg, under clear blue skies, to attend meetings at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. What a perfect setting to invigorate your ambitions and open your eyes to what the tourist sees and experiences.

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Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg

This vast waterfront museum contains 3 floors of exhibits, displays and photo galleries from a bygone era. The indoor aquarium features several species of fish found off our shores; and both a schooner and a side trawler can be boarded at dockside.

The famed ambassador for Nova Scotia, the Bluenose II makes Lunenburg her home.

When in port her decks are open to visitors and 2-hour cruises are available at the reasonable cost of $40/per adult (tax included).

Now this is an experience you are guaranteed to enjoy and fondly remember, sailing aboard the namesake of the racing schooner that graces the back of the Canadian dime.

Reservations are recommended; call toll free 1-866-579-4909, ext. 221.

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Overlooking the beautiful and historic port of Lunenburg

Our lodging for the night was a room at the Top Mast Motel, with a million-dollar view of the historical town and quiet harbour. We were even visited by a deer and a really fat pheasant as we enjoyed the sunset from the outside deck.

Our next conference took us to a museum the size of 7 hockey rinks and houses 37,000 artifacts, including the heaviest and largest items found in Nova Scotia. Can you guess?

It’s the Museum of Industry, located in Stellarton, at Exit 24 off the TCH 104.

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We’ve all seen it on our travels, the huge roof emblazoned with its name…but have you ever gone inside?

This impressive structure houses 9 locomotives, including their pride and joy “Samson”; North America’s oldest surviving steam locomotive, and the 17th oldest worldwide.

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Just one of the many early automobiles on display.

Car buffs will really enjoy the automotive exhibits. See the first horseless carriage built in Amherst in 1901; marvel at the craftsmanship of the luxury McKay automobiles built first in Kentville, then Amherst from 1910-14; and see the first Volvo off the assembly line in Canada.

You’ll find working exhibits tracing the history of water and steam power, and displays on Nova Scotia’s former and current industries. Many of the exhibits are hands-on and costumed interpreters demonstrate the uses of the many working exhibits.

Built on Nova Scotia’s first coal-mining site the “Albion Mines,” the museum houses 4,000 archaeological artifacts excavated during it’s construction and are on display in their newest exhibit.

This is just a taste of what awaits you inside these fantastic museum sites.

So don’t be shy, museums are not just for kids on school trips; but are an opportunity to reconnect with your past and learn something new.

Nova Scotia has 27 provincial museums across our province, from the “Firefighters Museum of Nova Scotia” in Yarmouth, to the “Highland Village Museum” in Iona, Cape Breton.

So break the boredom of riding the same roads, and take a day trip escape to a museum, you’ll find it really enjoyable and good food for thought.

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