06 August 1999

Peggy's Cove - Citadel - Knitting

I got up and got K to the airport around 7. Then I came back to the hotel to shower and organize my day. I ate the last butter tart and a banana. (I've been sampling butter tarts all across Nova Scotia and haven't found one better than the ones Jean served us.)

I decided to head to Peggy's Cove. It was still early but I figured that by the time I got there, things would start to be open.

I had no trouble getting there. After I got on 333, the road became narrow and windy. It was slow going but a pleasant drive. I was sort of puzzled by signs I kept seeing though..."Caution: Sanding only next __ kilometers" The only thing I could figure out was that it meant the shoulder wasn't paved for a bit. However the spots were all nice granite gravel rock rather than sand so it must just be an expression.

At Peggy's Cove I had breakfast at the Sou'wester by the lighthouse. Only a couple tables were occupied and I had a seat by one of the big picture windows looking out over the rocky point, lighthouse and cove. By the time I finished and perused the items in the gift shop, the drippy mist that I drove to Peggy's Cove in had given way to full-fledged fog. I wandered out to the lighthouse (now a post office...the only PO in a lighthouse in Canada). I saw a mink scooting around in the seaweed and surf down below where I'd parked myself to watch the wave crash through the fog. I also saw a fissure in the rock that had lots of dew-jeweled spider webs sparkling in the morning light.

I walked up the road to the other end of PC, checking out the shops and studios along the way. There weren't a lot of them. The whole town has, according to the sign at the entrance, a population of 60.

At the far end (near the entrance to the town...I drove through the whole town to the Sou'wester where I started) is the Fisherman's Memorial. There was an artist (painter, photographer, sculptor) who lived in PC and started this memorial sculpture in the granite face near his house. The project was expected to take 10 years to complete but he died after 6. His ashes are interred in the sculpture itself, behind a small plaque. There is one character in the memorial that is the Peggy the place is named after. The rest are supposedly other members of the community.

The story goes that Peggy was rescued from a shipwreck in the bay. She fell in love with a resident and stayed. I'm not sure how the place ended up being named after her...

By 10:30, the place was crawling with tourists...tour buses loaded with loud-talking old people in Bermuda shorts and southern accents. Bleah... I headed back.

I noticed another puzzling sign on the way back. A number of places (usually little restaurants or bars) advertised "donairs". I have no idea what a donair is but they're 3 for $6 in town.
I stopped at a gas station and got $5 gas, a bottle of pop and my bumper fixed. Last night when K and I pulled out of the parking spot I heard a nasty noise. We got out to check and discovered that when I backed into the spot, I backed over a short piece of PVC pipe sticking up out of the ground. It was just tall enough so that it didn't catch on the car when I was backing it (K wasn't in the car at the time) but when we both got in the car to pull out, the extra weight dropped the edge of the bumper below the top of the pipe. It was one of those plastic bumpers so it just pulled the little pins out that hold it in place. I tried to pop the pins back in while the car was being gassed up but wasn't strong enough. The gas station attendant (full service stations still exist here!) did it for me. Yay!!!

Back in Halifax, I pulled into a shopping center 'cause I saw a Wal-Mart sign and I needed some packing tape to finish taping up my package to ship home. I also seem to have lost my little suitcase locks somewhere along the way so I picked up another one of those.

'course, while I was there, I had to wander through the yarn section... and Lo! they had the same yarn I didn't get quite enough of when I was in York, NE last month. I picked up another blue ball and an olive while I was at it.

At the front door, I asked someone about a PO so I could mail off my packages and she directed me to a Mailboxes Etc. I got everything shipped of for $38 CA and discovered that I probably wouldn't have been charged duty on the stuff the 1st time if I'd filled out the customs form a little differently. Live and learn...

I continued on to the Citadel -- only taking about 6-7 wrong turns. Navigating and driving at the same time doesn't always work so well... Between the rotaries and angled and/or one-way streets, nothing went where I expected it to.

I finally got to the Citadel and spent a couple hours walking around. It's extremely well done. There are lots of people "in character" to answer your questions and provide a backdrop to the whole experience.

I left the Citadel and decided to head to Dartmouth to see if I could find the knitting place. Couldn't. I tried to call from a Starbucks/bookshop and left a message. I got some completely unintelligible directions from one of the Starbucks employees who had more facial piercings than I've seen on about any one person before. (I tried not to get distracted by the way the stud in her tongue clicked against her teeth when she talked...) I tried to follow her directions and somehow ended up on the freeway. I decided "Phooey!" and went back to the hotel. I emptied out the car and repacked all my stuff for the trip home.

I called Lucy (the knit contact) and got the details (including hopefully better directions...) to the knit gathering scheduled for 7:00. I had a little time to kill so I decided to head out that way and stop for supper and gas somewhere along the way.

I left a little before 6. The directions were good, I'm sure, but the problem I've had all along in Halifax is that the main roads aren't marked. All the little cross streets will have street signs but the main roads rarely do so I can never figure out whether or not I'm on the road I think (or hope!) I am. I mentioned it to Lucy when I got there and she admitted that it is a real problem and it's not just me...

In my blunderings around, I stopped and got $5 in gas and there was a little shipping mall with a Subway. I figured that would do for supper. Right next to the Subway, however was a pizza place that had donairs so I decided to see what those were .

I went in to ask and the guy said, "You've never had one?!?" As if I'd said I've never had air before. He started to describe one and said, "You want to try a small one?" I said sure. He asked if I like onion and tomato (sounds ok so far!). I got a can of soda out of the cooler and sat down to wait for it.

Lucky thing I got a "small"... It was huge! A whole plateful. It was kind of like a gyros except the seasoning in the sauce was different. The bread-y stuff underneath was thinner than a pita and pretty oily. I ate the top...meat, onion, tomato and sauce but passed on the bread part. It was ok. Not something I'd order a lot but at least now I know what they are. Donairs, butter tarts and poutine...my new food experiences for this trip.

I found the Neatby household and met the family. Husband John (a tugboat ... captain? I'm a little unclear about exactly what he does but he occasionally gets calls in the wee hours to pull some ship that was silly enough to ground itself free) and their 3 kids (2 girls and a boy). They're originally from England...moved here about 8 years ago.

The rest of the knitters (4) arrived later. Until then I looked through all the wonderful knit stuff Lucy had designed and was completely wowed. She showed me her studio and we talked about where the designs came from and how she goes about getting them from her head/needles into a computer program that can print out the patterns that other people can follow. It's an amazing process.

We all knit and chatted and sipped tea and nibbled white chocolate sheep until almost 10 when I just had to leave. I got a picture of the gang modeling Lucy's creations. I left a quote book for Lucy and signed her guest book (she collects knitters from around the world practically...) then toddled on.

I dropped the car at the airport and shuttled back to the hotel. It's 11:30 now and I gotta go to bed...