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Nova Scotia: 'the chosen kid'

© By CTC News Staff
 
Bay Of Fundy
Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia. You think of what first? Tall ships, succulent lobster, wild horses. Sidney Crosby, maybe. (If you're Canadian.) You may think of its capital, Halifax : a fantastic port city with an art college, symphony orchestra and indie music scene. (It's one of the few places in the Maritimes where the adjective "hip" makes sense.) But at some point, if you cock an ear to the wind, you hear the pipes.
     It's no coincidence that the name of this southernmost Atlantic province, one of Canada's original three, means "New Scotland." There are times you'd swear you were in Scotland. Driving your golf ball into the teeth of the wind at a links course by the sea. ( SCOREGolf and Reader's Digest called Highland Links the best public golf course in Canada.) Quaffing whisky at some great pub and hearing... is that Scottish Gaelic? The ancient language is actually still spoken fluently by more than a handful of Nova Scotians-some estimates put the number in the thousands. A lot of them are on Cape Breton Island, which sits atop Nova Scotia like a candle flame, and these days is a mecca for sailing, whale-watching and scuba diving.
     All fun stuff. But being in Nova Scotia for any length of time conjures longer thoughts. Disasters footnote the province's history: the Halifax Explosion, mine collapses and cod-stock shocks, the distress signal of the Titanic beaming onto shore. There are two ways to think about all that. It's plain bad luck. Or it's the best luck ever. A message that tells all from Nova Scotia and all who visit: you are still here. You were spared. Reach for someone you love, and raise a glass.

Nova Scotia in a nutshell:
·  Local heroes: Sidney Crosby, Ian Miller, Ellen Page
· Local tipple: Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale
· Photo-op cage match: Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove vs. fishing docks of Lunenberg (Old Town Lunenburg is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
· Written in stone by: Alistair MacLeod
· Soundtrack by: Stan Rogers, Hank Snow, Anne Murray, Rita McNeil and innumerable fiddlers named Cameron and MacDonald
· Backup singers: Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Leslie Feist, Blou
· Jacket art by: Alex Colville
· Mascot: The Bluenose (on the back of the Canadian dime)
· Must-do excursion: Drive-or better yet, cycle-the Cabot Trail
· Iconic meal: Lobster dinner at Hall's Harbour in the Annapolis Valley
· Summer festivals: Lobsterpalooza (end of each summer month, Cape Breton), Lunenberg Folk Harbour Festival (August), Halifax International Busker Festival (August)
· Morbid, but historically interesting, day trip: Titanic-victim graves in Halifax
· Souvenirs: Nova Scotia crystal, folk art (especially rug hooking)
· Museums: Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site and Museum, Signal Hill National Historic Site, Cape Breton Miners' Museum

Video:
·  Alexander Keith's Brewery in Halifax http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qskCN9ScRgY
·  Halifax International Busker Festival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs65II9_AH0
·  Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFUXrz2ZVuQ
·  Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gxXacyYjaw
·  Musée maritime de l'Atlantique http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26VMcXDvbk4

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission

If you go
Nova Scotia
as seen on
YouTube
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_scotia
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Nova_Scotia
Nova Scotia: http://novascotia.com

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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