“Great Trans-Canadian Rail Adventure”

Montreal’s Beautiful Botanical Gardens

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En route back from Halifax to Ottawa, David and I had a 3-hour layover in Montreal, and he suggested we visit the Botanical Gardens.

East/West ~ Ancient/Modern
This temple and waterfall are exquisite.

VIA Rail’s “The Ocean” from Halifax to Montreal

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David and I ready to board "The Ocean" in Halifax

Overall, our experience on “The Ocean” was a step down from “The Canadian” between Vancouver and Toronto. The ride is smoother, but the sleeping compartment had remarkably poor seats [we were able to get extra pillows, which helped]. The shower on our return was uncontrollably near-scalding. The scenery was also less interesting.

I think I got “spoiled” by the stellar “flagship” out west.

Wholesome Nova Scotia

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by David HoeWe spent yesterday and today exploring the countryside within 2 hours of Halifax: Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque fishing village near Halifax which was in world headlines in 1998 as the site of the Swissair 111 disaster. This clip is at the memorial site along the ruggedly beautiful, windswept coast: Peggy’s Cove  has the most-photographed lighthouse in Canada, and some of the most amazing granite shoreline: the remnants of Himalayan-height mountains worn by 300+ million years of weather and glaciers.

  • Another hour west along Nova Scotia’s “south shore” is another photographer’s dream village, Lunenberg, with its colorful old buildings and working wharfs:
  • Here is a view of the lobster fishing gear colorfully arrayed.
  • Driving north an hour from Halifax into the lushly fertile Annapolis Valley, we stumbled upon the most magical, enchanted garden I have ever seen. The “Tangled Garden” was begun by Beverly and her husband 23 years ago, and is clearly a labor of love. The products the make and sell online a well worth every penny.
    Having all the windows in the shop willed with "stained glass" adds an extra element of magic

    There is a beautifully natural interplay of stone and garden
  • A stone model of what they are laying out in herbs

Food worth a trip to Halifax!

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We stumbled upon this hidden gem near our hotel, and found the food/service/atmosphere so appealing, we had to force ourselves to try somewhere else the next night. The 3rd and final night we did not hesitate to revisit Jane’s. I joked I want to move to Halifax…across the street…so I can be a regular!

Jane’s On The Common
2394 Robie St
Halifax, NS B3K 4M7
(902) 431-5683

Montreal est mervellieux

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I had a magical 24-hour stop-over in Montreal, where I stayed with Claude, a friend of a friend and generous host and guide. We bike around Vieux Montreal, the old part of town, and St. Cathrine, which is now a pedestrian mall.

Return to Ottawa

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The main motive for my trip was to return to Ottawa, my first home in Canada [1988-1990], to visit old friends. May is always gorgeous with greenery exploding everywhere. My heart was greatly nourished reconnecting with Antoine, Rick, Rebecca and Anthony and their 2 delightful daughters. The highlight was the housewarming chez Chen and David.

Heaven in Ontario

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Summer has arrived and it feels like paradise here with balmy 30 degree breezes, the scent of lilac and the sweet song of a whippoorwill. Am visiting my dear friend Scott at his comfy cottage mid-way between Toronto and Ottawa.