On a trip jammed full of wonderful sights it is hard to imagine being excited about visiting one place more than any other. Both of us were looking forward to spending time in Lunenburg. A town tailor made for anyone with a camera. Lunenburg is on the southern shore of Nova Scotia about an hour and a half west of Halifax. It was the home of the great Grand Banks fishing fleet during the Age of Sail. There are still small vessels plying those waters today that sail from Lunenburg but most are factory ship trawlers from many countries. Think of Lunenburg as the Glouster of Nova Scotia. Most of all, Lunenburg is known today for it’s colorful Victorian era buildings and it’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was chosen because it represents the best example of an early British planned city. Lunenburg and Old Quebec City are the only two UNESCO cities in North America. What grabs everyone when they first see Lunenburg are the colors. Is it because of the long, gray winters that every building sports peacock paint combinations? Nicknamed UNESCO Fresco, Lunenburg will charm you.
Our entry into Lunenburg became more of an adventure than we’d planned. We were staying at the Board of Trade campground and should have had an easy approach from the main roads. I say should have had because we made a critical mistake. We hadn’t changed our GPS from automobile to RV mode. We realized this just as we entered the town. Unfortunately, we were at the point of no return by then. So instead of an easy entry we had to navigate narrow, hilly streets with cars on both sides that were never intended for a 35′ fifth wheel. I just shut my eyes and buried my head in my hands while mumbling a “Please God…..” I was nervous too but just went at a snail’s pace and made it around each corner with a sigh of relief. You can bet we now have a GPS mode check on our list before taking off!
One of the joys of our “on the road” lifestyle is meeting up with friends and family. In Lunenburg we had a day to spend with Russ and Renate, friends from North Carolina. We decided to see Glimpses, a local production run each summer about the history and lifestyle of Lunenburg. The skits and musical numbers run from serious and historical to laugh out loud humor. An excellent show! Another hidden gem. It is held in the theatre of the Fisheries of the Atlantic Museum. The website says to arrive by 7:15 pm but the night we were there we arrived at 6:45 and by 7pm they were turning people away. After the show we went to the pub on the ground floor for dinner. Steve and I learned that each Wednesday they had a Cape Breton musician scheduled so we returned the following night as well. We’ll post more about the museum later.
During our stay we attended the annual Dory Races between rowing clubs from Lunenburg and Glouster. The races alternate locations. This is a modern day version of the competition between the two towns. Dories were the workhorses of the fishing industry. They were designed to be carried on board a sailing vessel, stacked so several dories took only the footprint of one boat. These were the boats that caught the fish and whales. They are sturdy and stable allowing fisherman to lean over to pull in nets or crest waves. 2013 was the first time in ten years that Canada had swept wins in every category. Guess our cheers for “Go US!” were of no avail.
With our campground within walking distance of town, we combed the streets taking pictures. The mural shown at the beginning of this post is painted on the local grocery store. The postcard shot of town shown above requires a drive across the harbor and a short walk. We’ve put together a video from those walks. Enjoy!