August 31, 2007:
In case you hadn't noticed, Canada can lay claim to having many National Historic Sites. Today we'd decided to check one such site in the town of Grand Pre a short distance from where we camped overnight.
In the early 1600's, a former french colony was established in the territory which now forms Nova Scotia, called Acadia. The residents, known as Acadian's developed a system of dams and canals, allowing them to reclaim the land from the sea and turn it into fertile pastures. At one time around 200 farms were established to work the fields. This area of Canada, Acadie - the french name for Nova Scotia, was contested by France and Britain and in 1755 the area was ceded to Britain, which lead to the eventual deportation of the Acadian population from 1755 to 1762. The Grand Pre National Historic site commemorates these events and recognises the area as a centre of Acadian settlement.
The church situated in the Grand Pre National Historic Site, occupies what is thought to be the site of the original Acadian Church of Saint-Charles. The present building was built between 1922 and 1930. During our visit to the church we came across a cute cat taking a nap and who's obviously a long time resident, having been supplied with his own cushion and own space on the window sill. He didn't move a whisker when we walked up to photograph him, and we used the flash, he wasn't moving for anyone!
We headed outdoors and checked out the rest of the grounds including the Herbin Cross which was erected in 1909 (by Frederic Herbin) to mark the site of the Acadian cemetery, and the statue of Henry Longfellow who wrote "Evangeline: A tale of Acadie" in 1847.
After spending an hour or two at the Grand Pre National Historic Site, we decided to check a local vineyard and came across Domaine de Grand Pre, a boutique winery featuring a restaurant, wine shop, and a tastefully designed outdoor area for sipping wine on a fine day. Our plan was more to see the ripening progress of the grapes growing on the vines which were still a few weeks away from being ready.
With the rain starting to fall, we made tracks to the town of Windsor and picked up grocery supplies before ending the day at the Hants County Exhibition Park to camp the night. It was raining pretty hard by the time we arrived not to mention blowing a gale, so were hoping we wouldn't float or fly away during the night. Later that evening a couple arrived with their tent which they started putting up in between downpours.
The campground was pretty close to the main highway plus it was a holiday weekend so it was kinda noisy - we just hoped we'd sleep ok.
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Travelling from the coast of the Bay of Fundy, we arrive at an ancient Acadian settlement area to explore the national historic site in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.
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