The Fortress at Louisbourg

Louisbourg Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 14 › view all entries

We woke to a truly dismal day; low sky & rain and the ship's arrival was greeted by a lonely and probably very wet bagpiper. As yesterday, we met the folks for breakfast, and then I called Avis to arrange a ride to the airport to pick up a car. The driver suggested we visit Louisbourg but the girl at the counter said it would be a terrible place given the wind and rain. She suggested a mining museum in Glace Bay. However, she called & found it was closed for Canadian Thanksgiving so we set off for Louisbourg anyway. The drive down was pretty depressing, especially given the weather. We had to park at a visitors' center and take a bus to the fortress. I suspect the drive would be nice on a clear day but in our case, the bus' windows were covered in mud! Whether this was a good day to visit is a matter of perspective.

On the one hand, the rain, mud, wind, and cold made it most uncomfortable. On the other hand, it made for a better understanding of Cape Breton Island weather & a more authentic experience. Because it was off season, many buildings were closed but there were plenty open given our schedule & there were lots of re-enactors in period clothing.

I spotted one solitary soldier up on one of the walls so I climbed up & had a very pleasant chat with him. Not a lot of people were stupid enough to climb up to endure that wind so I think he was glad for the company! The wind was actually strong enough that we both had to occasionally struggle for footing! After I rejoined the others, we did a bit more exploring, then grabbed the shuttle bus.

They only run every 30 minutes at this time of year so that's a bit of a bother. Overall, though, I was glad we'd visited.

We ate lunch at the only place in town open for lunch, the Fortress View. After dropping the car & being delivered to the ship, Mom & Dad went aboard while Lin & I shopped at the craft market on the dock. Lin bought a very nice pendant of fossilized wood. By the time we were ready to board, the rain was coming in sheets. We dashed aboard during a brief lull, had some chili & nachos in the Seaview Café, then BOTH took a nap! By the time we awoke, we were at sea and being bounced around pretty well. Dress code for the evening was casual. Once ready for dinner, we took a look around. What was especially cool given the rough seas was the gyro-stabilized pool table.

Absolutely fantastic! We had a drink in the Schooner Bar while listening to guitar music.

By this time, we were being tossed around pretty well. One sure sign of bad weather is the stacks of barf bags everywhere! I fully expected the dining room to be empty but it wasn't. Eunice was missing once again but Chris & Faith had joined us; they'd switched from main seating. After dinner, we all went to the Vortex because we expected "Romantic Dance Music" but that's not what was playing. We danced a bit & then moved to the Safari Club for the "50's & 60's Party". Dancing in both places was a riot because of the ship's motion. Finally, we sat in the Schooner Bar listening to "Barry from Boston" until he quit at 12:30.

We were to learn later that the wind reached a sustained 60 to 70 kts. with waves of 25 feet. Lin didn't sleep all that well but I slept like a baby. I really like it when the sea's a bit rough. No sense going to sea if it's going to feel like a hotel on land!

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photo by: d2amy