Canada – The Maritimes

I haven’t written for a while, I have been in Canada.  I didn’t realise what a huge country it was.  You can’t really say you’ve been in Canada; you have to be more precise and say which huge bit you were in.  I was in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick or what the Canadian’s refer to as The Maritimes.  It’s all Atlantic Coast and the 2 regions surround the bay of Fundi which, incidentally, has the highest tide in the World.

I’ll tell you my immediate observations, it’s huge and there’s hardly anybody in it.  New Brunswick alone is roughly twice the size of England and only 750,000 people live in it.  It’s over 80% forest, that means the roads are always clear.  It’s like constantly driving around at 3 am.

The people are incredibly welcoming and amazingly friendly and helpful.  I accidentally reversed into a ditch whilst I was there.  With the help of local people, a tow truck pulled me out within 30 minutes of landing in it and they charged me £30 for doing it.  Buying tablets in a drug store, a couple suggested that as I was only visiting, why didn’t they buy the bottle to keep and I just take a couple of tablets from them.  Wherever I went, I found the same warmth.

They have incredible seafood, scallops, lobsters and clams are absolutely everywhere, and I mean, everywhere.  There is so much lobster out there, Subway do a fresh lobster sandwich.  You can even get a McLob in McDonald’s!  The Canadian Atlantic Coast is alive with glorious seafood.

I didn’t realise it’s just over 5 hours from London Heathrow to Halifax Nova Scotia and the exchange rate is extremely favourable.  A dollar is around about 65 pence.  With the exchange rate and the local foods, this means a main course in the poshest restaurants does not exceed £15.

It’s ridiculously quaint; it’s not what I expected.  Some of the towns look like they belong to the 1930’s Midwest; some of them look like early 20th Century Scandinavian fishing villages.  The scenery, however, is breath taking.  Forests, lakes, rugged coast line, it is a big beautiful Country.

Gregg Wallace