A rising tide raises all boats …

We all know that tides are the result of the daily tug of war that goes on between the earth and the moon and occur twice every day across most of the world. In some places — most notably the Mediterranean — the fluctuation between low and high tides is minimal, whereas in others, the difference can be huge. I had always been lead to believe that the greatest tidal differences in the world were to be found on Jersey in the Channel islands and they are indeed impressive with differences of as much as 37 feet. These however are in the halfpenny place when you hear about the tides in the Bay of Fundy which is located along the western coast of Nova Scotia and which can range as high as 54 feet!

Anyway, why am I talking about tidal differences this week? Well partly because it is a very interesting phenomenon of nature but more particularly because I recently had the pleasure of spending an idyllic few days in Halifax, the hip capital of Nova Scotia and got to travel over to Wolfville,  which is the nearest town from where this quirk of nature can be experienced and which is located in the Annapolis Valley, approximately 100 kilometres northwest of the provincial capital, Halifax. I’ll be honest and state for the record that I didn’t spend 12 hours hanging around, waiting to experience the phenomenon in real time but I can direct your attention to this link on YouTube where you can watch it in all it’s glory, courtesy of the convenience of time-lapse photography.

Huge tides were of course not the only thing that surprised me about Nova Scotia. I was also intrigued to find that there is a flourishing wine industry in the maritime province which, coincidentally, also extends around the picturesque town of Wolfville and I particularly enjoyed some of the white wines produced by Gasperau Vineyards and overseen by talented winemaker Gina Haverstock who gave up a promising career in medicine (if memory serves me correctly) to pursue an even more promising one in viticulture. By all accounts, Gina is considered a bit of a wine-making genius by her own colleagues!

The other thing that I couldn’t help but notice about Nova Scotia was the striking resemblance of its local architecture to New England. I must have photographed every other house in the stunning town of Lunenberg which was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. The town boasts many fine seafood restaurants, curio shops and an excellent maritime museum. Indeed, I cannot think of a better way to spend a whole day sauntering around and enjoying the serendipity of what might be discovered around the next corner in a place like Lunenberg!

Sadly, my two day stopover in Nova Scotia did not afford me the opportunity to do anything other than get a superficial feel for the place as one would need at least a week, if not two, to fully explore the nooks and crannies of this beautiful part of maritime Canada. Halifax itself is a vibrant, modern city with extremely friendly locals, beautiful green spaces dotted all around the city centre and a nightlife that could easily compete with anything the big cities like Montreal or Toronto could throw at you in terms of quality, albeit not quantity. If you do manage to get yourself over to this little piece of heaven, please don’t allow yourself to miss a visit to iconic Peggy’s Cove — the small fishing community that just demands to be photographed from every conceivable angle — but please do yourself a favour and spend a heck of a lot more time over there than I did!


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