Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia

Articles Jul 24, 2019 23:24

Canada is known for their cold weather and maple syrup. But hardly anyone aware about the rocky landscape region known as Nova Scotia. This South London artist and muralist, Remi Rough, took a trip to the Canadian Province to finds inspiration through the colorful villages and adventures on water. Let's read about this special 4 days.

I’ll be completely honest; the only thing I knew about Nova Scotia before I went was that rapper and hip-hop artist Buck 65 is from there! What I found was a completely charming province, and one that’s very diverse, too, with so many different experiences you can have. You’ve got city life in Halifax, then sprawling national parks, and so much of life here is led on or by the water. I came here with the challenge of creating a mural on a building in Halifax, and I found so much inspiration along the way. The result was amazing – I left a little piece of myself on the harbour front.

Day 1: Halifax - Lunenburg

As there are year-round direct flights from London to Halifax and they only take six hours, you can get right into the Halifax swing of things without long transfers or bad jet lag. Spend your first morning walking along its historic harbour front to get a feel for the city. It has great cultural experiences where you can learn more about the region’s past, like the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The Titanic exhibit at the Maritime Museum is particularly moving – while ship’s survivors went to New York, all who perished came to Halifax, and you can learn about their poignant personal stories here.

One of the absolute gems of this region is the quaint, colourful village of Lunenburg, a Unesco world heritage site. Established in 1753 by the Brits, it’s just an hour’s drive from Halifax, and is best known for its beautiful, multicoloured 18th- and 19th-century buildings. There are so many shades, from tomato red, to deep purple and peppermint green ... strolling around and taking it all in is a delight, especially along King St, which has been nicknamed “the Unesco fresco”.

Day 2: Lunenburg

Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia

Remi kayaks through the little channels at Blue Rocks

Lunenburg is the perfect place to go kayaking. Set off from the bay at Blue Rocks, a spectacular 10-minute drive along the coast from the town of Lunenburg, and paddle through dozens of little channels out to the open sea. There’s plenty of nature around - I saw an osprey, and a huge heron. And I do love that people here spend so much time outdoors – they have everything on their doorstep.

Back in Lunenburg, lunch at the Beach Pea Kitchen & Bar– they have some cracking fishcakes. Most restaurants here serve fish and seafood, and it’s all so beautifully fresh. Spend the rest of the day hanging out in town, just walking around and taking in the scenery and the slower pace of life. For dinner, treat yourself to lobster at the Old Fish Factory restaurant, one of the best places in town for it.

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Day 3: Lunenburg – Kejimkujik – Halifax

Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Mi’kmaw petroglyphs in Kejimkujik national park and national historic site

Kejimkujik national parkand national historic site, about an hour from Lunenburg, has got an incredible collection of petroglyphs, stories carved on rocks by the Mi’kmaq, a First Nations people, thousands of years ago. Our guide was great, and told us all about their history, and the people who’d created the carvings. The Mi’kmaw people, for instance, are credited with inventing the ice hockey stick – they are recorded as having played the game as early as the 18th century. Today, October is celebrated as Mi’kmaq history month, and the entire Mi’kmaw Nation celebrates Treaty Day annually on 1 October – the date when the Peace and Friendship treaty of 1752 was signed by the Mi’kmaq of Shubenacadie and the Brits.

Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
The landmark lighthouse in Peggy’s Cove

Peggy’s Cove is the perfect place to stretch your legs on the drive back to Halifax, and take in some amazing views of sea and sky. It’s got a strikingly elegant lighthouse, but what impressed me most were the rocks which covered the whole area – it looked like the moon, a completely alien landscape.

Finish the day back in Halifax dining with locals at Edna, which stands for “eat, drink, nourish, always”. It does a mix of fish, meat and veggie dishes, and you eat at communal tables, which is fun.

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Day 4: Halifax

Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
  • All aboard the Bluenose II

Start your morning with a sail around Halifax harbour on the stunning schooner Bluenose II. It’s a faithful reconstruction of the first Bluenose, a 1920s racing and fishing ship that, unfortunately, sank in 1946. We set off at full sail and got amazing views of Halifax from the water. The captain, Phil, is a great character, with a huge beard!

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Then it was time to do my mural; the space was a stairwell at the back of the Marriott Harbourfront hotel. Normally it would take me around three days to do a piece this size (it’s around 7 x 10 metres) but we only had a day! I used inspiration from all the places I’d seen, so there were lots of muted greens to represent things like moss on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove, and mustard colours for the seaweed at Blue Rocks, then lighter notes like peppermint green for the houses in Lunenburg.

For dinner, try the Bicycle Thief, a lovely, laid-back Italian restaurant. The spaghetti with meatballs is massive and delicious!

Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
Four Inspirational Days In Canadian Province- Nova Scotia
  • Remi paints his mural

The next day, before I left for the airport, I spent a few more hours finishing the mural. A lot of people helped, like a guy from the crew of the Bluenose II, who’s also a street artist. It felt great to give something to the community; I hope they like it! I’d love to come back and spend more time in Nova Scotia – hopefully that’ll happen soon.

Photography: Aaron McKenzie Fraser

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