As you may already know from the previous article about our visit to Prince Edward Island, we arrived very late to Nova Scotia by ferry the night before. Therefore, we started to discover the next Atlantic province of Canada, Nova Scotia, the following morning.

Town of Port Hawkesbury – one of the largest port in Canada

Website: https://townofporthawkesbury.ca/

Address: Port Hawkesbury

The goal of the day was to reach our main destination of the trip Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It was a pretty easy considering the distance. We had to drive only 270 km (168 miles). About halfway to the park was the Hawkesbury port.

We do not exactly remember where we read that Port Hawkesbury is the second largest by tonnage in Canada after Vancouver. This information served as the reason to make our first stop there.

We wanted to see – as we imagined – the “huge” ships.

Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia

Imagine our confusion when we saw those three boats. We looked at the GPS to check if we were in the right place. Everything was correct. We just misunderstood the information. The main purpose of Port Hawkesbury is the transportation of gravel and oil products, what actually explains the large tonnage 🙂

The Beach in Inverness

Website: https://invernesscapebreton.com/

Inverness visitor center address: 15756 Central Ave, Inverness, NS B0E 1N0

Once again checked with the map, we chose to discover the western part of Сape Breton Island. The town of Inverness was our next stop. It is not a surprise that there is a city with the same name in Scotland, but its Canadian namesake was founded much later in 1904.

We bought sandwiches and went straight to the beach.

If we had binoculars or a telescope, we could easily have seen the lighthouse on the opposite shore. The lighthouse that we had visited the day before on the eastern point of Prince Edward Island.

Inverness coast on Cape Breton Island

In contrast to the beaches of Prince Edward Island, this beach was partially pebbly.

Despite the hot day, the air on the beach was cool, and the water was freezing.

Just one minute in ankle deep water was enough to feel a slight tingle. Despite this, there was a couple of brave swimmers.

After a small walk on the beach, we continued our journey.

Delicious lobster for dinner in Nova Scotia

How can you go to the Atlantic provinces and not try giant lobsters ?! We do not remember, why we chose the Le Gabriel & Lounge for dinner. Most likely due to its unusual look. What we remember about the restaurant are a giant lobster and outstanding service.

Address: 15424 Main St, Chéticamp, NS B0E 1H0

Restaurant Le Gabriel in Chéticamp in Nova Scotia

In Russian, we have a childish saying “You should take a nap after a rich dinner.” At that moment it was not about us. We were looking forward to seeing Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

How we discover Cape Breton Park for free

Website: Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Chéticamp visitor center address: 16648 Cabot Trail, Chéticamp, NS B0E 1H0

We did not get to the park the first time.

The thing is at the entrance to the park there was a big sign warning that there were no gas stations on the park’s territory. So we decided to return to the city and fill up. Fortunately, it was not far. The nearest station was Irving. Instead of the gas numbers, it was simply written regular and supreme. We filled the car with the supreme one. Looking ahead, we never wanted to exhaust a full tank of gas as quickly as possible!

The car barely moved. It remains a mystery what kind of gas was sold under “regular.”

When we arrived again at the park entrance, it was after five. At the checkpoints, there was no one. We could not buy the tickets.

We went to discover Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the scenic road Cabot Trail for free.

The place of our first halt in the Park was a steep rock just after the entrance. It was so impressive and so different from the landscapes that we had seen so far.

Entry point to Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Then the road went up steeply.

Uphill Cabot Trail road in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

… And unforgettable landscapes began!… We do not have enough words to describe that beauty! Only exclamations “Oooh!! Aah! Wow! Oh, my Goodness! Holy crap!”

We just want to say that it took us 3 hours to drive 12 km of Cabot Trail.

On that day we understood that booking a hotel in advance would be a wrong decision.

Cape Breton shore

You may ask: “Why only three photos?”

First, we will return to Cape Breton Highlands National Park in a couple of years to get to know the park better. We will make a separate post about this journey. Secondly, you need to go there yourself! No photos will replace your own experience.

This post is part of our first long trip to the Canadian Maritimes. You can read other articles from that trip:
New Brunswick | Prince Edward Island | Nova Scotia – Day 2 | Nova Scotia – Day 3

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