Sorry I didn’t post the blog earlier but the internet at the B&B was in very high demand last night and it wasn’t particularly quick in the first place!
It was a little dark to take a photo of our accomodation last night and hence didn’t make the blog so we rectified that this morning.
Just a little understated!
Today was about discovering the history of the Acadians and how it panned out for them in what today is Canada – not well actually. In our Canadian History for Dummies book it says that what happened to them was the first recorded incident of genocide – not something you really want on your history books.
We drove about 5k down to Grand Pres which was one of many settlement areas in Nova Scotia to see the ingenious polders on the coastal region that they set up. Below is a photo of the area that they would have been greeted with and through hard labour they reclaimed the land from the ocean. One very important fact to let you know, is that we are in the area where the biggest tides in the world are, recorded at 15 meters so they had a huge task on their hands.
They leached out the salt from the land through natural rain fall and then were able to plant their crops. Below is a photo from one of the information boards to show you what it would have looked like.
Today, farmers are still ploughing these lands that were reclaimed.
An example of a dyke but what you cannot see is the drainage channel at the base of the dyke that has a one way drainage system out into the ocean. This was made by a one way paddle at a certain angle that let the fresh water out but not the ocean water into the polder.
All was well until 1755 when the Brits felt that the Acadians were being disloyal and told them they had to swear allegiance to the King of England. The Acadians wanted to stay neutral and be left alone to continue their lifestyle and did not consider themselves to be French but Arcadians. The Brits were not happy so they rounded as many of the Acadians up in Maritime Canada and put them on ships.
This cross is the identified area where the Acadians from Grand Pres were loaded onto the ships.
Some were sent back to France, others to Louisiana (where they set up the dyke system in New Orleans), Belize and as far south as the Falkland Islands. Many of them died on these voyages.
When the Brits took over the polders to farm them they struggled with the system and ended up bringing back some of the Acadians that they had sent back to France, to work back on the farms they use to own. How disheartening that would have been for them.
After about 50 years, more of them filtered back to the Maritime region and because the English were so established they were not considered a threat anymore. They are a very proud and industrious people. A couple of the pictures from the Grand Pres area.
We then headed to Port Royal which was about an hours drive west from Wolfville. This is the actual location of the first permanent European settlement north of Florida. It was discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1605 who was a French explorer. As the British and French battled, the settlement often changed hands, in fact seven times.
This area is right on the coast and found a lovely old relocated light house.
This picture will give you some idea of the height of the tides.
Spoke with Simon tonight to see how Toque was going especially as she had some dental work done a week before we left. She is going OK and he is being very good with her and making sure she is not lonely. We asked if she was sleeping under the covers on the bed with him but he said she is better in her basket as he didn’t want to roll on her and splatter her!!!! Hmmmm, that’s very considerate of him. Don’t know if we would be that fussed about coming home to a splattered pooch?!