Sunday, June 5, 2016

Nova Scotia 5.6.2016: Chips. And Chips (And Lovely Fresh Fish and Friendly, Hospitable People)



Impressions of Nova Scotia

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Friday night, 9:30 P.M., lounging in our pajamas, parties going on in Grafton Street, which our hotel room overlooks. Our window is open to let in the fresh night air.

In the distance, the sound of pipes: they become louder with each moment, with clapping and laughter, too. We look out the window to see a piper – one solitary man in a kilt – walking up Grafton piping away on his bagpipes, as a crowd follows him clapping and dancing in the street. 


And then the stirring music recedes as quickly and surprisingly as it had arrived.


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Boston: we change from the large jet that brought us from Atlanta, to a small prop plane headed to Halifax. Wafting through the air from the seat behind us – chips. Someone has brought aboard a bag of chips to tide them over from Boston to Halifax, a sure sign we’re going to the Maritimes.

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Daily as we walk past the old library on Spring Garden Road, the smell of chips everywhere in the air from a chip wagon parked outside the building. People sitting on the stone wall around the library and the chip wagon happily eating their chips.

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Along Spring Garden Road, chest-high planters of pansies in front of shops, releasing the sweet fragrance of spring flowers into the air. Further along, the sharp, clean smell of planters of lavender on the sidewalk in front of a shop.

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The haunting atavistic smell of fresh-cut grass on Citadel Hill as we climb to the top one bright early June evening, the cool wind sweeping down around us, making us think of the ancestral hills on which some of our ancestors millennia ago pastured cattle and sheep, so that the milk, butter, and cheese of the pastured animals took on the sweet fragrance of the cut grass on which they fed.

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In Dartmouth, the church sign tells us: “God’s garden – lettuce be kind, squash gossip, turnip in church.”

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Fish. And chips. Scallops. And chips. Lobster rolls. And chips. Chowder, all the bounty of the coast in this cool, pleasant northerly climate in late May and early June . . . where there’s frost in parts of northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton the first night of June.

The photograph of Peggy's Cove Harbor is by photographer Aconcagua, who has uploaded it to Wikimedia Commons with a Creative Commons license that allows it to be shared online, with credit to the photographer.

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