Travel related articles.

Lunenburg

My previous post took you through the wonders of Peggy’s Cove in the early morning light. This post will take you through another must-see area of the Southern coastal area of Nova Scotia: Lunenburg.

A drive around the southern coastal region of Nova Scotia wouldn’t be complete without going to Lunenburg—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—so we decided to make this our destination for that evening’s ride. A direct drive from Peggy’s Cove to Lunenburg should take about an hour and a half, but when I’m in a new place with camera in hand, that time stretches to more than double.

Driving along the Lighthouse Route (Route 333), I took several detours to all the coves that lined the shores. Every road we drove on would lead to breathtaking scenery that we would have loved to have ourselves on a daily basis.

Our driving route from Peggy’s Cove to Lunenburg, hugging the shoreline as we went.

While we admired the many views going north on Peggy’s Cove Rd., I enjoyed the loop around Hwy 329, off of Hwy 3. It does add a little more time to your drive to Lunenburg, but when you’re in Nova Scotia, I consider the drive as part of my experience there.

 

Lupin, Lupine, Lupinus

Whichever name you go by, there’s no doubt these flowers are very picturesque.

They grow wild all over the province and offer so much colour to any landscape. Pink, purple, light pink, and light purple, you’ll see patches of them as you drive along the highway, making driving so much more enjoyable there too.

Lupins along the shores at Blue Rocks. 

Apart from the Lupins, there were other flowers that made for great foreground elements.

Flowers along the shores of Blue Rocks.

 

Mahone Bay

The three churches in Mahone Bay is another popular stop en route to Lunenburg, and is quickly becoming one of Nova Scotia’s iconic views.

Picturesque Mahone Bay.

 

It’s a charming little costal town and a great place for a break. We arrived there shortly before 5pm, so we had to hurry in through the many quaint shops before they closed. A quick stop at Lahave Bakery for a delicious cup of cappuccino satisfied my coffee craving.

Inside Lahave Bakery in Mahone Bay.

Shortly thereafter though, we left to go to Lunenberg, since we wanted to eat dinner there before sunset.

 

Lunenburg

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg is a beautiful port town that is home to the world-famous Bluenose (now Bluenose II), Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador. I knew I wanted to spend some time here, just wandering around the narrow streets, and to admire the architecture and harbour.

Quaint sitting area found while walking in Lunenburg. Taken on my iPhone.

Hunger may have got the better of us though, as we walked from one seafood restaurant to the next, looking at their offerings. We opted for the Savvy Sailor Cafe because of the one dish.

The scallop sandwich, which was what we were looking for, was a hit. Both a unique offering (never had scallops on a bun before!) and tasty, it was a perfect match.

Scallop sandwich from the Savvy Sailor Cafe. Taken on my iPhone.

We had a great view of the port and Bluenose II, which happened to be in town that week.

Lunenburg Harbour at sunset. Bluenose II is the second boat from the left with the tallest mast.

After dinner, we headed over to the other side of the bay area to the entrance to the golf course, where we were told by a few people that it offered one of the best views of the Lunenburg harbour. We stayed there for the sunset that evening just enjoying the moment. The sunset wasn’t anything spectacular but we did have a nice subtle showing of purples and deep blues in blue hour.

Lunenburg Harbour at sunset with boaters.

Looking over to my right, I see some great golf-green lawn which contrasted nicely with the purple skies.

Golf course across the Lunenburg Harbour as seen at sunset.

Blue hour at Lunenburg looks the best when seen from the opposite side of the harbour, and when the lights at the harbour turn on.

Lunenburg Harbour at sunset.

A wider angle shows the entire harbour at blue hour.

Lunenburg Harbour at sunset.

And another one.

Lunenburg Harbour at sunset. The famed Bluenose II can be seen if you look closely!

 

Blue Rocks

I had the grand idea of going out that evening to do some astrophotography. Since we opted to stay in Blue Rocks—a 7min. drive from Lunenburg—we were in a prime location away from the village lights. After taking in the sunset, we went back to our Airbnb (which by the way, was very nice—see below), cleaned up, and then just instinctively got ready to retire for the evening. My astrophotography idea had just vanished into thin air as I was too exhausted from the full day’s events.

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

Not catching the stars only means one thing though—we woke up around 4:30am to catch the sunrise at the point at Blue Rocks. As I peered out the window of my Airbnb after waking up, I saw the sky was a burning red. Excited to see this even more at the point, we hurried our way there. A short 4min. drive away, we came upon the most vibrant sunrise we had seen in our trip.

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

The picturesque point painted with the beautiful sunrise offered the perfect subject for any photos, and I was happy to be there soaking everything in.

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

Jumping from one spot to the next, it was brilliant wherever I looked…it was honestly hard to stay still!

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

The boats anchored in the bay, the fishing huts perched afar, the rock formations, and that vibrant sunrise all made for one exhilarating morning.

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

The various stores dot the Point at Blue Rocks.

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

I love the unique look of the fishing boats here with the taller bow (front) and shorter stern (back); it’s something you don’t see too often in Ontario.

Fishing boat at sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

More boats seen with the brilliance of the sunrise.

Sunrise at The Point at Blue Rocks.

Taking a drive along the shores of Blue Rocks after the sun had risen was also a very refreshing way to start the day.

Shoreline at Blue Rocks.

Afterwards breakfast, we headed back out to Blue Rocks where we rented kayaks for a few hours and enjoyed the calm waters of Millers Pass.

Kayaking through Millers Pass in Blue Rocks.

The area is known to be one of the best places to kayak in Nova Scotia as its suited for everyone from the beginner to the experienced paddlers.

Kayaking through Millers Pass in Blue Rocks.

 

Airbnb

(https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/20538112)

The entrance to the airbnb.

So where did we stay? It was the perfect location for a quiet getaway with some of the best views to be had. I opted to stay away from the village of Lunenburg just to experience something new. Since Blue Rocks offered some great views, and was close to Pleasant Paddling, it was our ideal location—I wanted to go on a morning kayak trip so the proximity to the Point was ideal for us. I later found out that Blue Rocks is considered one of the best kayaking destinations in all of Nova Scotia, which is just icing on the cake!

The beautiful garden at the airbnb in Blue Rocks.

The airbnb is a small but charming place, and the owner—who also stays there—is a very welcoming and friendly individual. She had renovated the entire house herself, and tends to her beautifully decorated garden that is a great place to relax in as well. While you share the home with the owner, the guests get their own bathroom.

The beautiful garden at the airbnb in Blue Rocks.

Breakfast is included in this airbnb, and for us was some very tasty homemade granola and sweet potato muffins, with yogurt, fresh fruits, juice, and coffee. It was more than enough to get our morning started, not to mention very good. The only unfortunate part of breakfast was we ate too much of the granola that we didn’t leave space for the muffins.

The beautiful garden at the airbnb in Blue Rocks.

Without a doubt, I would recommend this airbnb for those looking to get away from the village, and connect with nature.


Have you ever been to Lunenburg and/or Blue Rocks? How was your experience? I would love to hear about them so please feel free to comment below and let me know what you did!

Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018

Every now and again I come across art exhibitions that really make an impression on me—Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror earlier this year being one of them. When I visited the nation’s capital on Canada Day, I took a trip across the Alexandra bridge to Gatineau, Quebec where the Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 exhibit was being held. I didn’t know what to expect from this exhibit at first, but as I made my way to the park, parts of it revealed itself and I knew I was in for something exciting.

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Peggy’s Cove

Peggy’s Cove, located just 40km south of Halifax is home to one of the world’s most iconic lighthouses. This community, nestled along the shores of St. Margarets Bay, has much more to offer though, including some of the freshest lobster you’ll eat and a myriad of great vistas in the village.

As a photographer, I was looking forward to taking photos of the lighthouse, but by the end of the day, I had come back with memories of great seafood that left me wanting more and vistas that rivalled my expectations of the lighthouse.

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Toronto to Muskoka in Less than 35min. with FlyGTA Airlines

With summer literally just around the corner, there’s no shortages of cottage-goers making their way up north of the city; every long weekend Highway 400 gets jam packed with those wishing to escape the city for just a couple of days. With drives lasting hours though, one can hardly call this a vacation. With the stress of having to drive there competing with everyone else, dodging traffic, and escaping collisions, you’re literally exhausted just from the drive.

You can kiss all of that goodbye, however, now that FlyGTA Airlines makes its way to Muskoka in less time than it takes you to reach the 400 from downtown. Beaming with pride, the FlyGTA Airlines CEO, Chris Nowrouzi (below, welcoming me to his aircraft), joined us for the media tour ride to Muskoka.

Chris Nowrouzi, CEO of FlyGTA Airlines, welcomes me inside his plane.

Inside the plane, Nowrouzi goes on to explain that these sickness bags are not your plain-old white bags you see on every other airline. These ones on FlyGTA Airlines have colourful illustrations on them, making them almost too good to use. Below, Nowrouzi explains to us the concept behind creating these unique bags.

Chris Nowrouzi telling us all about the colourful sickness bags.

In the photo below, you can see Z103.5’s Hammer pumped for his flight to Muskoka.

Z103.5’s Hammer is all thumbs up for the flight to Muskoka.

The flight from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport to Muskoka’s Air Terminal only took 33min. from takeoff to landing, and it was absolutely stress-free—not to mention you can enjoy the view while not having to care about dodging traffic. Thirty-three minutes is a pretty short flight, but I couldn’t stop admiring the scenery below. With beautiful coastlines, so much lush greenery, and islands dotting the lakes, we truly do live in a gem of a province!

Coastline

Peering down through the window, I caught a glimpse of this unique view. It was a swimming pool out in the middle of a forest. I didn’t see any homes anywhere near this pool, so I’m not sure what that was all about.

A pool sits in the middle of greenery.

Another great view as seen from my window.

Scenery as seen from the window.

Looking down the plane, I see the two pilots flying with care, as they try and keep this flight as smooth as possible.

Two pilots man the airplane.

Jazz, always on the lookout for great views, takes to his phone and records a video of the flight.

Jazz filming the flight.

After touching down in Muskoka, this is where you have the option to continue your trip via a rental car (there’s an agency located inside the Muskoka Air Terminal), taxi, or in the future, possibly a shuttle to your Muskoka resort! Now that’s a stress-free vacation if you ask me.

Muskoka chairs waiting for us at the Muskoka Air Terminal.

The two pilots get out to chat with everyone.

The pilots mingle.

The Muskoka Air Terminal is located just about 10 min. north of Gravenhurst and 10min. south of Bracebridge, making it a very convenient location to continue your journey to various parts of Northern Ontario.

Muskoka Air Terminal

The FlyGTA Airlines plane sitting outside the Muskoka Air Terminal.

The FlyGTA airplane sits at the Muskoka Air Terminal.

After refuelling, it was time to head back in the plane for our trip back to Toronto.

The group enjoying the ride back to Toronto.

The 10-seater (including pilots) airplane seats comfortably even when I had my camera bag in the footwell. With quite a bit of storage space under the cabin and behind the seats inside, I’m sure you’ll have no problems getting all of your summer needs inside the plane.

Fluffy clouds.

The plane can get a little bumpy depending on the weather, but that’s just par for the course for small aircrafts—if you ask me, it just makes the ride that much more fun. Just look at all those fluffy clouds and you’ll forget all about the bumps!

Jazz looking over to the city of Toronto.

It’s clear that this new route to Muskoka will be very convenient for many people. Whether you need to get to Muskoka for business, a family vacation, or to the cottage, you can’t go wrong with spending just a little more to get there stress-free in only 33 minutes.

The Toronto skyline as we come in for a landing.

And on your way back from Muskoka? You’ll get to enjoy this great view of the Toronto skyline.

The FlyGTA Airlines shuttle brings us back to the underground tunnel.

FlyGTA was kind enough to shuttle our group back to the underground tunnel, which further made this one truly stress-free trip to Muskoka.


For more information, click on the appropriate links below:

FlyGTA Airlines

Muskoka Airport