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What we miss about Nova Scotia

What do we miss about Nova Scotia, Canada? We miss Nova Scotia, Canada. The flight time Hamburg-Halifax is relatively short. In our case even half an hour shorter than struck, namely 6.5 hours. At least that’s what the captain said on the radio. A good sign? So good that we should already have guessed what we miss about Nova Scotia?

What we miss from Nova Scotia

The arrival at Halifax airport will be announced to us via radio. Followed by the standard weather report. It is raining! Of course, it is Canada. There it rains often. A sign? We get off the plane and stroll in the direction of the border guard, get the formalities quickly behind us and stand shortly after at the conveyor belt of the baggage claim. A lady in uniform with a dog on a leash runs between the people and their suitcases. Also her mistress lets the dog sniff the pieces of luggage on the conveyor belt again and again. But the drug sniffing dog seems to be still young and has a weak minute every now and then and prefers to play. OK, that’s new for us – we’ve never seen a drug detection dog on the baggage conveyor before. Another sign? Well, we have our luggage, pass customs and reach the arrival hall. There we quickly go outside to the taxi stand. And lo and behold – the captain was right – rain! The sign proves to be true. We get into the taxi, give the driver the road where we want to go and he drives off. Silence in the taxi. We are tired from the journey, the taxi driver also seems to think little of chatting. The Nova Scotias are supposed to be so friendly I remember to have heard and read again and again. The driver doesn’t seem to be that friendly. A sign? Well, we just arrived.

So we arrive at our hosts from Airbnb, get out of the taxi and go to the house. Knocking on the door and immediately it opens from a friendly, inviting laughing man – Terry, our host. Maria, his wife, also greets us with an absolutely happy laugh. Both welcome us warmly and we immediately feel welcome to stay invited. What is the best way to describe such a welcome? Describing is very difficult… maybe Home? A truly very, very good sign.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

We now have two weeks until our Dubu with the cargo ship crosses the Atlantic and arrives in Halifax. Maria and Terry make the start in Halifax easy for us and we are allowed to go with them to Peggy’s Cove and enjoy this day with Lobster, family visit at Terry’s parents and a ranch and finally a BBQ in the garden. Word can hardly describe how we feel at our two hosts. It is simply wonderful.

Peggy's Cove - nice village with tasty Lobster.
Peggy’s Cove – nice village with tasty Lobster.

Now we have to spend two weeks in Halifax. Anyone who has ever been here knows that Halifax is not very big. But it has a lot to offer. Some people find it hard to be in one place for a certain time and when these people get bored, impatience and perhaps melancholy spreads. The decisive factor here is the attitude to the situation. That’s why we walk every day and explore this and that, road up, road down. We visit a few restaurants, bars and micro breweries in Halifax. We get to know Eli from the restaurant Caribbean Bliss. He is of Lebanese origin and immigrated to Canada a few years ago. We get into conversation and chat about his homeland, our homeland, vegan food, immigration etc.. At the end Eli offers us to explore the city with his BMW. Hey, just like that we are allowed to use his car. Without consideration, out of friendship. We politely refuse the offer, but then come back to it when we release our Duro. Wherever we go in Halifax we get into conversation with the Canadians. They want to know where we come from, what we do in Canada, whether we like Canada and give us a few tips what we should visit. Everything is so easy, so relaxed and lively. We were especially impressed by the visit of Pier 21, which was the transit point for over a million immigrants for a few years. It is a museum that is very well built and very informative. The visit here is worth the entrance fee. Furthermore we visited the Seven Bays Bouldering and accepted the introductory offer. Awesome – one week every day using all the equipment and learning to climb. Now we have a new hobby. 🙂

In the second week Yvonne and Guido arrive in Halifax with Mosquito. We spend a lot of time with our dear friends in Halifax. We introduce the three to life in Halifax and discuss our travel plans for the next months. Then it’s time. On June 27th, at 7:30 a.m. local time, the Atlantic Sun arrives in Halifax. She announces herself with a loud roar of the ship’s horn. On this cargo ship is our Duro. Of course we are very excited, get up early and don’t want to miss the entrance to the container port. So we run off and look forward to having the Duro with us again soon. But first we have to get the paper marathon behind us to release the vehicle. We have already entered all addresses in our navigation system and can therefore only call up the favourites and navigate to this address. Since all these addresses are far away from each other, we gladly make use of Eli’s offer to use his BMW on this day. With the Travely’s we go first to the first address – to the forwarding agent. He is in Dartmouth, on the other side of Halifax. The issuing of the freight documents by the carrier is a matter of 10 minutes. Forwarding, professional. Then the journey to the customs office. We expect a few questions from the customs officer and hope for a simple procedure. Because we have heard so much in advance – bad and tedious. But the process of answering questions takes 15 minutes. Then all the official paperwork is already done. We drive to the container terminal and want to trigger the Duro now. Here it takes a little longer, as around 10 other vehicles also want to be triggered. After an inspection by us we find the Duro undamaged. My manual – made for Dummies 🙂 – seems to have worked excellently for the port staff in Hamburg and Halifax.
The feeling of having our home back is fantastic. Also the starting of the engine, which starts immediately, causes the happiness hormone serotonin to rise in the body.

People are important

We find that the Canadians are talking to each other. I’m certainly using this comparison with the Swiss, because the Swiss has totally forgotten how to sit at the table with others and talk. Because usually the mobile phone is always in the hand and you type stupidly on it. When the Canadian talks to you, he seeks eye contact. The Canadian is extremely friendly and helpful. Also considerate. We stand at a crossroads in Halifax, don’t know exactly in which direction we have to go, and the Canadian patiently waits in the car until we finally cross the road. A young Canadian in Halifax, tattooed and unkempt on the outside, helps an older lady with the shopping cart from the street out of the sidewalk. The Canadian feels little or no time pressure. He drives quietly in traffic and the horn is only used for greetings or at most when the man in front has overlooked the green light for the second time at the traffic light. Also the Canadians laugh much more than the Swiss.

That's not a river, that 's the high tide. Absolutely awesome.
That’s not a river, that ‘s the high tide. Absolutely awesome.

The Duro in Canada – what is it?

The Canadians are fascinated by our Duro. And that applies to every age, every gender. Young men are amazed, point their thumbs up, wave, greet, laugh, yell… spry ladies ask us what it is, want to know how we brought the vehicle here, think it’s great, wish you a good trip. Men of all ages want to know everything about the Duro. They are more than just fascinated – enthusiastic, cheering, interested, laughing, radiant, almost throwing themselves out of their own car while waving to each other. Meanwhile we have visited a few countries, but in no other country has our Duro caused so much enthusiasm as in Canada. We had the absolutely best experience on the trip from Shelburne along the coast to the south. We were overtaken by a silver truck on the road and it honked. Ok, fits so far. At the pier to a ferry we want to take, the silver truck is opposite us. The headlight flasher, left arm out of the window beckons and beckons and beckons one could think that the shoulder is about to roll out. We realize that if we want to take the ferry, we have to line up. We drive behind the silver truck. Now the doors open left and right and two men get out. The younger one can’t be stopped now. It now goes off like a rocket. We get out and reach out our hands to greet each other, which is almost torn off because of all my enthusiasm. We chat until the ferry arrives and on the ferry the conversation continues. After the ferry we go our way. What an experience we think. Two days later we drive past a house on the main road and two men next to a silver truck wave for the race. There is not so much coincidence. We turn around, drive back to the house and get out. Now every ice is broken and we take photos together, exchange names, email addresses. We will surely see Matt again in Alberta. Whoever has so much enthusiasm for our Duro should also be rewarded. 🙂


The youngest fan of our Duro was Jason a 10 year old boy from Cape Split. He wanted to know everything. So he came every half hour on his bike and wanted to know more about the Duro. He was obviously more than impressed. To the inhabitants of Cape Split and the surrounding area. If in about 10 years a young man named Jason drives with a Duro through the area – we are guilty. 🙂

Since the Duro is unknown in Canada, nobody knows what he should call the vehicle. So there are a lot of words that we wrote down.

One after the other the most heard expressions for the Duro.

  1. Nice rig
  2. I like your rig
  3. I like your car
  4. What is it?
  5. Is that a Unimog?
  6. Is that bullet proofed?
  7. This is a monster
  8. Is that a tank?
  9. What a beast
  10. You have a cool buggy
    11 Great unit
  11. This is a nice machine

I’m sure there’ll be more.

Breweries wherever you look.

I haven’t paid any attention to alcohol for about 50 years. After a holiday in Thailand I drank a beer here and there. When we drove the Duro to Holland, Belgium and Northern France in 2017 on a test drive, I simply had to try the world-famous best Belgian beer. I got a taste for it. The darker the beer, the more yummy…
Now the world still thinks that Belgian beer is the best in the world. This is due in part to very good marketing and certainly also to the breweries themselves. Because Belgian beer is excellent.

Lots of micro breweries are located in Nova Scotia. And the beer is much better than the Belgium beer! :-)
Lots of micro breweries are located in Nova Scotia. And the beer is much better than the Belgium beer! 🙂

But now we are in Nova Scotia, Canada and find out that there are a lot of micro breweries here. A total of 81 breweries in Nova Scotia, 19 of them in Halifax alone. No, we haven’t tried all of them – but some. Because we had to try at least 15 to get the Nova Scotia “Good Cheer Trail” T-shirt. Hey, that’s hard work! :-))

The Nut Brown from Garrison tasted best. On Cape Breton we liked several of the Brewery Big Spruce Brewing. But the absolute top beers could be found somewhere else. The secret is then revealed in the Newfoundland report.

Landscapes that take your breath away

The landscape of Nova Scotia is enormously varied. The rough coast at the Atlantic Ocean impresses with rugged rocks and reefs, the south around Yarmouth shows how fast the fog migrates from the sea to the coast and covers the beaches, the densely wooded slopes to the Bay of Fundy rob, with the highest tide of 16 meters, every breath and the beaches at the St. Lawrence River invite to bath in the relatively warm sea. You have to look for so much variety for a long time.

Cape Breton is one of our most loved region we've visited.
Cape Breton is one of our most loved region we’ve visited.

Conclusion

Nova Scotia was a unique experience for us and we will miss it. We met so many friendly, open and laughing people that it was very difficult for us to say goodbye to this province. Cape Breton was a special attraction for us. Flora and fauna are not comparable to the rest of Nova Scotia. Huge Provincial Parks invite to short or long trails in the middle of nature. Here it can happen that you meet a black bear, moose or even a coyote. But we only saw the bear and the moose from a distance. The area around Baddeck at Lake Bras d’Or is – from our point of view – the most beautiful area on Cape Breton. Then follows Shelburne on the Atlantic Ocean. Here we wanted to visit an emigrated Swiss – Roland Glauser – who has a restaurant. Unfortunately he was not present on this day.

The colors of the stones are amazing. Nature is beautiful.
The colors of the stones are amazing. Nature is beautiful.

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