|Baddeck is the beginning and end of the Cabot Trail Highway|
Another of our objectives was to tour the Louisbourg Fortress, an historical site operated by Canada's national parks. It is a partial reconstruction of a fort that was constructed by the French between 1720 and 1740 for the protection of a thriving fishing and commercial port against British invasion. It was besieged twice and finally destroyed completely by the British in the 1760s. The site lay untouched until the 1960s, when archaeologists began to reconstruct the fortress as it was in the 18th century. About 25% has been reconstructed, making it the largest reconstruction project in North America. It is operated by Parks Canada as a living history museum, meaning that costumed "enactors" give demonstrations of various crafts and activities from that time.
Threading from Baddeck around and over the arms of the Bras d'Or Lake, and passing Sydney, the big city in this area, the drive to Louisbourg, out on another coast of the Atlantic, took about an hour and a half. It was tolerable to walk around outside if you were well bundled-up, though the occasional gusts of mist in my face were unpleasant.
|Louisbourg is on the south Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia|
A bus took us from the Visitors' Center to the fortress, perched on a rocky point. Near the shore was a sod-covered hut for drying cod. Dried cod was an important source of protein in the 18th century and could be transported to Europe.
|The Dauphin Gate|
|Buildings facing the ocean|
The main street is perpendicular to the ocean and extends from the Frédéric Gate to the garrison.
|Main street of town, looking toward the ocean|
|King's Bastion Barracks building with guardhouse|
|The guardhouse is right outside the fort|
Before we left the fort, we had a look inside the military chapel.
|Catholic chapel within fort|
|The Magistrate with his decree banishing the thief.|
|Modest home on Main Street|
|Prosperous home with flower garden|
Visitors were fascinated by the sheep, geese and turkeys grazing in the yards.
|Sheep grazing in the yard.|
Inside, costumed ladies gave demonstrations of 18th century skills, such as bobbin-lace making.
|Winding bobbins for lace|
|Chatting about local history|
On our way out we stopped by the Artillery Forge. I especially enjoyed a demonstration by the blacksmith. He gave an interesting talk about the bellows used to intensify the heat in the forge, then he demonstrated the forging of an iron hook.
|The blacksmith gave an interesting demonstration|
We headed back to Baddeck about four o'clock. Near the turnoff for the Cabot Trail highway, Captain Dan decided to investigate the ferry at Englishtown, which he recalled from his map study. Thanks to a sun break, we enjoyed the rural scenery on the little road down there. The ferry crosses St. Anne's Harbour, an inlet from the Atlantic. Actually a spit of land crosses most of the distance and the ferry takes only six minutes to cover the remainder, using a cable for guidance and carrying about twenty cars per trip. We had fun watching and photographing the ferry, and the restless clouds.
|The Englishtown Ferry|