Part 7: Louisbourg
The next stop on our Canadian adventure was Louisbourg, which the Canadians pronounce Lewis-berg despite the fact that it's named after Louis XIV, and quite frankly I'm appalled that a country with a significant French-speaking population would commit such linguistic butchery.
Louisbourg at night. It's a very pretty but not particularly busy place.
This was the view from our room at the Point of View Suites. I love the sea so I was very happy with it!
While the town of Louisbourg may not hold much, there is one significant attraction that was our main reason for coming:
The Fortress of Louisbourg.
It's a reconstruction rather than the original, but built very faithfully and with original stones where possible. And the reason it's a reconstruction is that when the British abandoned the fort after building a better one in Halifax, they destroyed the walls so it wouldn't be of any use to the French if they got it back again in the future. Everywhere I go on holiday there's always a story about the British being dicks.
Now I'm sure you're all asking yourselves that important question; what is the difference between a fort and a fortress? And I'm here to tell you that a fort is a defensive structure on its own whereas a fortress is larger and often contains a town within its walls.
As this one does.
The fortress has been rebuilt to how it would have been in the 1740s, during which time the fortress was at war, which means that this gate probably wouldn't have actually been here cos it's a bit of an obvious target, but they decided to keep it anyway cos it's pretty.
There's lots to see in and around the fortress town, such as...
More gardens! This one is symmetrical, so as to look like the gardens at Versailles.
An inn. Apparently the branch on top of the sign was a way to let people know what kind of establishment it was, cos not a lot of people could actually read in those days.
After a general walking tour around the grounds, we then went on a Time Travel tour where people told us all about their lives in the 1740s...
This lovely lady told us all about her life as an 18th century soldier before giving us a demonstration of her musket skills.
I'm so annoyed that I didn't time my photo quite right and get a shot of the gun actually firing.
Then this lovely lady told us all about her life in the fortress kitchens and we got to try the hot chocolate that they would have drunk, which was very nice.
More branch signage.
We also explored inside a few of the buildings, which had artwork and model ships...
I don't think it's made of matchsticks.
Because Paul and I love to appreciate the local delicacies of places we visit, we felt we had to go along to the Fortress Rum tasting.
Where this friendly fellow told us all about the history of rum in Canada.
And we got to try some. Because Paul was driving he only had a little and I had to finish his off. Oh, the hardship!
Back outside, we came across this cross:
If I recall correctly, this marks the site where the church was supposed to have been built but they never got around to it.
But then we went inside the main fort, and it turns out that maybe they didn't need a separate church in the town grounds...
Cos they had a pretty good one in the fort already.
A bit more wandering outside followed.
Me, with the fortress town behind me.
And again. You can just about see the Louisbourg lighthouse in the distance behind me.
We ended up doing quite a few things at the Fortress (a walking tour, a Time Travel tour, rum tasting...) and each one required its own coloured wristband as well as the wristband required to get in at all.
Music festivals have got nothing on the Fortress of Louisbourg!
As we left, we made a stop near the coast to take pictures...
That second picture is one of my favourites and was actually taken over near the Louisbourg Lighthouse, which is also where I took this:
I really like this one too.
Another view near the lighthouse. The weather appears to be clearing up a bit
But not from this angle. That's the Fortress in the distance across the water.
We stopped off at the old disused Louisbourg railway station, which bears evidence of the old spelling of Louisburg, used up until 1966 when it reverted back to the original French name (not that this has helped the pronunciation any...)
This is the Point of View Suites where we stayed. The boat is advertising the Beggars Banquet, where people dress up and dine 18th century-style, but it wasn't running when we went so we didn't get to experience any of that.
What we did do was head to an off-licence to buy some drinks to take back to the room after dinner one evening in order to watch The Good Place.
Staying local I had to get this bottle of Nova Scotian wine which I was really pleased to find cos I'd wanted to try it back at the Keltic Lodge but they were all out. It was really good.
I woke up early the next morning and decided to take advantage of that and attempt to photograph the sunrise...
It didn't come out as well as I hoped, but I do love the funky clouds in the second pic.
Another view from our room. You can just about make out the Fortress of Louisbourg in the distance.
That's it for Louisbourg. Next up, Halifax (Reprise).