Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Rainy Day in Peggy's Cove

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Halifax to Peggy's Cove Loop

Jan and Jim and Dick and I all pile into our car (after Dick does some complex luggage and accessory compression to make it possible to get the back seats up and make room for passengers) for a trip to Peggy's Cove, a tiny fishing community clinging to a rocky granite shore not far from Halifax. Dick sets the rule—anyone who wants to stop for any reason, say so. Since the coastal ride to Peggy's Cove takes us by many picturesque dock houses, lobster traps, bays and wildflowers, and there are now four of us rather than two, we find frequent reasons to stop and all get out of the car to snap photos, even though it starts raining within five minutes of our departure from the hotel parking garage.

When we finally emerge from the car at the Peggy's Cove Visitor Center, the wind carries the sound of bagpipes across the rocky hills to us. We get a map and meander around the rocks and meadows, down to a tiny cove lined with fishing sheds and lobster traps, with room for less than half a dozen working boats. We wonder if the fifty or so people who live here hire a stylist to suggest the artful arrangements of boats and fishing paraphernalia we see everywhere we turn, or if it just comes naturally to them.

This is the famous Peggy's Point Lighthouse, the most well-known and most photographed lighthouse in Canada, even though structurally it looks like about a hundred other Canadian lighthouses. We love lighthouses and seek them out wherever we go, but we are getting downright bored with all the white octagonal pyramids with red lantern housings on top in this country. What makes the Peggy's Point Light unique is its setting—it stands atop a massive outcropping of bare granite rock which has been worn smooth by eons of pounding sea waves. A granite plaque on the lighthouse warns "Injury and death have rewarded careless sightseers here. The ocean and rocks are treacherous. Savour the sea from a distance." The ocean seems calm today, but it still breaks and sends white foam flying on Peggy's Point.

After wandering every street of the island and finding the bagpiper, who turns out to be a woman with extraordinary lung power, since she plays with hardly a break for at least two hours straight while we are there, we are ready to continue on our seaside adventure.

We dine at a waterfront restaurant down the road a piece, and then drive to Lower Prospect to find our roadside attraction of the day—an enchanting detailed reproduction of a fishing wharf and town in miniature on the front lawn of the now deceased folk artist Joe Norris. Tiny islands in the bay have live miniature evergreens with wooden ravens roosting atop their branches. The lobster boats have tiny traps with floats. Laundry is drying on the clotheslines of the little houses that dot the hillside above the wharf. We can even see a school of dolphins and the tail of a whale out in the bay.

With all our photo stops, side trips and detours, it takes us almost a full day and 50 miles of driving to do the 30 mile Peggy's Cove Loop. Maybe you can understand why it took us so long if we show you a few of our favorite shots. Know that there are plenty more wonderful views where these came from:


  1. Lupins, I love the purple and mauve flowers in the first pic. Lighthouse is my favorite, the last pic is a painting, I think.

  2. Hi! I'd like to talk to you!

    I'm brazilian and I'm trying to write a book. These past days I was looking for a real Lighthouse, and I'm in love with Peggy's Point Lighthouse. Could you send me some pictures, or tell me what you know about it?