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     Background midi music: "Évangeline" from THE GREAT CANADIAN TUNEBOOK, Sequenced by Barry Taylor, Victoria, BC, Canada

The Approach to Old Grand Pré... Land of Évangeline. 

Looking northward toward the wide Minas Basin (Bassin des Mines) with the Grand Pré area at the center. The Minas Chanel (on this side of mountains) opens into Bay of Fundy (Baie Française) to the left.  Grand-Pré was founded by Pierre Melanson and Pierre Terriot, youngest child of Jehan and Perrine Terriot. Pierre Terriot actually lived in a small settlement close to Grand-Pré called Rivière-aux-Canards at the left edge of the photo.
 

Longfellow's words from Evangeline:
 

PLEASANTLY rose next morn the sun on the village of Grand-Pré. 
Pleasantly gleamed in the soft, sweet air the Basin of Minas, 
Where the ships, with their wavering shadows, were riding at anchor.
Shores of Grand Pré...and the meadows created by the Acadian dikes. These are the shores where on August 19, 1755, the Acadians were gathered, separated and dispersed in an exodus by Winslow under Lawrence's mad orders. Can we believe Winslow in his diary words when he says  "Things are now very heavy on my heart and hands."? As many as 15,000 Acadians [ref: 26] were dispersed from their Motherland, L'Acadie. What desperation and horror these shores witnessed!

Not far, the steeple of the ancient Church of St-Charles-aux-Mines could be seen from the lush meadows created by the dikes holding back the salt waters of the Baie Française.

Grand-Pré...and the church of St-Charles-aux-Mines, a replica completed in 1930 on the 175th anniversary of the Grand Dérangement... the Great Eviction. It is built on the location thought to be the location of the original church of St-Charles. Across the fields from the church, one can see today one of the dikes of Grand-Pré as seen in the photo at right. Many double as roadways as is this one. A short walk into the foreground of this photo will reveal one of the ancient 'aboiteaux' (or, its replacement) built by the Acadians.  And a short trip to the Grand-Pré National Historic Site will tell you much more about this historic Acadian site.
Beaubassin... A short distance away at the very eastern end of Chignectou Bay in the Beaubassin area, more evidence of the Acadians and their ubiquitous dikes as seen in the center of this photo. This dike is in the area between Fort Beausejour and Fort Lawrence. Thousands upon thousands of acres of marshlands were converted into fertile lands which produced abundant crops for the Acadians and later the Nova Scotians. Those dikes are still maintained today. The Beaubassin settlement was developed after the Grand-Pré area.
Baie Ste-Marie... Our final stop was the St-Mary's Bay (Baie Ste-Marie) area, specifically the Church Pointe to Meteghan area... the single remaining Acadian area in present-day Nova Scotia. Home of the Université of Ste-Anne and its Centre Acadien. A quick click to the Université and a walk-through their Acadian Odyssey will reveal some of the important Acadian research that is on-going at the Centre. 

Besides, the Acadians there are so-o-o-o friendly... their food so-o-o-o scruptious and the country-side, well, simply very pleasant. I urge you to stop by some of their little restaurants and chat with the owners and waiters. I especially recommend the "Auberge au Havre du Capitaine".  You will be delighted. You will find some Acadian dishes on their menu...

And, we did find the Theriault family there as well, of course. Here, A.F. Theriault is in the boat-building business... the sight and smell of rough-sawn timbers brought many memories of my grandfather's sawmill in Baker-Brook, New Brunswick. My grandfather did tell me that I had saw-dust running through my veins...

So, here we are... at the end of the road of our tour through the blue and the green... there are many more sights of course but these were the key Acadian sights. Outside of these are all of the delight towns like Digby.... best clams in the world; Lunenberg, a most scenic and beautiful spot. Halifax was a total surprise... it is loaded with sights, culture and fun events. While there, we went to a delightful concert of Cape Breton musicians... and of course, further east is the beautiful Cabot Trail. There are enough sights in Nova Scotia for several weeks of delightful touring. 

To plan your trip, click this Do'ers and Dreamers link to get your copy of their 'Doers and Dreamers' guide... a very comprehensive guide on touring Nova Scotia. It's free. Another tip: to save you a few miles and alot of time, you might want to consider taking the ferry from Portland, Maine or Bar Harbor, Maine. Click this Bay Ferries link for more information and to make reservations. 

Have fun!


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