As a result of the delayed ferry we had compress our visit to Louisbourg and our drive along the Cabot Trail. As it turned out, weather complemented these decisions.
We left the Inn where we were staying in Lousibourg and arrived just before the gates opened. At this time of year visitors are bussed to the site; we were on the first bus. The village and fortress were thus quite empty. While there was fog when we arrived it was not too dense. This changed over the morning until by noon visibility was severely reduced and we decided to leave. Louisbourg was a major centre in it’s day. One guide called it the Fort McMurray of it’s day. It was a resource-rich area (cod fishing) where people could come and make high salaries. An interesting perspective. Occupation of the area pre-dates the building of the fortress and the wall around the village. That came with economic activity and importance. The village contains business, residences and small farms organized along wide streets. One farm had turkeys and a proud male walking behind the house. When I played various turkey calls from my Bird App, the male responded with loud calls of his own and a full display of his tail feathers. The Fort was Built in 1720 and then destroyed by the British in 1760, or just about 40 years later. It was rebuilt starting in the 1970’s so arguably it will have a longer life as a museum than an active fortress and village.
As we drove in-land from Louisbourg towards the Cabot Trail, the fog thinned. By the time we reached the trail the fog had lifted to expose a beautiful, warm day. We drove the trail counter-clockwise as recommended by many. This direction provides easier access to the lookouts and a slightly less encumbered view of the coastline. We stopped at several lookouts, but with our shortened schedule we took no hikes. The Park at the top of Cape Breton is quite large, and the trail just skirts the perimeter. Hikes into the interior would do the Park more justice. We ended the day in Chéticamp, just outside the Park, where we spent the night.
Our next stop is Prince Edward Island.