Sunday, 24 September 2006

Mmmm … They call these shops??

Monday 18th September - Sydney, Cape Breton - not the most exciting place in the world!

Once again we freaked ourselves out by being up with the lark and managed to get ready and on the road to Sydney by 8.30! R had heard from our waitress that Sydney was the place to go round here for shopping (ha ha! More later!) and so we headed south along the coast road, deciding to take the cable ferry rather than the more scenic route. The cable ferry crosses to Englishtown and takes just a couple of minutes but is really quaint.

We found our way into Sydney and R had already decided that we needed to go to a photographic shop to check out a super duper zoom lens and so we were looking for George St. Well, we stopped to check where we were compared to the address and it was so strange – we were literally next door to the shop! So R starts buying up the shop which was really freaking me out so I consoled myself with a few scrapbooking supplies, including a Nova Scotia sticker sheet which made my day! I had no idea just what R was wanting OR just how expensive it is!

We popped up the road to the local “mall” and had an all-American breakfast while R talked me out of my panic situation. When they call these places “malls”, what they really mean is a tiny collection of small shops! It really made us realise that we are in Nova Scotia and not Calgary! Culture shock!

We had expected something to see in Sydney, but it became clear really quickly that there was really nothing there worth seeing! We looked at the guidebook and there were THREE things listed –
· a Gaelic cultural centre which is not really my thing
· St Patrick’s church (oldest and first Catholic church in Cape Breton , 1828 including a small history exhibit) – which we found and I was really up for seeing but it was CLOSED!
· Cossit House – 1787 – a restored house originally inhabited by Sydney’s first Anglican minister which we drove past and decided we could not really be bothered!
The only other thing that Sydney has to offer is a sort of anti-tourist site – the Tar Ponds, left over from 100 years of toxic coke oven waste being dumped into the estuary. But we couldn't even get close enough to it to catch a glimpse of this curiosity. (And one of the most annoying things is that I did actually take a couple of photos of our brief excursion but they seem to have gone walkabout and I cannot find them in any of the files we have - so nothing to do and certainly nothing to see!)
So basically, Sydney was nothing really for us! No shopping, no sights, no culture – nothing! On the way out of town we tried once more to salvage something by stopping off somewhere where I had a scrapbooking shop listed but, guess what? It had closed!!
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped off at Ingonish Beach for some fresh, salty, ocean air. The sea looked pretty cold and uninviting but it is so nice to just sit for some minutes and check out the waves.
We tried the Lobster roll special in the bar which was really delicious and then crashed out early. All this excitement is too much to cope with!
By the way, during the day I caught up with mum and heard that Libby is expecting a baby girl! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!

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