Tuesday, 12 August 2008

On a fortuitous failure

I had planned and hoped to get an early start from Charlottetown. Partly this was in order to catch the 11:15 ferry at Wood Island to Caribou, N.S.. However, I failed to get going quickly enough by a margin of about 15 minutes. This proved to be a benefit. The next ferry was at one o'clock. The ferry terminal proved to be a relatively pleasant place to wait with sunny skies, ice cream and scenery to help pass the time.

My plan for Pictou had been to visit the Hector, a replica of the ship that first brought Highland Scots to the area and then carry on. However, because of missing the ferry, by the time I was done with the Hector (less interesting than it sounded partly because I know too much about the subject for me to accept the conventional version of events put forward by the museum) it was about 4 in the afternoon. I could have carried on and found a bed in New Glasgow, but owing to a glitch in the Nova Scotia guide to accomodation, I couldn't phone the B&B in New Glasgow. As I was heading to the tourist information office to find out the answer to my question (area code 902 as it turned out) I passed the Willow House Inn, a B&B I had read about in my Lonely Planet Guidebook.

It was a building built circa 1840 according to one the signs on it. It also had a sign saying "Vacancies". It is a cosy, eccentric place run by Jimmy and Debbie who clearly love the place and their job. I got a warm welcome and an excellent room at a very reasonably price. The building is absolutely charming with two sets of back to back staircases. In addition, everything of serious note in Pictou was within easy walking distance of the place giving me the chance to explore the lovely town of Pictou.

The town obviously had some serious wealth in the 19th century judging by the presence of many fine buildings from that era including a former U.S. consultate. Actually, the presence of a consultate suggests the importance of the town back in the day.

All in all, yesterday rocked! Pictou is a place to visit. If you do visit, you can do far worse than the Willow House Inn.

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