If it’s Wednesday this must be Sydney. Sydney, Nova Scotia, to be precise, and it indeed was Wednesday the fourth of June when we docked there. Normally when one speaks of Sydney that other one comes to mind, the one below the equator in an entirely different ocean in a completely different hemisphere and where pretty much every living thing on the continent is trying to kill you. (see: Australia’s dangerous animals: The top 30). That Sydney will be coming up in my next travel series — a 28-day cruise that began in Sydney, Australia, and ended in Seattle, Washington. (see: Special Preview Blog)
While we like to think of Nova Scotia as being in the cold, cold north, just how far north is it really? The answer will surprise you, as it is very nearly at the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole. And Sydney is only about 80 miles closer to the North Pole than it is to the equator. That’s your geography trivia lesson for today.
Cape Breton Island, upon which Sydney lies, is separated from the peninsula of Nova Scotia by the very narrow Strait of Canso, a channel approximately 17 miles/27 kilometers long averaging some 2 miles/3 kilometers in width. Indeed the narrowest portion is only about .6 miles/1 kilometer. But don’t let that fool you. The Strait of Canso is 200 feet/61 meters deep.
One of the first sights to greet you when you arrive at the port is the world’s largest Céilidh fiddle.
The downtown area is both rustic and colorful, so take a hike along the waterfront, hang a left on Byng Avenue by the park, followed by another left on Charlotte Street for a trek through the older portion of the city. On Wednesday we’ll look at the residential areas.
Meanwhile, here’s today’s photo gallery:
- Maritime provinces: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritimes
- Nova Scotia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_Scotia
- Cape Breton Island: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Breton_Island
- Strait of Canso: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Canso
- Sydney: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney,_Nova_Scotia
- Céilidh: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9ilidh