The Colorful Town of Lunenberg

lunenburg 30lunenburg 37Another lovely town that we explored was Lunenberg.  The town was established in 1753 as the first British Colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside of Halifax, with settlers from parts of Germany, Switzerland and France;  “foreign protestants” were encouraged to settle by the British.  This is yet another community with a strong history of fishing, ship-building and other marine related industries.  lunenburg 26lunenburg 33

lunenburg 27lunenburg 24lunenburg 35lunenburg 11lunenburg 14It’s a pretty big town, with a population of over 2,000.  One of the things that caught my attention was the architecture and the colorful buildings.  There are many restored buildings from the 1700s and early 1800s, a number of them painted in authentic colors.

lunenburg 34lunenburg 9lunenburg 3lunenburg 8lunenburg 25lunenburg 31lunenburg 32lunenburg 6lunenburg 19It’s unfortunate that the day we were there was somewhat gray, as I can imagine how beautiful the brightly painted town must look under a brilliant blue sky.

Lunenburg is the home of the Bluenose II, a replica of the famous Grand Banks fishing and racing schooner Bluenose built and launched in Lunenburg in 1921.  She won the International Fishermen’s Trophy for 17 years straight and became known as the “Queen of the North Atlantic”.  When fishing schooners became obsolete during the 1930s, she worked as a freighter in the West Indies.  There she struck a coral reef off Haiti, was wrecked beyond repair and abandoned.

The famous Bluenose II

The famous Bluenose II

lunenburg 2The replica Bluenose II was built in 1963 and became Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador in 1971. Her image is everywhere.  She is on the Nova Scotia auto license plate (“Canada’s Ocean Playground”) and is prominently featured on all manner of schlock in the tourist shops all over the province.  We were really looking forward to seeing her in person.

lunenburg 13lunenburg   054Unfortunately a current restoration of the vessel has been plagued by technical problems and controversy and she is still out of the water long after the planned relaunch.  Several locals we chatted with got all worked up when discussing it. Touchy subject.

This put a damper on the 50th anniversary celebration which was reduced to some of the crew rowing around the harbor in two dories waving some flags and firing off a little cannon and a honking a horn.

Funny in sort of a sad way.

lunenburg 5lunenburg 22lunenburg 7 
There are quite a number of nice galleries and shops in Lunenberg.  A fun place to walk around with Angel.lunenburg 29

lunenburg 16lunenburg 15Lunenberg also is home to Ironworks Distillery, Nova Scotia’s micro-distillery.  It’s an artisanal distillery that uses only natural ingredients.   We went in to sample some of their liquors.  They were excellent.  After several tastings, we purchased vodka (made from local apples), rum and some liqueurs.lunenburg 17

lunenburg 44lunenburg   051On the way to Lunenberg, we stopped at the memorial for Swissair flight 111.  The flight, on its way from New York to Geneva, crashed into St. Margaret’s Bay between the communities of Bayswater and Peggy’s Cove in 1998.  A fire onboard spread rapidly throughout the cabin and the plane diverted to Halifax for an emergency landing but didn’t make it.  All 229 passengers were killed.  Both communities erected simple memorials.

lunenburg   052We visited the Bayswater Memorial.  There’s a simple marker, a beautiful manicured lawn overlooking the sea, including a cordoned off gravesite and an area memorializing all of the victims on plaques and allowing space for special offerings.

The marker includes these words “The remains of the passenger and crew are buried at this site.  At the request of family and community members, quiet modest memorials are consistent with the coastal environment.”  It was really very beautiful, touching and somehow serene.

lunenburg 45lunenburg 43lunenburg 40And of course Lunenberg is surrounded by yet more quaint communities, beautiful beaches and dramatic seascapes.  As we explored the area a fog rolled in making for a moody scene.lunenburg 39

lunenburg 46lunenburg 38lunenburg 36

lunenburg 49lunenburg 42lunenburg 48lunenburg 50This town was one of my favorites along the central Nova Scotia coast.

Next we are headed north yet again to Cape Breton Island.

~ Brenda

5 thoughts on “The Colorful Town of Lunenberg

  1. Such colors!!! And so different than what we have here in Colorado. We are missing seeing you — it’s time for a summer picnic at the pool! But we are enjoying traveling “with” you! Cheers and godspeed. Jean and Joe

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