Site of Alexander Graham Bell’s exhaustive 30-year experiments with multi-nippled sheep; the world’s only ‘Government-documented UFO crash site’; scene of WW1’s most devastating explosion; the only place where the name ‘Pugwash’ is synonymous with Albert Einstein’s high-minded 1957 conference on nuclear weapons rather than a comic cartoon captain… All this amidst a gastronomic wonderland at latitudes comparable to Bordeaux, one where more Gaelic is spoken than in Scotland, and where Digby Chicken is a fish. Yes, it’s the remarkable Nova Scotia.
The first edition of Bradt’s dedicated guide to Nova Scotia examines Canada’s second-smallest province, which despite its tumultuous, techni-coloured history – characterised by colonial wars, privateering and rum running – is often obscured by its proximity to less-coruscating near-neighbours, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Author, David Orkin, ‘fesses up to initial ignorance. ‘I knew very little about Nova Scotia. If pressed, I would have said that I imagined it was cold, wet and windy.’ However, ‘After several visits we decided to buy a big souvenir – a house overlooking the sea – and we now call Nova Scotia home.’ Canada’s Maritime Provinces are hardly unexplored, but Orkin’s wealth of original research catalogues his own Nova Scotian discoveries and reveals a destination that’s more than an aspirant new, improved Scotland. Written both for those travelling independently and on organised tours, Nova Scotia is the province’s first and only guidebook to combine history, culture, outdoor activities, wildlife, 39 maps and up-to-date practical travel information in one volume, along with suggested hotels and restaurants. Orkin regularly punctuates already-rich text with supplementary fact boxes, citing Nova Scotian events, from the significant (such as the sinking of RMS Titanic and the loss of 1,500 souls in icy offshore waters) to the intriguing (Shag Harbour’s UFO crash site) and the bizarre (Alexander Graham Bell’s extra-telephonic interests in powered flight and sheep husbandry). For those sold on a new life in Nova Scotia, Orkin reports that property prices are comparable with those in Eastern Europe, while the lifestyle is the best in the west.
David Orkin worked in the travel industry for 15 years before becoming a freelance travel writer, and contributing to leading UK publications. He first visited Nova Scotia in 2004, exploring every corner of the province; now having bought a house, he resides there with his family for much of the year.
Title: Nova Scotia
Author: David Orkin
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
Publication: January 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84162 282 8