--An Excellent Eastern Expedition--
(Previously: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)
It worked! The room service door hanger actually worked!
After this, we were given leave to explore the fort for the next 2 hours on our own. I wandered around, taking photos and checking out some of the places that were open. Not much was. And there were very few costumed people walking around. Even though I knew we were there off-season, it still seemed sadly deserted. And even the actors who were there didn't seem like they were giving it their all, I'm sorry to say.
It worked! The room service door hanger actually worked!
I may have gone overboard on the ordering, though.
I saved the pastries and jams for later, but the omelet was quite good, and, as usual, I enjoyed the fruit.
The previous night had been rough. The ship was pitching from side to side and I felt myself sliding around in my bed. Wheeee!
I had set my alarm a few minutes before I expected the Room Service folks to come. (You can check a box indicating a time frame in which you'd like your food.) They arrived promptly. I wasn't sure if they would accept tips or not, but it turns out they most certainly do accept them.
I didn't know if the ship had docked yet (I hadn't yet trained myself to use the TV/bridge cam channel for reference) but people were being loud in the hall, so I figured I might as well be up. As I ate my breakfast, I watched part of the second DVD I'd rented (The Parent Trap (1998)).
Eventually, the ship did dock and announcements were made. Around 10:10, I left for my excursion, Relive History At The Fortress Of Louisbourg. We were to ride a bus to the Fortress Of Louisbourg, which was reconstructed in the 20th century to look like it had in the 1700s, when it was a military fort. Even though I'd read that the place wasn't in full-operation yet (their "season" started a week or two after I was there), reviews were good. Since I typically like a good historical jaunt, I thought this sounded like a good excursion for me.
The bus ride to the fort was quite nice. A woman narrated the journey, giving us lots of facts about the fort and about Nova Scotia in general.
There were only a few children on the tour, and even though I like this sort of thing now, I couldn't help thinking afterward that this was exactly the sort of place my dad would have loved, and, therefore, dragged us to as kids. Without a doubt, he would have chosen this place for an excursion.
After we arrived, our guide gave us a brief tour of several of the buildings, pointing out a "coffee shop," pub, and gift shop. She pointed to places on the maps she'd given us, indicating where we could connect to wifi. (In the spirit of historical authenticity, I suppose, the wifi didn't seem to work.)
She then led us into a room, where we sat on benches and this woman in old timey clothes talked about her "life" at the fort, and how important, glorious, elusive chocolate is. We were all given a steaming cup of cocoa, which was unusual-tasting but very good.
After this presentation, our tour guide led us up a hill to some barracks. A young man dressed in a soldier's uniform was there to show us how to load and fire a musket. The most interesting thing about this, for me, was that sometime between his first and second failed attempt at firing, an actual, living fox came trotting around the side of the barracks building.
Alas, after the "soldier" used modern-day tools to fix his musket, he made the gun go boom and the fox ran away.
Still, there was plenty to look at.
Even though the fort had been reconstructed in the 1960s, they did a great job with it. It looked and felt "old".
I stopped into a baker's shop and got a roll of bread that had been oven-baked that day. (I wish I could've seen bread being baked.) It was heavy and very thick bread and cost 3 Canadian dollars.
Throughout the hours we were at the fort, it rained off and on. Thankfully I'd worn appropriate clothing. Toward the end of our jaunt, the skies cleared, and I was able to get some nice pictures as we left.
We rode back to the ship (with more information being given out by our tour guide the whole way), and, after I boarded, I went to find lunch. I chose a pre-made sandwich made with tomato, mozzarella, and spinach; a fruit & cheese plate; and some vanilla cheesecake.
After eating, I headed back out to wander around the town of Sydney. The skies were still clear, and it was perfect walking weather. First I walked along their boardwalk (about 1/2 a mile total, I think).
Then I walked up into town. I bought juice off a kid with a corner stand (quite good) and popped into one old church. As I re-approached the ship, I saw something scurry by. A rat? A squirrel? A weasel? Someone else saw it too, and said it was an otter. I wasn't so sure about that, but what do I know? Soon after, another scurried up the banks. I tried to get a photo but I didn't get a closeup, so the mysterious animal will have to remain just that.
I returned to the ship around 5. At 7pm, I went to a presentation about Thomas Kinkade. There was an art gallery on the ship, and they were trying to get people to buy paintings, so I guess this presentation was part of that.
Still, it was quite informative. They had actual works of his to show. There was a raffle drawing at the end for $100 off one of the paintings in the gallery. Like I could afford one even with that discount, ha!
After this presentation, I went up to Lido to look for food. Most of the stations were closed, though, which made me sad. All I could snag were some leftover cookies. And the ice cream station was open. So cookies & ice cream for me! (And I still had those pastries leftover from breakfast. I wouldn't starve.) Back at the room, I finally found the brochure listing the hours, saw that the food stations would reopen at 10:30, and made plans to go then.
I went out on deck and took some sunset photos.
At 10:30 I did indeed go back to Lido, where I got a plate of French Fries that I was sure I'd soon regret.
Tomorrow we'd be docking in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island! I had a horse & carriage excursion scheduled for the morning, so I knew I'd have to get up early. Maybe I'd actually get up early enough to watch the sun rise for once? (LOL)
Well... until tomorrow....!