Time for a new feature on this blog. Since I am totally in love with my little island of Cape Breton, I thought it would be a nice idea to feature her on my blog weekly (at least over the summer months). Once a week, hopefully on Mondays, you'll be able to come on an adventure with me as we get to know this little place we call home. Sometimes we will travel far, and sometimes we'll take a trip in my own backyard. I am looking forward to sharing with you.
This weekend's visit was a real dream come true for me. I've wanted to go to the Fortress of Louisbourg for just about as long as I can remember. I've always felt that I was born in the wrong era so it was a real treat to step back in time. From the moment that you get off the bus you are treated like it is 1744. The people doing the reenactments at the fortress were really wonderful and shared a wealth of information about what it was like to live in Louisbourg at the time. They were great with the children and patient and were able to answer their questions while staying in character and in such a way that the kids could understand (the blacksmith was phenomenal).
Liam favorite part was talking to the lady at the tavern and learning about all the games the soldiers would play to pass the long winter months.
Of course the animals were a big hit with the kids and I loved looking at the different herbs that were growing in their gardens. We had a lovely period lunch as well and the kids were delighted with their "Pain Perdu" (French Toast). Visiting the fortress (which was a French settlement in 1744) also gave us the opportunity to pull out our French and reintroduce it to the children. We've even continued to speak it at home from time to time.
This lady was using a wonderful contraption to make a rotiserie chicken for Sunday dinner. It smelled absolutely divine. Liam announced that he was going wait right there until Sunday. He also had the chance to see how different dyes were made and when we got home we actually tested making yellow dye from onion peels.
This is the view of (a part of) Louisbourg from the fortifications around the governor's home.
The only thing that would would have changed about the trip is that we should have planned to make a full day out of it. We arrived in the early afternoon but there was no way that we could see it all in 4 hours with two kids. We managed to visit about 40 of the 60 different attractions but we did not visit as long as we would have liked and in the end we were rushing through things just to see as much as we could (leaving poor little Morgaine feeling a bit exhausted). Next time we will definitely pack a picnic and arrive early in the day giving us more time to visit at a slower pace.
I think that visiting the Fortress of Louisbourg was a wonderful opportunity to teach Canadian history. Having the kids step back in time and see first hand what it was like to live 1744 years ago was great and it was especially wonderful that everyone was so willing to talk to the kids at their level. I am sure that we will visit many time over the next few years.