Cape Breton, Day 1: An Introduction

I’m from Saskatchewan, which means that on the four-hour drive from Halifax to Cape Breton’s western shore, I was pretty happy with what I saw. The landscape was full of interesting features – there were trees, and hills, and so much more. The road wound around the landscape, instead of straight and endlessly through it. The forest was turning, giving more colour than I can remember seeing in any number of autumns back west. It reminded me of the lushest parts of Saskatchewan’s north.

I thought this nice drive would prepare more for what Cape Breton is like, but it didn’t. Cape Breton is a land that destroys your sense of accomplishment. My girlfriend’s step-dad has a photo he took on the Cabot Trail: an eagle, a whale, and a busload of tourists share the frame. The place is so densely packed with breathtaking scenery that no tour bus will ever scare it all off.

The Cabot Trail is great. I’ll save it for another trip, though. This time, I’m on assignment: I’ll be blogging about the cultural bounty of Cape Breton, and especially that of the 2011 Celtic Colours International Festival. Toss in some culinary tourism and a few outdoor adventures, and my itinerary is packed for my three-day whirlwind trip to Cape Breton.

Here’s the disclaimer part: I’m contracted by Extreme Group and Destination Cape Breton. However, I have full editorial freedom. What comes will be a true reflection of how I felt about my experience.

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