We are grateful for the complimentary passes and tours from Parks Canada at The Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell Museum and The Fortress of Louisbourg. Also, thanks to The Highland Village for the complimentary passes we received. I appreciate the partnerships of these organizations that enhanced our “Travelling with the kids as grown-ups” trip to Cape Breton Island. All opinions are our own.
Our first edition of “travelling with the grownup kids” is about some of the places we visited with our oldest son, Sean and his partner, Meaghan, on our trip to Cape Breton Island. Watch for upcoming location-specific blogs that will describe our visit in more detail.
How We Got There
Sean and Meaghan met Ray and I in Moncton for the 5-hour drive to Cape Breton, so it really was retracing the route we followed when Sean was young.
What We Did There
There is so much more to know about Alexander Graham Bell than just being the inventor of the telephone. The many experiments and inventions created by Bell, his wife Mabel and their associates are showcased in this wonderful museum. Of special interest, this year is the 100th anniversary of the hydrofoil speed record set by Alexander Graham Bell and F.W. (Casey) Baldwin in HD-4. The salvaged pieces of HD-4 are on display. You can even compete against Casey in a virtual race! We took part in the White Glove Tour, there but are many others to choose from.
The museum is open 9-5 from May to the end of October
The tagline on the website says, “Made of Stories” and this museum certainly lives up to that! It’s a trip through time as you travel from a small cottage in Scotland to the New World, meeting folks in each house that will tell you about the lives they lead and show you the tasks that fill their hours. You might be invited for a ceildh or watch the blacksmith at the forge. The walk is not for the faint of heart, but the scenery is breathtaking.
You can visit the Village from 10:00-5:00, June 1- October 14
There is so much to explore in North America’s largest historical reconstruction. After being met by a guard at the gate, you enter back in time to life between the years 1713-1758. We took part in a guided tour that gave us an overview of the history of the Fortress, as well as the ongoing work to save artifacts from the danger of erosion by the sea. Then we took our time to stop at each of the buildings. Sean had the opportunity to fire a musket, and there are many other activities available to create a memorable visit. You will meet costumed interpreters while you are walking along the lanes and in the buildings. The Mi’kmaq Interpretive Center highlights the contributions and supports through images and storytelling.
When you realize that only 1/5 of the original fortress has been rebuilt, it is awe-inspiring to imagine how large the full town must have been. We spent the day, so we were able to see the firing of the cannon, as well as learn about the life of a soldier. You can easily plan your day with the help of the comprehensive guidebook.
The Fortress operates from 9:30-5 May-October
It was great to be able to revisit some of our favourite places in Cape Breton. We look forward to many more travels with our grownup kids. Thanks again to Parks Canada and The Highland Village for making this a memorable vacation.
You can discover more about Cape Breton Island here