August 12, 2010
Lousibourg, Cape Breton, NS
Louisbourg RV Park on the waterfront:
From the wharves we can see the Fortress of Louisbourg looming over the sea.
Louisbourg is the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America.
The French came to Louisbourg in 1713 after loss of territory to the English in Newfoundland and Acadia (Nova Scotia) in the War of the Spanish Succession. Louisbourg soon became France’s most important stronghold and seaport in the Atlantic on account of trade and the thriving fishing industry.
In addition to arms and imported goods, livestock and gardens were integral to the community’s health and survival.
By 1760 the English ruled and the fortifications lay in ruin. The reconstruction and reenactments are based on life as it was in 1744.
Red Coat and Blue Coat interpreters march, pipe, drum and fire off a cannon.
Lloyd buys bread the size, and half the weight, of a cannonball. And about the equivalent in flavour.
Jay’s workout for the day: cannonball presses.
The crier reads aloud from a scroll which states that the guy in white stole a bottle of wine. The French officers will parade him through the streets, drumming all the way, then fasten him to a pole with an iron collar where he will serve his time: 2 hours a day for several days. In fact, he served five minutes before the interpreters ignored the unsympathetic crowd and let him go.
Jay writes his name with a quill pen next to the recently freed thief.
Since we couldn’t elect Eric for public punishment we ordered him into the lime kiln for a time out.
Back at the campsites, the boys strum it up. It’s difficult to see, but Jay and Eric each trade a hand to play: Jay’s left hand plays Eric’s fretboard and vice versa (their right hands strum their own guitars).
In the evening we attended a ceilidh next door at the Louisbourg Playhouse featuring Jason Kempt, Beverly MacLean, Erin Martell, Lyndon MacKenzie, and Troy Young. Celtic music is expected and oatcakes hoped for, but this ceilidh included a box drum called a cajón and comedic costumed sketches too.
In the morning we had time to enjoy the sun and cereal by the sea.