Embark on an unconventional odyssey through Canada's untamed coastlines. This travelogue takes you from the quaint town of Bar Harbor to the untouched wilderness of Canada's northern shores. Experience the raw beauty of Acadia National Park, the tranquil charm of Bar Harbor, and the dramatic change in weather as you venture deeper into the Atlantic. This journey is a testament to the enduring power and beauty of nature, offering a unique perspective on the untamed wonders of Canada's coastlines.

Venturing North: An Unconventional Odyssey through Canada's Untamed Coastlines

In stark contrast to the cataclysmic journey to Spain just a couple of weeks prior, this time, the voyage to the airport unfolded without any major mishaps. My peripheral vision brushed over the dramatic headlines in local newspapers, detailing the recurring IT system collapse of British Airways, culminating in the cancellation of numerous flights. Dodging the airport chaos at the onset of the school holidays, I sought sanctuary in the familiar yet strangely deserted Centurion AmEx lounge. At 5 AM, I was tucked away, battling the encroaching wave of sleep like a tsunami, fortified by a cup of robust coffee.
My trajectory today takes me to Boston, which, unfortunately, may merely serve as a transit point. My initial plan for this week entailed spending time in Boston with short excursions from New York to Philadelphia and Washington to Niagara Falls. Despite having reserved and prepared everything for the journey, I felt a certain disinterest in this route—perhaps it was too predictable and urban for my taste.
Therefore, when I stumbled upon the fact that the ship, which I once sailed around South America and Antarctica, the "Zaandam" from "Holland America," was departing northwards from Boston on this day, I heaved a sigh of relief and decided to radically revise my plans in favour of a more appealing itinerary.
I cleverly wove this new adventure between my arrival and departure dates, packing it as tightly as an overstuffed suitcase stowed in the plane's overhead compartment. The revised route takes me northward from Boston to Canada, circumventing the desolate expanses of several Canadian provinces before finally reaching Quebec. This includes both the province and the city bearing the same name, whose existence I had seemingly overlooked in the pages of the "atlas."
Following the river for a couple of days—this deep wrinkle in the face of the Earth that pierces Quebec to the heart of Montreal—I planned to fly back from there to Boston. Thus, I could securely lock the brimming "suitcase" of my itinerary.
Ideally, of course, I would venture even further north, severing ties with the Canadian coast like an iceberg calving from a glacier, charting a course towards the icy expanse of Greenland. For now, though, such plans remain tucked away like a long-desired candy in a box, its wrapper frustratingly hard to unravel with my occupied hands.
Nevertheless, I hold a warm impression of the ship on which I voyaged to Antarctica. The anticipation of a new rendezvous unfurls a subtle smile of delight within me. This vessel, it seemed, diverged from the larger and more ostentatious ships that frequently ply the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, emitting an old-school charm. Complete with a comfortably furnished library and a kind of navigational hall with maps and plotted routes, this ship differed due to its smaller size. This allowed for less conventional routes, helping it reach more remote corners of the world and thereby attracting a slightly different type of passenger—those who can momentarily break away from the bustle of bourgeois life and the material world, dreamily gaze towards the receding sun beyond the unexplored horizon, preferring the silent solitude of the rhythmically lapping sea to the cacophonous restaurant or an alluring yet forgettable show.

Usually, explorers choose to journey to this region north of Boston and further through Bar Harbor to the rocky shores veiled by deciduous forests in the fall, attracted by the enormous array of colours that autumn bestows upon these lands. But one can't pick everything at once, and this time, I hope to compensate for the lack of autumn colours with the hues of late spring in these northern latitudes at the end of May.
The flight to Boston travelled north first, making its initial 'contact' with the North American mainland somewhere along the Canadian coasts, before commencing its 'descent' south along the coastline. This offered me an aerial perspective of the vast expanses I planned to explore on this trip. Down below, the signs of civilization were less apparent, and the jagged forested coasts, with their peculiar contours and sunlit reflections, resembled spilt mercury, taking on a whimsical form and glistening on the surface, enveloping countless lakes. But not only did someone spill mercury in these parts, but they also appeared to be rather careless with a box of islands. These islands, like generously scattered cookies of various shapes, haphazardly and plentifully covered all nearby waters with numerous, and presumably mostly uninhabited, islands. In addition to this picture, as if trying to somehow pack this spilt gift, a few highway roads stretched from horizon to horizon, sparse but conspicuous from above, like wrapping ribbons on a box.
The coastline itself was so intricately carved it seemed as though someone, who had been methodically tracing all the continental coasts on Earth, had finished the procedure in this region. Yet, with a sizeable ball of string still left, they casually dropped it here on the shores of the North Atlantic, forming an intricate web of twists and turns.
Further along, the way, as we drew closer to Boston, the scene began to change; there were more and more buildings of various kinds. It strangely reminded me of the landscapes I had seen on the other side of the continent, in the area of Alaska. Similarly, on the Canadian side of the border, there remained vast, untouched human forests approaching the American border, while the spirit of entrepreneurship and business activity created an abundance of attractive but nonetheless disruptive quiet landscapes.
In the Boston area, it seemed like someone had scattered a bunch of white styrofoam fragments on the water, at least that's how it looked from the plane. Every bay was simply impressed with a vast amount of snow-white yachts and boats hiding from the sea surf in quiet coves.
Nevertheless, the plane finally arrived in Boston, and my voyage begins the next day. I'm headed for Bar Harbor, a town or rather a village on an islet in Maine, somewhere north of Boston.
View From Above. North American Coast.
View From Above. North American Coast.
View From Above. North American Coast.
View From Above. North American Coast.
Bar Harbour
A new day dawned with arrival around 7 am at Bar Harbor. The ship wove its way through a cluster of lush green and rocky islands, finally landing in this quaint, charming village, made up mostly of wooden one- or two-story buildings. The buildings seemed evenly distributed between hotels, craft beer pubs, and small restaurants offering lobster dishes. Here, these establishments felt more local compared to similar restaurants I'd experienced during my March trip to Vegas. This region is known for its seafood, thanks to the convergence of many currents like the Gulf Stream, which create waters abundant with fish. Lobster catching is a common activity on this small island.
Bar Harbor reminded me of an aristocratic estate or a summer residence of many affluent Americans who have summer homes here. They probably spend only a few months a year here, escaping the noise of big cities for the serene, cosy location.
The most famous place in this vicinity is Acadia National Park, which covers all the space around the town. The overall landscape is made up of deciduous and coniferous trees, not very high, possibly due to the history of forest fires in these areas. About 50 or maybe more years ago, a fire ravaged everything around these places. The terrain is very rocky, consisting of many hills stretching deep into the island, which is large enough not to feel like one. The beaches, more rocky than sandy, complete the picture.
Today, I am planning a hike for a few hours through the surrounding forests. The forest, in principle, reminds me of the temperate zone in Europe, with its birches, pines, and other types of plants. They try to keep it in its natural state, not removing fallen trees. This creates an impression of a windfall, but I think it only enhances the landscape's charm. After a not-so-long walk on a trail winding among tree roots and rocks led to a stream running alongside it, carving its way towards the seaside.

Arcadia National Park

Continuing along this stream, crossing several sturdy wooden bridges evidently built to withstand the test of time, I finally emerged onto a beach flanked by fairly rocky cliffs on both sides. It consisted of very large, water-smoothed boulders of varying sizes. Some of these, closer to the water, looked like animals with abundantly mossy, greenish-brown skin, resembling giant turtles, fully covered in seaweed. All this painted a tranquil, peaceful picture.

Mount Desert Island in Maine owes its name to French Explorer Samuel de Champlain, who reflected on the island's treeless mountain summits and named it “Ile de Monts Deserts,” which means “island of the bare mountains.”

A few family groups with their dogs, running around near the water, had also arrived. After spending some time on this beach, I finally set off to return, following the initial route. After a short bus tour around Bar Harbor, my journey led me back to the ship.
To board the ship, or rather to disembark, you need a tender service. The ship deploys lifeboats or uses some other boats to transport passengers ashore, while it anchors far out at sea. This is probably because the port if you can call it that, is not suited for large ships. However, a minor delay and a boat ride amidst fairly active, tumultuous coastal waters more likely add to the day's charm than create any hindrances.
For the second half of the day, ensconced in a lounge with a cocktail, watching the surroundings from the bow of the ship at the very top, I decided to spend the rest of the day calmly. Tomorrow, I'll find myself in Canada, in the region of Nova Scotia. Thus, in one day, I'll manage to move from England, in this case, New England, to New Scotland,
As our ship departed Bar Harbor and ventured deeper into the Atlantic, the weather began to dramatically change. The warm and gusty wind started to stir up sea spray, even though we were still close to the shore. We sailed past green islands overgrown with vegetation, with their distinct rocky shores characteristic of this area. Then, our route led us past an appealing lighthouse and seemingly a keeper's house, located on a small rocky island, like an arrow shot into the sea, which was trying in vain to wash it away with its waves.

Coast View. Departing Bar Harbour to Nova Scotia.

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