Official Liaison College Blog

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Day Six: Pictou

Our Cape Breton journey ended at Pictou, NS.  This lovely seaside town is the last stop before the PEI Ferry.
We chose a historical inn, The Customs House, on the waterfront. The Customs House has a great write up in our CAA book and on the web ...
After a long drive, we were ready to relax and unwind.  The Inn was touted as a historic refurbishment with breakfast included.  But this has been our first disappointment so far.
As soon as we enter the waterfront area we are bowled over by a noxious odour; we see the culprit in the distance:  the pulp and paper factory is spewing at a great rate!  What a smell!  Sour and rancid.
The building was once the customs office for the area and does look like an old bank or office building.  The stone steps leading into the front door are quite rustic (read: chipping and wearing) and, even though it's been freshly cut, the grass and lawn are unkempt in general.  We were so spoiled by the wonderful experience in Fredericton that this was somewhat of a shock.  You know what they say about first impressions ....
We enter the front door and you can tell that there has been extensive work done to refurbish yet maintain the integrity of the building.  Straight ahead is the "innkeepers office", but the sign tells us that he is downstairs.  As I head down the stairs, he peaks up and starts up to meet us.  He is not very welcoming (maybe because I asked about the smell right off) and gives us our keys with a dismissive: "Breakfast is between 6 and 9 a.m. or thereabout".  Then he's off.
The room is next to the front door and is a pleasantly large room with a king bed, small sofa, tv area, desk and private washroom with jacuzzi tub.  All nicely updated with gleaming hardwood floors and soaring ceiling.
Since it's early evening and we've been driving for the full day, we decide to relax and stay in (plus the western CFL game is on with Calgary and Edmonton matching up). 
In the morning we head down for breakfast to nosh and strategize on our next leg to PEI and our first day of cloudy (possibly rainy) weather.  However, when we go downstairs into the lower level where the dining area is, there is one other lone guest who tells us that no one is there, there is no coffee, no milk, no breakfast.  She is as baffled about the whole experience and our strange host as we are.
I do snoop and find a kitchen with a fridge and some milk and juice, and the three of us compare our journeys to the maritimes.  Not exactly breakfast, but enjoyable nonetheless.
We finish our visit, pack our bags, and leave.  All without ever seeing our host again.  How strange and how sad!  
Off to PEI ....