Digby, Nova Scotia

Digby Harbor

You know that resort-camp in Dirty Dancing?  Kellerman’s, supposedly in the Catskills (actually in southwestern Virginia)?  Well, Digby, Nova Scotia is just like that place.  It’s seen better days, probably in the 1960s, and all of the cute little bed & breakfasts need a new coat of paint, the restaurants could use a major overhaul, and the community is all a little geriatric.  Nothing wrong with that.

I mean, where else could you stay in a motel with a giant chess set?

Rewinding a bit, though, the day we left Portland, we drove north up through Maine to the border, crossed, and then cut over to St. John’s New Brunswick to catch a ~3 hour ferry to Digby, Nova Scotia. The ferry cut off about 7 hours of driving, so that was a definite plus.

St. John’s is not going to get the most beautiful city award (can we say oil and regasification plant/terminal, anyone?), but the pollution made a nice sunset at least.

The ferry, though, oh the ferry! It was giant–we drove down into a parking garage sized area, parked, and then climbed the stairs to the passenger area. They had some computers with marginally working internet, a “casino” (some sad little slot machines…I was tempted though), and lots of viewing decks.

The ferry also had a sad little cafeteria that served mostly fried fish products, but, to our amazement, also poutine! Poutine! I thought Poutine was a Montreal thing, but apparently you can get it on ferries too. This one was freezer french fries smothered with cheddar cheese and gravy. It sounds horrible, but heavens, it was delicious. G.’s burger, though, was of debatable origin.

Once in Digby, at 1 in the morning or something, we stayed at some motel, slept like rocks, and then set out to explore the town.

Brunch/lunch at Boardwalk Cafe consisted of some decent coffee (18% cream, not too shabby)

a bowl of chowder (oh, we had no idea how sick we’d get of chowder)

and some kind of seafood casserole with a salad and strawberry apple cider dressing (nom, that dressing was pretty darn good).

The food was decent, nothing special & very mom-and-pop-ish, but it fit the bill.

Also, apparently all over Nova Scotia (if not Canada–anyone know?), they have bins marked for recycling & composting everything. Super cool! I don’t know if people follow the guidelines, I messed up once, but it seems like an awesome concept. Anyone know where the compost goes?

After eating we walked around the town (took about…2 minutes?) and then set up our tent at the Digby Campground, a strange little place with meta tents–a tent to put your tent in. Don’t fall into the lure of the meta tent, a hard plywood board is no fun to sleep on with of a thermarest. I didn’t sleep much that night. The 2 am ferry traffic didn’t help either. But it was what it was, and definitely an experience. Meta tent!

5 Responses to “Digby, Nova Scotia”
  1. Amazing photos. In Canada, we really do have an amazing back yard.

  2. lazysmurf says:

    That campground looks so awful! I’m glad you had fun, I love Canada.

  3. A tent for your tent?! I have never seen anything like that! Very strange, but makes for a sweet photo op!

  4. John DM says:

    A lot of backhanded compliments and some typical misstatements:
    • the chess set isn’t at a motel, but at a largish resort hotel built almost 80 years ago by a national railroad;
    • the St. John’s you refer to is actually Saint John, while St. John’s is the capital city of Newfoundland; and
    • poutine is as much–if not more–an Acadian dish as it is Montreal’s, and it is certainly familiar to French-speaking populations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

    Still, it sounds as though you mostly enjoyed unsophisticated Digby, stuck in its 1960s time warp. Y’all come back

  5. Hah! Meta-tent. Probably helps out when it snows, though.

    Thanks for the update, and the pictures!

Leave A Comment