Cape Breton: Delicious Whiskey & The Most Beautiful Place I’ve Ever Been

After crossing the canal into Cape Breton, G & I were thrown into the most gorgeous land I’ve ever explored. Granted, I haven’t been a lot of places, and the Amazon definitely takes the cake for tropical places, but Cape Breton is amazing.

For example, above is our view from the road. Yes, from the road. We were expected to drive a nice, safe, 90 kmh on a road without driving off the edge–this is hard, mostly since we wanted to stare at the ocean and the hills and the cliffs, but couldn’t since we had to stay, generally, on the asphalt. We pulled off a lot to take pictures. I felt like I tourist. I didn’t care.

Our first stop on the island was Glenora Distillery, the only single-malt whiskey distiller in North America. Having never been on a distillery tour before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and while I’m positive our extremely short tour and 1/8 oz tasting were not worth the $7, it was cool to see the way it’s made and, well, the whiskey itself was really damn good.

So smooth with a nice oaky background. Unfortunately bottles cost $80 and up, so I didn’t buy any. But that taste, or “lick” as we’ve been referring to it, was delish!

After the whiskey, we hit the road north to Cape Breton Highlands National Park to camp for the night and then, hopefully, find moose in the morning. Luckily, we were able to snag one of the last first-come-first serve campsites at one of the beach spots (there are only a couple of campsites in the park, interestingly enough, and all are first-come-first-serve which is a little nerve-wracking, makes you want to claim your spot early in the day). We set up our tent and then, stomachs growling wildly, we had to drive back out of the park into town to grab some food. (Oh, and we **lucked** out for the trip–our rental car was a Subaru Imprezza–I’m in love with it, most amazing car ever.)

In town, we stopped at the first place with not too full of a parking lot. This is the point in the trip where I stopped caring about food. I mean, it was all pretty bad. But after eating almost all chowder and eggs and scallops, I was thrilled to order the veggie pasta. And it was actually loaded with veggies–mushrooms, red & green peppers, tomatoes. Was it tasty? Not really. Was I hungry and not caring much? Indeed. So it hit the spot. Spot enough, at least, for a filling dinner the night before I knew I would wake up and eat only a Cliff bar for breakfast (mmm the blueberry ones!).

As we finished dinner, I looked out the windows facing the Bay of St. Lawrence and mentioned how gorgeous the sunset was. G., being on the same page as I, suggested we head out and watch it from the parking lot–an awesome suggestion since the sunset really blew up once the sun dipped below the horizon. Red at night, sailors’ (or campers’) delight, for sure.

After it darkened, we headed back to the campground for one of the best evenings we had on the trip. First off, above is what the beach at the campground looked like–pebble beach surrounded by cliffs and mountains and ocean. The pictures I’ve seen of the northwest are like this, but I’ve never been out that way, so this blew my mind.

We dragged camp chairs, a blanket, jackets, and our much-cheaper-than-Glenora-Distillery’s bottle of whiskey down to the beach and watched the stars pop out. Pop out they did. And we even got to see the biggest meteor of my life–it lit up as bright as a street lamp during it’s 15-20 second streak across the sky–phenomenal!

By whatever time we finally dragged ourselves off the beach (after finishing the bottle, of course, paired with a bar of dark chocolate–nom), we were frozen, the air temperature dropping much faster than I expected, but happy, and sleep was so easy wrapped up in my sleeping bag knowing the waves lapped the stones a mere 100 meters away.

4 Responses to “Cape Breton: Delicious Whiskey & The Most Beautiful Place I’ve Ever Been”
  1. Jessica says:

    I never would have known there was only one (or on the other hand, any at all) single malt distiller in the US. I’ve been on several bourbon tours have found them interesting, but I don’t enjoy the stuff.

    Beautiful scenery, and the perfect rental car for camping! That could be an advertisement.

  2. Yeah … whiskey tours. Once you’ve seen one pot still, you’ve seen them all. Living in the Land of Whiskey, I can say: $80!? Really?! Umm… no. Sure, there are expensive ones here, but there are also plenty of very good ones for less than 1/4 of that!

    Glad you’re having fun, and keep the pictures coming, please!

  3. feerlessfood says:

    Looks good- my mom just bought me back a bottle of Irish whiskey from Ireland…the kind you don’t drink, you just leave on the shelf to look at haha

    Thanks for you Tweet!

  4. Barbara says:

    Gorgeous sunset, Jes. Your travel photos are beautiful! I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but I would certainly take a taste of that stuff. 🙂

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