10 Things I Didn't Know about Nova Scotia

10 Things I Didn't Know about Nova Scotia

We've lived in Nova Scotia for almost a month now. I learn new things everyday. Here are a few things I didn't know about Nova Scotia before we moved. 

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1. Canada has six time zones and two of them are east of the Eastern Standard Time zone. I honestly didn’t know this. In Nova Scotia, we are in the Atlantic time zone. Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is one hour ahead of EST. So, if, no, when you call me, remember that if it’s 8:00 EST, it’s 9:00 here. And Newfoundland is a half hour ahead of us in Newfoundland Standard Time (NST). Using our example, if’s it 8:00 EST, it will be 9:30 NST in Gander. My world keeps getting bigger. 

2. 50 is 30. Like most counties in the world, Canada uses the metric system. Only Liberia, Burma and the US have not adopted the  International System of Units (SI, or metric system) as their official system of weights and measures. Ok. I knew this one but I haven't had to use it on a daily basis since we lived in England many summers ago. Now, I'm learning to think it. 50 is 30. 50 km/hr is roughly equivalent to 30 mph. It’s actually 31.07 but on my speedometer 30 mph is close enough. 100 km/h is about 62 mph. We’re learning to think metric on the road - and at the grocery store.

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There are 453 grams in a pound of ground beef. Or in a pound of anything.

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Liquids and beverages are measured by the liter. Cooking and, even more, grocery shopping is a brain workout.

3. And then there's the weather. Yesterday the temp was 14C (about 57 F)   That was just balmy for this time of year. Today,  it's -3 C (26 F) - and snowing. It's usually cold and snowy here this time of year, but temps can range anywhere from - 10 to 12 C.  Again - more math. 

The temperature T in degrees Fahrenheit (°F) is equal to the temperature T in degrees Celsius (°C) times 9/5 plus 32:         

T(°F) = T(°C) × 1.8 + 32    For example:  T(°F) = 20°C × 9/5 + 32 = 68 °F. 

In better news - there’s an app for that! 

 4. The entire province of Nova Scotia is located within the Appalachian mountains. Didn’t know that either and I grew up in the Appalachians. You can hike the International Appalachian trail in Canada. I wrote a whole post about this one. You can read it here

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5. Cute socks are a necessity. Or at least, socks without holes in the toes. Whenever you enter someone’s house, you immediately remove your boots which will be dripping with snow and/or mud. So then you spend your visit padding around in your stocking feet. I’m going to have to up my sock game. At a gathering at a friend’s house, the pile of boots beside the door reminded me of the piles of sandals outside a home in Bali, where you also remove your shoes before entering. I found it was an advantage to have a pair of plum colored boots. I wasn’t searching for my black boots in a pile full of black boots. 

The Canadian loonie, the one dollar coin, and the toonie, the two dollar coin.

The Canadian loonie, the one dollar coin, and the toonie, the two dollar coin.

6. We all speak English right? But maybe not the same language! A loonie is the Canadian $1 coin. It gets it's name from the picture of the Canadian bird, the loon, on one side. A two dollar coin is a toonie. You wear a toque on your head when you go out in the cold (A toque is a warm knitted hat or beanie).  A skiff is a light cover of snow - maybe an inch or two. “We just had a skiff of snow last night."  Zed is the letter z. Canadians say "x,y,zed" rather than "x, y, zee". A garbage disposal is a garburator. Who said we speak the same language? And then, there's poutine..

7. And speaking of language, Canadians leave out a part of speech we in the US are used to hearing. In the U.S., we say, "He’s going to the hospital." In Canada, you leave out "the" and say "He’s going to hospital" or  "She's going to university."  One friend says he can tell if a television show or movie was produced in the US or in Canada based on the use of articles alone. 

8. Winter surfing is a thing. Yes - in the ocean. In the winter.  Don your wetsuit, carry your board across the snow and paddle out. The waves are great, so I hear. I won’t be trying that one. But you can google it - winter surfing in Nova Scotia or check out this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms3phFQqpTE

9. Nova Scotia has the highest concentration of breeding bald eagles in northeastern North America. I saw my first bald eagle in a tree while driving to the grocery store. Our friends tell us you can easily count several hundred bald eagles while traveling the roads of the Annapolis Valley during January and February.  Sometimes, you can see more than 30 perched in a single tree.  Read about our trip to the Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch.

10. Did I mention the wine? Nova Scotia is home to 16 wineries and vineyards with some award winning wines. Nine wineries are less than an hour from our home. 

"Past the rocky, ocean-battered coastline of Nova Scotia is an unlikely tale of success: a burgeoning wine industry producing palate-pleasers that connoisseurs say can rival what Champagne, France has to offer. Winemakers in the lush heartland of Nova Scotia’s wine industry, the Annapolis Valley, are embracing what might appear as an impossible set of conditions — cool temperatures and rocky, acidic soil — to create award-winning white and sparkling wines that are capturing international attention."  ~ from Global News Canada

And did I mention the Wolfville Magical Winery Bus


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I'll keep the list going and add to it as we go.  Y’alll need to come and visit! 

Sun and snow at the Bay of Fundy

Sun and snow at the Bay of Fundy

Coming Full Circle in Appalachia

Coming Full Circle in Appalachia