The weather this morning didn't start off particularly nice - it was still overcast and miserable looking, with a little bit of rain - which meant that we didn't want to really do too many outdoor-based activities. There is a miners' museum in Glace Bay which we thought sounded interesting (at least it was a change from all the fishing-focused exhibits we've seen in so many places!) and so we made our way there to check it out.
As you can guess, the museum was all about mining, but in particular coal mining as this was a significant part of the economy in this area for a long time. I believe it was in 2001, though, that the last mine closed in Cape Breton. The museum took us through the history of how coal is formed, the origins of the mining economy in Cape Breton, developments throughout the years, and eventually the collapse of the industry. It wasn't a large museum, but it was interesting since I don't really know much about coal mining. If we had wanted to, we could have taken a small tour into an old mining shaft with a retired miner, but we decided against it.
By the time we left the miners' museum, the weather had started to get nicer, so we decided to go visit the 'Highland Village' in Iona. The Highland Village consists of 11 buildings on the site, which take you through different periods of the Scottish history from their emigration from Scotland to their settling in Cape Breton. In each of the buildings was a costumed interpreter who was able to explain what time period the building was from, what purposes different tools in the homes, stores, blacksmith shop, etc. server, and to put some perspective into what sort of conditions the Scottish would have been facing at the time.
Towards the end of the visit there, we entered what was the Blacksmith's shop, and the man in there asked if we were Cape Bretoners or not Cape Bretoners. Both ourselves and the other couple there replied "Not Cape Bretoners" and the man went on to say "Let me guess… Manitobans! Gimli!" (or something along those lines!). As it turns out, the man had worked for the R.C.M.P. for a number of years and had worked out in Gimli, his brother married a lady from Fisher Branch, and he still keeps in touch with a man who now lives out in Hecla! So we stopped and had a bit of chat with him. It's funny how small the world is - you never know who you might meet and what kind of connections you might have.
And that was really all for Day #14 out here in Atlantic Canada, other than some relaxing in the evening back at the campsite.