The Cat's Meow
OK, as promised or threatened in my introduction, let me include a feline tip for Parrsboro...
We were there on the second Friday in September, and we saw a sign advertising the "INTERNATIONA CAT SHOW" to be held the following day. I don't know is such an undertaking is an annual event, but if cats are your thing and you're in Parrsboro in September, you might see if there's going to be another cat show. You'd think that they'd have shows more than once, given that cats have nine lives, right?
Yes, this is a silly tip. But let me once again remind you of Parrsboro's true annual show of merit and interest. The third weekend of August brings the annual NOVA SCOTIA GEM AND MINERAL SHOW. It's not specifically the cat's meow, but probably worth your time. It's probably more worth your time than any international cat show, but that's a personal taste thing.
A quiet little town
"A shortened visit"
We came to Parrsboro while on our second holiday touring Nova Scotia. We originaly planned to stay for 3 nights but after arriving and having a look around decided to shorten our visit to just 2 nights. The town is smaller than we expected and there was very little choice of restaurants or places to go at night.
"Where we stayed"
Evangeline's Tower Bed & Breakfast, Parrsboro. See review
"Cape Chignecto Provincial Park"
Well worth a visit - see review for details.
One of the main Eastern shore towns
"Rocks and Tides yes, but also a very friendly town"
The charming and friendly town of Parrsboro is the main incorporation along Nova Scotia's Eastern shore. Relative to the larger cities in the area, Parrsboro is some 100 km west of Truro and perhaps 70 km south of Amherst, Nova Scotia.
There are two main draws for visitors to the town of Parrsboro, rock and tides. (Sounds like a grunge band from Seattle or something, doesn't it?)
Addressing the tides issue first, Parrsboro sits abeam the Bay of Fundy, world famous for its huge and forceful ocean tides. Parrsboro is one of THE best places in Nova Scotia to experience the rare natural power of a 15 meter tide swing between low and high.
And as for rocks, the huge variation in tides coupled with the sandstone and geological history of the Eastern shore leads to a huge cornucopia of minerals, rocks and fossils easily found in the area. In fact, the region's FUNDY GEOLOGICAL MUSEUM is worth a visit. (see separate tip) I'm told that Parrsboro hosts an annual Gem and Mineral Show in late August. However, with us reaching the town in September, we didn't partake.
We did, however, learn that Parrsboro was going to be hosting the (a??) International Cat Show on the following day. (We were there on a Friday, the catfest was to commence on Saturday) We took a family vote and decide that seeing a bunch of cats wasn't worth driving back to Parrsboro on the following day, but... if cats are your thing, enjoy. (see separate and silly 'off the beaten trail' tip on the cat show)
But beyond all the ocean tides, fossils, rocks and even high-class cats, Parrsboro is just a friendly and accomodating little place. It's a place that you can imagine as a hometown - very comfortable. Folks on the street smile and say hello, and you'll find local businesses run by locals. They welcome visitors, but it's far from being any kind of tourist mecca. You'll enjoy your time in Parrsboro, we certainly did.
The thing about the tides is that it does take time. Remember, the variation between high and low tide is about six hours, meaning that there are two high and two low tides per day. So, to feel the full impact, you'd best be there for low or high tide and then be back at the same place some 6 hours later.
But even if you can't stay that long, or your timing is off (low tide at 2 am, for example, would be a bear to behold), you'll get a feel for the strength of the current and the tides just by watching the waters for half an hour or so. It's particular amazing when you reach a midway point, and the tides switch direction. In a period of 15-20 minutes, you'll definitely notice that the waters and tiny little currents begin their rush in an opposite direction.
They've done this twice a day for a few billion years, give or take a million. Practice makes perfect.
PS, yes, the title of this page is homage to the fine University of Alabama football team. My wife and I are both from Alabama. And while I am most definitely a Florida State Seminole fan, my wife and her family LOVE the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, So even in Canada and at the Bay of Fundy, "ROLL TIDE" has special meaning. :)
"The School of Rock(s)"
No, I'm not reviewing the Jack Black movie here - although I did enjoy it. :)
The FUNDY GEOLOGICAL MUSEUM in Parrsboro is an interesting stop for amateur geologists, science fans and prehistory buffs. (please see my separate tip) The museum is especially good to offer hands-on opportunities to investigate and learn.
The accompany photo shows my little professor (Sara) getting a closer look at variations in sedimentary rock.