Port Dalhousie

Port Dalhousie sits on Lake Ontario near St Catherine’s, Ontario. It’s a gorgeous place with a beautiful beach, marina and waterfront area that boasts not one, but two, lighthouses. It also has a carousel with a calliope!

  

We visited fairly late in the afternoon, so the carousel was closed, but we walked along the pier in golden autumn sunshine and watched the sailboats, fishermen in small boats, and windsurfers enjoying the beautiful weather. 

   
 
My first impression walking along the pier was that the waterway and marina reminded me a lot of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia, not far from Warrnambool, where I work. It’s another very pretty spot with a marina on the moth of the Moyne River that I have blogged about before

After walking along the pier, we sat on the beach and had the most Canadian of sandwiches: crusty white bread, old cheddar and Montreal smoked beef with mustard. Those sandwiches were incredibly good.

 
Our picnic was also attended by a lone seagull and a very attentive wasp. Thankfully, we did not provide any food for either one of them. 

Having just finished winter in south-eastern Australia, this was my first opportunity to enjoy time on a beach. It felt so good to get my bare feet in the warm sand and squidge it between my toes.  That’s one of the things I love about summer afternoons, even though I don’t really like hot weather. Yesterday’s 23C was just perfect for a beach picnic. 

Driving out, we passed some lovely pubs and shops that I would love to go and visit sometime. A very old brick building serves as a coffee house that looked incredibly inviting. 

I am already thinking that I’m going to have to make another trip to Canada. 

Damn. That’s just heartbreaking. 

Port Fairy.

The weather today was perfect  for a visit to Port Fairy, a beautiful little town on the south-western coast of Victoria, Australia. The sun was shining, there was a very slight breeze, and it was a glorious 19 degrees Celsius.

I walked slowly along the boardwalk which extends along the bank of the Moyne River, where the fishing boats moor. The water sparkled, lapping against the banks and the boats as we walked and enjoyed the scenery. Boats bobbed.  Seagulls hovered and swooped. Fishermen tended to their boats and chatted with people as they passed by. Two teenagers enjoyed the sunshine, sitting on the side of the boardwalk and dangling their feet over the water, holding hands and chatting happily.

I made my way to the main street of town, where small shops offer their wares, cafes invite visitors to enjoy coffee, cake or ice-cream, and everything has a rustic feel to it. There are no department stores or fast food chains here.  The cafes sell food that is made on the premises. There are two bookshops – I believe that this is always a very good recommendation for any town. Other shops sell handcrafted gifts, boutique clothing or old-fashioned sweets. The supermarket still has staff that will carry your bags to your car for you.

Whenever I visit Port Fairy, I visit Rebecca’s Cafe. The freshly baked cakes and slices are mouth-wateringly good, and their thickshakes are incredible. The coffee here is also excellent. However, those aren’t the only reasons I visit here. I visited here shortly after the passing of my beautiful friend, Rebecca. She wasn’t connected with the cafe or the town in any way, except by sharing the name, but it occurred to me then that she would have loved the place, too, and the connection has stayed with me ever since.

Many of the buildings and houses in Port Fairy date back to the early years of the settlement that was originally named Belfast by its strongly Irish population. They add to the strongly reminiscent sense of days-gone-by that characterises the township. It may seem odd that a place can be rather old-fashioned and quite up-to-date at the same time, but this beautiful town manages to achieve that balance very nicely.

Moyne River, Port Fairy, Victoria.

Moyne River, Port Fairy, Victoria.
Photograph is copyrighted by the author of this blog.