Tue 18 Jun - Bar Harbor, ME

We had been planning a hike for today, but Di's legs were still not fully recovered from our stint in the White Mountains so we postponed the hike until tomorrow.

Instead we started off by familiarizing ourselves of Bar Harbor by strolling through the town centre. We then made up the rest of the day up as we went along.

A nice early start (as we were awake by 5.20am - the sun comes up very early here) so we were on the streets around 7am. Nice and quiet.
Here is Di outside Aurora Motel where we will be staying this week.

Our town map showed that a "Shore Trail", a trail for walking only, led from the end of a road about 5 blocks from us back into town following the shore line. We found the road easily and liked the houses along the waterfront, including a favourite for Hans - a house with a tasteful horseshoe driveway.

Sure - the Shore Trail (ha ha) starts here and runs for a mile or so back into town.

The Shore Trail had a great footpath about 1 metre wide and running right on the edge of private land which had been agreed by a landowners association. Very good idea and quite generous.

No fences, barriers or bikes, just a nice path for walkers and joggers, and at this time not many of either. This photo is looking south east behind Hans.

There is a large rock along the foreshore that shouldn't be there according to the blurb in the board. Still it is, thanks to a very old big glacier, and it is a photographic favourite.

Di shows us why it is so photogenic. Pushing good...

The Shore Trail continues to Bar Harbor's harbor. This schooner runs various cruises including a sunset cruise that may be a contender for us one night this week.

Swinging pontoon. Di was a tad worried here as Hans instructed her to stand on the very far end of the pontoon whilst he rocked it and took a photo. No animal was hurt in taking this picture. Di though... Some British tourists commented she was "very brave".

If you haven't got it yet, lobster is HUGE here. Maine supplies 90% of all USA lobster.

A fisherman came into shore as we were there and dropped off this container filled with... You guessed it, lobster. 100 pounds of them heading to a "pound" - we assume not for being rescued and finding new homes! Wikipedia to the rescue. A lobster pound is a local term for a shack along the waters edge where lobsters are cooked live to order for punters and In the meantime the lobsters are in a holding pen in the sea or tidal water.

Location shot of Bar Harbor town from the wharf.

We stopped in the town park for a fruit break before wandering further. The main street of Bar Harbor is very cute and is filled with t-shirt and souvenir stores, or restaurants. All with quirky names or signage. We liked that it was all so colourful.

Yet more lobster paraphernalia... And it's close cousin, the moose.

This car aerial took the award for "tacky" - so bad it's good!

We had heard about crossing the sandbar at low tide to Bar Island and figured it had to be done. When we first arrived the water was still across the bar - about 2 hours before low tide.

A quick visit back to our motel for a coffee and a change of clothes (swimmers) and footware (flip flops in American English - not thongs...)

Whilst back at the motel our neighbor started chatting with us. A chatty retired Columbian American man who is traveling with his wife as far as Labrador in about a 2 week trip. He mentioned going to Cadillac Mountain and when Hans said he should get up at 3.30am to see the sunrise the reaction he got was very funny - "aahhhcchhh" and a wave away with the arm.

When we returned about 30 minutes later the bar was out of the water the whole way. We noted that despite the big yellow sign (and some scary photos showing cars submerged) some groups still take their vehicles onto the sandbar.

Looking back from Bar Island to the town, with Cadillac Mountain behind. Cadillac mountain is in Acadia National Park and is the first point in the USA to get the sunrise.

Yes - time for some sun on our white torsos...

We looked in the tidal areas for crabs and anything alive - no luck. Any clam shells or mussels were already opened and cleaned out by the gulls.

We have great "farmer tans" (aka hiker tans).

The Atlantic here never really gets warms. We were told it was still somewhere below 60F (< 15 degrees) and we tested it without feet. No hypothermia but definitely not warm.

Seeing as the Atlantic was too cold for swimming we decided, on this warm day, to try out the pool and spa associated with our motel.

It was not in the same location as our motel - it was located at the Quality Inn about 100 meters up the road. We thought that they had made good use of what looked like the old water tank - now for a pool.

Very nice! The pool was the cleanest we think we have ever been in and a good size. The spa was also excellent, as were the pool towels and lounge chairs. We will definitely be back here - shame we can't bring a beer...

The pool was 25 degrees, which we both liked. Hans also found the 37 degrees in the hot tub with bubbles very relaxing.

Di found the lounge chairs in the sun relaxing too.

There is probably a good story behind this sign... If you can't read it, it says "No bike roof racks". We could almost hear the bang...

After a sandwich lunch back at our motel we wanted to see more of Acadia National Park so we drove the 27 mile loop road that circles the park. The loop takes about an hour to drive, at a nice slow pace so you can see the views. It's quite a popular drive but we did not take photos because we figure we will revisit many of the sights whilst hiking.

We also wanted to see Eagle Lake, which we heard had a great carriage way trail for walking or biking. After a few miles of heading in the wrong direction (the map was a challenge) we found Eagle Lake and vowed to return. It's about a 4-5 mile loop and connects to other carriage ways - and looked great for exploring by bike.

The carrage way together with the spectacular bridges were all designed and funded by John D Rockefeller Jr when he owned most of current day Acadia National Park.

Here is Hans under one of the 17 bridges in the park.

The carriage road network is quite extensive. Over 50 miles or 80 km of gravel road is still used for cycling and walking within the park today.
The carriage way is also very wide - even Di on a bicycle should manage not to run into anything.

Eagle Lake is beautiful and it looks like much of the carriage way runs along the edge. We'll be back.

One more thing to check out... Canoe Rentals on the Great Long Pond, which is halfway into Acadia National Park. A good deal we think - $30 for 4 hours and the canoes looked good. So does the size of the "pond" to explore - it is 4 miles long.

Home for a few drinks, a clean up and then we went out for dinner at the West Street Cafe. Lobster was a contender for tonight. We just had to try it and this restaurant had been recommended as good value by our neighbor at the motel.

Hans found the perfect dish on the menu. Something called "Lazy Man's Lobster Sauté". All the taste without the mess. Done.

High expectations for a good seafood meal.
The food arrived, and here is Hans "lazy lobster" meal. In one word, delicious.
Di had a lobster, shrimp and scallop combo in a butter and garlic sauce. In one and the same word, delicious.
After a most pleasant meal with excellent service (a good recommendation from our chatty neighbour), we took a wander through the centre of Bar Harbor as the dark settles. Great light for a few more pics.
We noticed the abundance of ice creams in people's hands so we decided to join them at the local 61 flavour store. We were not brave enough to try this flavour though...
We enjoyed our ice cream outside the shop, and next to another Lenny the Lobster.
A few more pics from where we enjoyed our dessert looking up and down the man street of Bar Harbor.
Lovely sunset.
On our way back we were distracted t-shirt shops with fun slogans and prints, a big selection at good prices. Here is Di's choice. Daggy but had to be done - sticking with the local theme.
Hans t-shirt combined two things that he likes very much "wine is life" with a profile of a mountain and hiking boots. Very tasteful.
A bit of chilling before bed time after a lovely day. Good night.


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