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SAY "HELLO" BY SUSAN MACCALLUM-WHITCOMB "Farewell to Nova Scotia," the province's oft-recorded unoffi cial anthem, is a soulful folk song that bids adieu to this "sea-bound coast." If you have been here before, you already understand why so many people "grieve to leave." If not, it's high time you were introduced to Nova Scotia's charms. NOVA SCOTIA 949,500 Halifax Halifax Stanfi eld International Airport, 35 km (22 mi.) from downtown SKYLINE TRAIL, CAPE BRETON HIGHLANDS • SHUTTERSTOCK/JUSTEK16 SENSATIONAL SCENERY The scenery alone can make you want to linger indefi nitely. Connected to the rest of Canada by just a narrow neck of land, Nova Scotia is essentially surrounded by water; and every stretch of its 7,600-km (4,722 mi.) coastline promises adventure opportunities as well as oh-so-fresh seafood. Yet each also has its own distinctive character. The Minas Basin, for one, is a magnet for migrating shorebirds, hundreds of thousands of which descend each summer to dine on its mud fl ats before fl ying to South America. Nearby, the constant beating of the Bay of Fundy tides uncovers 300-million-year-old fossils in Joggins' UNESCO-designated cliff s. The South Shore, conversely, is dotted with centuries-old towns and sheltered coves once frequented by privateers; the Eastern Shore boasts pounding surf; and between them is Halifax, home to one of the world's largest natural harbours. Northumberland Strait, meanwhile, is notable for warm, sandy strands, whereas much of Cape Breton is marked by loch-like inlets and rocky highlands that drop dramatically to the sea. Inland, the geography is equally varied, which is why A-type vacationers can explore the orderly vineyards of the agricultural heartland and the wondrous wilds of the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve within a single day. NS 120

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