Acadia, The Band and Belfast: Maine

The north-easternmost state of the US has a long and varied history of ownership, from its Wabanaki original inhabitants to the French and the English. It is, however, its varied Irish settlers who gave it its name: the first settlers from Northern Ireland landed on it and declared it “Mine”.

I haven’t been mentioning where I’ve been staying on my travels, since it’s almost always cheap and unimpressive, but I must make an exception for the quite lovely Inn at St. John, in Portland. It is a somewhat bonkers scramble of a building, with staircases sprouting off at random angles and there being no way to get from lobby to room without losing all sense of direction. It’s marvellous.

Inn at St JohnEscher vacationed here.

I’m on my way to Acadia National Park driving up the beautiful coast. En route I stop off at Belfast, Maine. There’s no Union Jack flying there either. (Topical!) They did, however, have more lobsters than you could shake a disorientated lobster at. Being an unemployed ex-student with poor job prospects, I am, of course, accustomed to the finer things, but I’ve never had lobster before. A whole lobster up this way cost $19 (about £12) so was pretty hard to resist. I had been given the impression that naming your lobster was bad form, or at least made him impossible to eat. On the contrary, I think it was staring at Pinchy’s eyes and knowing that he had once trusted me that made him extra delicious. (Must confess, much like declaring champagne to be fizzy fruit juice, I found lobster to be, basically, big shrimp.)

Pinchy Sorry Pinchy

Now, in order to properly immerse yourself in my Acadian experience, if you could please listen to The Band’s beautiful Acadian Driftwood:

Although, more specifically, if you could just keep singing the chorus and then fade off into mumbling, you’d much more accurately capture what I was doing for hours on a beautiful, crisp clear day.


While areas of natural beauty like this are fantastic to wander around and hike through, it’s important to remember that it can be dangerous, particularly in icy conditions like when I visited. For that reason, it’s a good idea ensure you have a friend with you on your adventures.

Porcupine PalI brought this guy.

There was also a plucky red squirrel, seen below bolting out of sight. I assume if fell and broke my leg that he wouldn’t be the first to go all Lassie for me.

Red Squirrel

And finally a few pictures of the area and the lovely, if chilly, conditions:


Frosty pane

AcadiaAcadian Sunset

No spoilers for next week’s adventure, but there’s something a little funny aboot it, eh?


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