Posted by Tom McCaughey on Oct 30, 2017
The last Friendship Exchange visitors have returned home to District 5020 (Vancouver Island & western Washington State  and by all reports, their experience in Nova Scotia was much better than they had anticipated.
Comments received include “the best vacation we’ve ever had” ; “A wonderful exchange, beyond our expectations” &  “We both had a wonderful experience and enjoyed the beauty of Nova Scotia, the warm welcoming and hospitality of our hosts and the camaraderie of our fellow Rotarians.”
Along with sightseeing of the usual tourist spots, the group had the opportunity to socialize with several clubs at meetings and socials and to make presentations. Lunches and coffee stops included several local and unique hideaways that most tourists wouldn’t encounter
Among the many spots visited on the South Shore were Blue Rocks, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Bridgewater and Liverpool. The group took the ferry across the Lahave River stopping for coffee at the Lahave bakery before sightseeing along the coast to Liverpool for lunch with visits to the Hank Snow Museum and Queens County Museum
On the way to their Yarmouth stopover, they visited the unique Black Loyalist Cultural Centre. The Yarmouth club treated them to similar sights and hospitality. Pubnico Acadian Village, Lighthouses, a fabulous hockey event, kitchen party, a shipbuilding tour in Meteghan and a tour of Port Royal in Annapolis were part of the events guided by their Yarmouth hosts.
The Annapolis Valley hosts were not to be outdone. They treated our guests to theatres, scenic drives, winery, distillery and garden tours, museums and natural wonders of high tides, historic Grand Pre, a tour of Rotary’s Camp Mockingee along with home hosted and group dinners
The HRM clubs treated our guests with tours of Halifax and surrounding areas, Peggy’s Cove, Pier 21, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Citadel Hill Historic sites, a harbour crossing on a sister ferry of two that they earlier saw under construction…..and they still had time for shopping , unique eateries and home hosted group dinners.
All in all, our guests were treated to our unique Maritime hospitality and loved it and look forward to returning the favour in kind when our team from 7820 visits them in May.
Many thanks to all the clubs, Rotarians and partners who participated in any way to the success of this RFE and also the earlier visit by those from District 1420 from Finland and Estonia. No wonder so many Rotarians want to visit our wonderful little part of the world
Tom McCaughey, PDG
Rotary District 7820 Friendship Chair