Travel Photo Thursday — 6/26/14 — Shopping Nova Scotia Style

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Canada, Destinations, Featured, Nova Scotia, Travel Photo Thursday | 30 comments

Welcome to the 183rd edition of Travel Photo Thursday. My regular semester is over. However, I’ve been given the dubious honor of teaching a summer class. What that means exactly is teaching a 15 week credit course over a 3 week period. Today we are officially at the 1 month mark. This gives an entirely new meaning to “time flies”. Today I am going to take you on a little unexpected shopping trip that I ended up doing the last time I was home in Nova Scotia.

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The picturesque hamlet of  Nova Scotia’s Blue Rocks was made famous by Canadian photographer Sherman Hines, who took a liking to photographing outhouses. He has published a number of outhouse pictorial books featuring many of Blue Rock’s outhouses, and I believe he continues to publish an annual calendar entitled “Outhouses”.


One of those famous Outhouses….


Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia


Blue Rocks is a six minute drive from the UNESCO fishing town Lunenburg (just follow the signs), and when you make the left hand turn you’ll see houses (and outhouses) on the left, and drop dead gorgeous scenery on the right. The shopping is on the left, all two shops. One is big, beautiful, and kind of flashy. The second one looks like it could have been a kids playhouse at one time. This was the one I was interested in, and wanted to meander around after I finished taking oodles of photos.


Can you think of a prettier spot to start your kayaking adventure?


Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia

Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia


This driftwood will probably end up in the shop we are going to visit,  momentarily 🙂


Blue Rocks Nova Scotia


I pull into the driveway of the “wee” shop, and I’m barely stopped before I have the car door open. As I’m walking up to the door there’s a car coming down the drive. I get a nod and a smile from the driver and his passenger. I return the nod and smile. If you ever visit Nova Scotia, remember your nod and your smile 🙂



Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia



Before I could actually get into the gift shop, which I discovered is called “Artsy Stuff”, I had to get by the sentry…


Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia


Hand carved and painted, you can take this Nova Scotia fisherman home for forty bucks!

I opened the door, poking my head in, as I said hello. Silence. There’s nobody in the shop. I start to look around, figuring someone will be around momentarily. Then I see this…


Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia


I realize that the people I nodded and smiled to on the way in were the owners. The store runs on the honor system. You can see the notebook beside the cash box. People record what they buy. Some people were a little short on cash, so they wrote an IOU. Others left a little more. At the end of the day, I have the feeling the cash box balanced perfectly. 🙂


There were so many cool things to buy, and they were all cheap, cheap, cheap.  The owners made it very easy to walk out with a little piece of Nova Scotia. Scallop shells (the real thing) for a buck, fisherman buoys for six bucks. I thought the photo art was a steal.

Love the handmade lighthouses…


Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia


I couldn’t resist a photograph mounted on driftwood …$10.00.


This is rural Nova Scotia. Folks are trusting, and they give you good value for your money. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, do drop in, and tell them Nancie says “Hi”.


Have you ever run across an unmanned souvenir shop in your travels?




This is the 183rd edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.


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  1. Love Nova Scotia!! Lunenburg is a great town, even in the rain!

    • Hi Jackie. It is a lovely town. I think the last two times I was there it was raining 🙂

  2. Loved stumbling over Blue Rocks when we were in Lunenburg. Very atmospheric place 🙂

    • Hi Sophie,

      It is a pretty spot 🙂

  3. I’m kicking myself! I was just in Blue Rocks and didn’t see this store. How could I possibly miss it?? But I spent a good amount of time enjoying the lovely scenery and houses/outhouses. Can’t say that I’ve ever visited an unmanned souvenir shop. Hard to believe there are any beyond Nova Scotia.

    • Hi Cathy. I can’t believe you missed it either! Hopefully, they haven’t closed down. I’m glad you enjoyed Blue Rocks.

  4. Nancie, Oh how I love a fishing village! Your photos are stunning! I want to go. Have fun with your last few weeks of summer school. Will you travel a little after that?

    • Hi Corrine. Thank you! Yes, I am off to Penang on July 14th, for 5 weeks.

  5. Nancie, I have actually never come across an unmanned souvenir shop, but I really like that idea. I remember when we were kids we used to drive to Denmark and I was simply fascinated by the unmanned strawberry sales they had by the roadside, even providing a box with change. It was simply amazing and best of all, it worked… 🙂

    • Hi Dennis. I like the idea of unmanned strawberry sales!

  6. Well Nancie, I have experienced plenty of pay the box fruit and vegie stalls, but never a craft stall. I think people love it when they are thought honest, and I bet that box is hardly ever under. Love the $40 fisherman.

  7. Now this is my kind of shopping. Reminds me both of Central Washington State where I grew up and Greece! Great photos!

  8. That shop reminds me of Japan…

  9. I love that the gift shop is on the honor system. That wouldn’t work everywhere but it’s nice to see when it does.

  10. Great to hear about this unmanned souvenir shop. I met a woman at the gym last week who was telling me about the place she moved to which has stores that are generally unmanned. If you go to buy something and the owner isn’t there, you leave the money or an IOU. It’s great to hear that places like these exist.

  11. great photos! I’ve never come across an unmanned souvenir shop but have come across plenty of honour system fruit stands on Maui.

  12. Blue Rocks looks worth a visit. I haven’t come across an unmanned souvenir shop in my travels, but I did stay in a hotel in Antigua with an unmanned bar that ran on the honour system.

  13. These crafts look so authentic—the nicest kind of souvenirs!

  14. Nova Scotia is such a beautiful province – your photos really do it justice. Many people from other parts of Canada end up moving to Nova Scotia after a visit to quaint villages such as Blue Rocks. It’s easy to see why!

  15. I love that fisherman! He would have come home with me. I have a daily reminder of shopping in Nova Scotia. Years ago while traveling there I found an amazing antique Micmac basket. It sits on a shelf in our living room.

  16. Lovely place – makes us long for Nova Scotia and her people. Love the fisherman sentry with his “fish eyes!” -Veronica

  17. With all the crappy news in the world, it’s love to read about a place where there is still trust in one’s fellow man. Thanks for the opportunity to link up today.

    • make that “lovely” to read! 😉

  18. In Scotland the local farm had an honour system at their gate if you wanted to buy some of their eggs – And we’d always struggle to rake together the right money scrapping the bottom of the glove box and even under the seats sometimes for odd pieces of loose change 🙂

  19. I’ve never come across an untended shop of any kind. More incredibly and outrageously, I live in the Mid-Atlantic United States and I’ve never been to the Canadian Maritimes. Seriously, I’ve been to Laos and Cambodia, and I’ve never been to Nova Scotia. It is so past time to remedy that deficiency.

  20. The souvenir shop had some very quaint items for sale but the whole concept of a shop run on the honor system is amazing and almost totally foreign in this day and age. How lovely to find a place where honesty is expected and trust still exists…

  21. What treasures you’ve found, and so honorable.
    Yes, I’ve come across fruit & vegetable stands around with a cash box, but it has become a rarity.

  22. Nova Scotia looks so charming! I love the photos of the buildings. I’ve never been, but am from Vermont so I’ve always been curious what it’s like. I’ve never run across an unmanned souvenir shop on my travels yet 🙂 You are definitely keeping busy this summer. Best of luck with the rest of your summer course!

  23. As you know, I was recently privileged to spend the better part of two days in both the Sydney and Halifax areas of Nova Scotia, from the Holland America ship. I simply loved it and hope to go back to spend more time on this amazingly picturesque island!

  24. Wow it looks like such a rustic and beautiful adventure and experience. Great post.

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