Bar Harbour and Acadia National Park

As we progressed north more colour changes in the tress reminded us of what we had come to see – the colours of fall. It’s quite magical how they all change such beautiful colours in a completely random pattern. Arriving at our motel for the next five nights we were delightfully surprised at how comfortable and pleasant our room is, lush deep pile carpet, comfy armchairs and smart fixtures and fittings, who said using motels is slumming it!! 
Walking into Bar Harbour itself was an easy stroll, the atmosphere buzzing with everyone making the most of the fine autumnal weather before the winter sets in and businesses close up for the season. It feels strange being at the end of the season as we usually visit at the start of the season!  

The ‘grab and go’ breakfast was plentiful and comfortable taking it back to our room to devour egg and cheese English muffins and American blueberry ones. Calories loaded we made our way to the Hulls Cove visitors centre to buy our national parks pass – America the Beautiful. It lasts a whole year (13 months for us as we bought it on the first of the month) and covers all the national parks in the US! Forward planning here for our next trip via Route 66 to Utah, saving us a fortune in individual park fees.

The bright sunshine was being enjoyed by hoards of visitors along the loop road and its many stopping off points along the way. We stopped at Sand Beach and walked the Ocean Road to Thunder Hole, clambering across the rocks for the beautiful views along the way, returning the same way and moving on to Jordan Pond. The hoards had filled up all the car parks along the way and others were hovering like flies waiting for anyone to move to grab the parking spot. Not being the most tolerant of queues Amr decided we were not waiting, and so we headed up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain for the 360 degree views of the whole area. Chilly breeze but worth it for the views as we walked around the summit path, seeing Bar Harbour in the distance, along with the many island around the one we are on – Mount Desert Island. Satisfied with our viewing we made our way back down into Bar Harbour for lobster rolls at the Hungry Whaler.
A wet morning didn’t dampen our spirits as we set off for Jordan Pond, hopefully ahead of the crowds, so we could walk around the Jordan Pond Lake path, which circles the lake, the majority of the time just by the edge of the lake itself. Balancing on the boardwalk for part of the journey – reminiscent of school gym time balancing on beams! Clambering over rocks, dangerously close to the waters edge, exhilarating, and rewarding with the views along the way. By the time we were finishing our walk the clouds had come down and the drizzly rain started. So after a welcome coffee we decided to drive to the ‘quiet side’ and made our way to Bass Harbour. The colour of the trees as we drove along the road were beautiful, amazing how one tree can be so many different colours at the same time! We were looking for a couple of places listed as having the best lobster rolls in Maine, however maybe because of the time of year, most places seemed to be closed up already. So we made our way back again to Bar Harbour, this time trying the famous ‘lobster mac and cheese’ (macaroni cheese topped with lobster to us brits!!) Delicious, and the ambiance in the Side Street Cafe was great.
Day three in Bar Harbour and we headed to Castine which I had read about as being a beautiful village by the sea. The journey itself was delightful with the foliage on the trees changing by the day, every colour imaginable was on display. Castine itself was very quiet obviously past the tourist season. There’s a navy academy here and lots of sailors walking about, looking so young and smart in their uniforms, we had watched Pearl Harbour a few nights back and I felt the need to warn them of imminent attack!! We walked up to the lighthouse and the view from the headland was lovely. On our way back we stopped of at the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. We had seen this on our last visit and decided we must give it a try. A very basic hut, the lobsters caught that morning are boiled to order in huge steaming salt water vats outside. The lobster was devine, one husband in lobster heaven!! Dr vying up to Cadillac Mountain summit to see the sunset we were a bit late and missed it going down, but the sky was a mix of beautiful colours post sunset. A stroll round Bar Harbour and the coastal path, followed by enormous ice creams topped of a great day.
Our last day here we had planned to walk round Eagle Lake, however as my photos from our first day using a new lens had not worked out we opted to do the loop road again and retake the pictures. The day was brilliant sunshine, crisp air and the sun just sparkled off the sea like diamonds. We decided that the sea was too alluring to leave, particularly as we are heading inland now. So we walked the Ocean path watching the sea crash against not the rocks, walked around the rocks enjoying the views, round past Otter Point and beyond. We were surprised and delighted to spot an eagle swooping down into the sea – just as we were delving into the backpack for drinks! Hoping we may see it again we were disappointed, but did find evidence of it in the shape of feathers further uphill on the rocks. The lure of the Lobster Pound was too strong for Amr to resist so we were back there for lunch. They lady was saying that they are closing for the season in a couple of days, and I wondered to myself what the Lobster men would do with all their lobsters… then I remembered Aldi sell them for christmas!!

After a short rest we were back up Cadillac Mountain, this time well in advance of the sunset, and were treated to a delightful display, followed by beautiful colours with the distant mountains silhouetted beautifully. This being our third visit to Bar Harbour and Acadia, it will probably be our last as there are so many other places to visit. We will take a little of it away in our hearts though.

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