Bar Harbor, Maine - day three of the Autumn Escape East Coast ballroom dancing cruise.
Our stop in Bar Harbor was memorable for two things- the tour of Acadia National Park with stunning views out over Frenchman Bay; and the buttery, lobster lunch that left us messy and smelling of shellfish but smiling in total gastronomic happiness.
The Queen Mary 2 dropped anchor out in the bay beyond the sandbar from which Bar Harbor gets it's name, and we were tendered into the port. Bar Harbor is known for being "cottage country" for the ultra rich and famous in the mid-19th century. Although the cottages were in fact palatial mansions. Most were destroyed by a massive fire in 1947. Now it is a summer resort dominated by inns, motels and bed and breakfasts, with a tiny permanent population of around 4800 people.
There is a very picturesque harbor with a tourist centre advertising the wide range of water-activities available. Some of these activities include whale watching aboard jet powered Australian designed catamarans that take you 20 miles south of Bar Harbor where the larger whales feed. They often see harbor porpoises, sharks, seals, pods of pilot whales, dolphins and often humpbacks, Minkes and finback whales. You can sign up for a lobster fishing and seal watching boat tour or even head into Acadia national park and take a rock climbing course.
However my organized roomie, Carol had booked us on Oli's Trolley Sightseeing tour, a one hour sightseeing ride that includes a 15 minute stop at the summit of Cadillac Mountain, and a stop at Thunder Hole. It was a good choice.
We disembarked from the tender and made our way up to the landing. As we rounded the corner of the building we were entranced by the fragrant scent of freshly baking, and there in the window we saw a tray of freshly made blueberry muffins.
We promptly turned round and headed into the bakery/cafe where I bought a delicious blueberry muffin and Carol acquired blueberry scones. Great marketing technique. They say olfactory stimuli are among the most powerful sensory inputs and it certainly worked on us.