Iconic Views

[Original] Introduction

This essay presents iconic views of Cape Breton: the landscapes shown are, so far as I am aware, unique in Cape Breton and instantly recognizable as such if you have ever been in or near that place. These landscapes are so typical of the beauty of Cape Breton Island that each in its very different ways has come to symbolize Cape Breton itself in my mind (and frequently in that of others, as these are scenes which are very likely to appear in tourist brochures, as post cards, and on Cape Breton web sites—you will certainly find nearly all of these views (but not the identical photos) elsewhere on my web site).

This essay uses a format slightly different from that of the previous photo essays: to make this into a bit of a challenge for you, the reader, I have suppressed the identifying information for each of the photos: the initial page shows just the photo and provides a series of buttons for you to click:

Press this button to learn in which of Cape Breton’s four counties this photo was taken. Usually, this is also the county visible in the photo, but in some cases, more than one county may be visible or the main scene may be in a county different from the one from which it was captured.
Hint 1
Press this button to get a hint as to the location of this photo somewhat more helpful than just the county in which it was taken.
Hint 2
Press this button to get a second, somewhat broader, hint.
I know!
Press this button when you are ready to identify the scene shown in this photo.

As you press each of these buttons in turn, more and more information will be revealed, with the usual page shown when you press the “I know!” button.

Most, but not all of these iconic views, are readily available to the Cape Breton visitor or traveller, though many are off the beaten paths and a few require some hiking. I have classified each of these views as easy, moderate, or hard, depending on how difficult I judge it to be to identify that view. If you wish to make a game of this, score your correct answers as shown in the following table and score your incorrect answers as zero:

  Used No Hints Used County Hint Used Hint 1 Used Hint 2
Easy 5 3 2 1
Moderate 10 9 6 3
Hard 20 18 15 12

A perfect score is 390, but any score above 240 indicates that you know Cape Breton very well. The photos appear in groups according to difficulty (easy first, hard last), but within each group in no particular order—after selecting the photos, I randomized their order so that identifying one does not offer any information about the next one.

This essay shows thirty iconic views, but there are thousands all over the island; I therefore mean no disrespect to the many that I left out—and I had to leave out a lot of my favourite ones to fit within the limits of this essay. I hope you have enjoyed those scenes I have selected and that, if you haven’t seen one or more of those shown, that you will take your next opportunity to seek them out. As always, I would be delighted to have any feedback, which you can send to me at the contact address in the footer below (and on each page on this web site).

Victor Maurice Faubert
2009 June 7

Revision of 2012

Very few changes were made to the text, mostly adding information from having visited or revisited some of the sights on display since this essay was originally written.

After a long seven months away from them, what a joy it has been to revisit the iconic views in this essay, if only through their photographs, which hold so many memories for me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Victor Maurice Faubert
2012 May 20

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Note 1: If you are unfamiliar with the place names mentioned in this essay, a list of map resources is given here. Of these, the best computer-readable map of Cape Breton Island that I currently know about is the Cape Breton Travel Map, produced by Destination Cape Breton and, thanks to their express written permission, available as a PDF file here; I strongly urge you to download it. This map scales nicely, allowing you to zoom in on an area of interest, has a very helpful place name index, and provides a level of detail, both of back roads and streams, that is quite good.

Note 2: See the description here for the notation I use for GPS (Global Positioning System) coördinates. I did not have a GPS device when I took the photos in this essay; the coördinates found here are those written down on later trips or computed from Google Maps.

Feedback on the photos and the accompanying commentary, including corrections, is always welcome; send it to the address in the footer below. All of the essays in this series are archived here.


To read this essay in sequence, click the “First” link in the footer below (or in the navigation bar at the top of the page) and the “Next” link in each subsequent page’s footer or navigation bar. Click the “Essay Index” link in the footer or navigation bar to see thumbnails of all of the photos appearing in the essay; you may click on any thumbnail to move directly to that page of the essay, perhaps resuming your reading where you left off on a previous visit or searching the essay for a particular topic or main photo. You may return to the introduction by clicking the essay title link in the navigation bar at the top of this or any subsequent page.