Part One: Halifax
We started our trip around Nova Scotia in the province's capital and largest city, Halifax.
Now, as long time readers of this journal might remember, Paul and I have previously been to Halifax. Twelve years ago we travelled across the length of Canada on the Via Rail network and Halifax was one of our early stops. I absolutely loved it there and have wanted to go back ever since, hence this trip...
We stayed in a different inn this time, The Waverley, which was lovely and better situated at a much shorter walk to the water than our inn before.
It also had this gorgeous front room, which was a nice place to sit and plan our next move.
Nova Scotia is, obviously, a Maritime Province and a trip to the waterfront was one of the first things on our agenda:
This is the famous Bluenose II. We boarded and had a look around, but didn't go out sailing on her. Although we did follow her to Lunenburg! (More on that in a future post...)
A lot of the waterfront is a construction site, which means that you can't walk the whole way along. Instead you have to go via this...
The Sea Bridge! It was pretty cool, albeit a bit wobbly in the wind!
Halifax is also home to the famous Keith's Brewery. We visited last time and I was eager to take the tour again cos I remembered it being a lot of fun.
It wasn't quite the same as last time though. Before, when we were in this room, an era-appropriately costumed lady entered and gave us a historical tour. There was none of that this time, which I was slightly disappointed about.
Also new was the master brewer's room, where one lucky person got to help grind the malt...
And Paul was that lucky one!
Later on we got to sip our samples and come up with important new plans in Alexander's study.
Behind the brewery on the next street over you can find Keith Hall, Alexander Keith's home which is apparently linked to the brewery via a tunnel. Unfortunately the tunnels are considered unsafe now and we didn't get to take the trip ourselves.
On another day we ventured down to Point Pleasant Park. Whenever I visit places I like to go up whatever towers they've got there. I researched it and the closest Nova Scotia has is the Prince of Wales Tower in Point Pleasant Park. We failed to find it, but we did find whatever this is:
Not a tower, but still fun to climb.
Point Pleasant Park is also home to lots of cute animals, such as this... Squirrel? Chipmunk? I'm not sure. It's more chipmunk sized but it doesn't have the stripes that chipmunks do and I don't know enough about the subject to be sure either way. If I have any zoologists following me who can clear up this mystery, that would be great.
At the bottom of the park we emerged to this glorious sight
I've chosen this pic cos you can just about see the border collie that went around bringing his giant stick to people so they could throw it for him. I threw it a couple of times and felt like a divine being had blessed me with its favour.
It was a lovely sunny day and the water was absolutely gorgeous.
These dogs were also enjoying themselves.
I just really like this picture.
Another squirrel/chipmunk/unknown, this one posing nicely for me on a plaque.
And a posing blue jay.
"What are you looking at?"
One evening we went on a walking tour of haunted Halifax.
This pretty little restaurant used to be a funeral home, and is apparently Very Haunted.
This is Halifax City Hall. I don't think it's haunted, but it is very pretty lit up at night.
Another day we went to the Citadel, from which they fire a cannon at midday every day...
Apparently a lot of people ask if the cannon is loaded when they fire it. Which is a bit of a worrying thought...
Because I really like taking pictures of wildlife, have a photo of a bird who was hanging around while we ate chips by the waterfront...
This is clearly the face of a bird who wants me to get lost so it can swoop in and eat my food.
We did venture outside of Halifax while we were there, on a coach trip down to Peggy's Cove
Pretty Peggy's Cove.
A red-roofed church in Peggy's Cove. Apparently the ceiling inside looks like the hull of a ship, but to be honest lots of church ceilings look like hulls of a ship!
Peggy's Cove is home to the most photographed lighthouse in Canada...
Here's my contribution to that statistic.
And here's me in front of said lighthouse. It was a tad windy.
On the coach back our guide told us we'd be driving past the home of a man who's painted a mural of Peggy's cove onto the outside of his house and who likes to stand outside brandishing a giant anchor at tour buses when they drive past...
He wasn't joking.
Back in Halifax we popped into the Halifax Distilling Co to get the first stamp on our Good Cheer Trail Passports...
My rum flight. I've never had a rum flight before. It was very good.
We also went to Garrison Brewing Co for a beer:
I approve of anywhere that includes the United Federation of Planets in its flags. And, yes, I did have an Its A Wienerful Wheat as advertised by the dog poster there.
Towards the end of our time in Halifax we looked up what must-see places it had that we hadn't yet been to and apparently the library is one of them, so we checked it out:
It's an... odd building.
And close to St Mary's Basilica, which boasts the tallest granite spire in North America.
Back to the waterfront and I had to take a picture of the road train, because it looks cool. And in the background you can see one of the many, many construction sites currently inhabiting the city.
One of the things we really wanted to do while in Halifax was go on a boat trip, which we did, on this...
The Tall Ship Silva.
We even got a chance to help out with the sails. The ship didn't wreck so I assume we did a pretty good job!
Me, contemplating the sea. I do love the sea.
We saw this island a lot from the waterfront and now, thanks to this sailing trip, we saw the back of it too.
Dusk was falling when the ship returned to dock and towns and cities at night are one of my favourite things, so I took loads of pictures:
The Sea Bridge at night.
That's the moon, not the sun. It was absolutely spectacular to look at but very difficult to photograph.
The giant blue
On our last morning we walked up to the public gardens. I wanted to find the bisexual gates that were there last time, but they seemed to have gone.
Still had ducks though.
Lots of ducks. And a goose.
The weather was not so nice on that day. In fact it was pouring with rain, but the gardens were still pretty.
Yes, that is a heron on a boat.
And that's Halifax. Next up, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg!