Halifax – Day 1

The 2021 Eastern Road trip with the pugs is coming together. It’s still set for July 1st. Just waiting on the Maritime provinces to open their borders to outsiders. I’ll write a planning blog before we leave. In the meantime I thought I would post the week I spent in Halifax in 2019.

I didn’t take the pugs with me on this trip. I had just been laid off. Before starting to look for another job, I decided to go and visit Halifax. I booked airfare but decided not to rent a car. I would be walking around the city so didn’t need a car.

The first thing I did was to book a 2 hour tour. In this way I could note places I wanted to revisit for a longer time to explore. The Harbour Hopper was recommended by the hotel. It tour was by land and sea. The vehicles were from the Vietnam War, refurbished as tour boats.

Here is the Harbour Hopper boat. My 2:15 tour was cancelled because the boat broke down.

That did not inspire confidence.

But, living on the edge in Halifax, I booked the 3:15. While waiting I did one of those “hop on hop off” double decker buses. It covered some things the Harbour Hopper did not.

We first went along the boardwalk, The Halifax boardwalk is 7 K and I’ll walk it at some point this week.

Needless to say, Halifax has a rich historical heritage. Tour guide said the Maritime museum is the largest in Canada with over 38,000 artifacts, including a deck chair from the Titanic.

Barrington Street is the main thoroughfare in Halifax. It was laid out when Halifax was established as a fortress. Barrington Street was originally going to be called Harrington. But a city planner, by the name of Barrington, managed to secretly change the name and it stuck. Governor’s house in the back.

Saint Mary’s has the tallest granite steeple in North America. Couldn’t get a shot from the bus so decided I will go back to see that. This is the big advantage of taking a city tour first as it not only gives you ideas to explore, but also the distances you may have to walk or transit.

In 2018, Hurricane Dorian struck Halifax. It caused a construction crane to topple into a building that was being contracted in downtown. Engineers were planning the best way to remove the crane without causing further destruction. On my walks during the week, I would see it many times.

The bus took us up to the Citadel but the tour did not include going in. The Old Town clock, 1803, built to remind the soldiers when it was time to go home. I figured the clock tower would make a good sunrise photo.

Lots of craft distilleries, wineries and breweries. Here is Compass Distillery featuring autumn gins using locally sourced ingredients.

The city hall clock set to 9:04. The original was frozen at that time when the Halifax Explosion occurred, Dec 6, 1917. The new clock commemorates that event. It has two faces – one that shows the correct time and one set to 9:04. The clock replaced the original as part of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Halifax.

The Hopper then headed to the harbour and eased into the water. I was all ready for that salt spray.

I’m at the front so get a big splash as the boat slides into the water.

Adina was our tour guide and she was a fabulous story teller. Humorous, engaging and helpful.

These building are known locally as the Milk Cartons. Purdy’s Wharf uses the water from the harbour as its cooling system.

There are murals on the walls and every month there is a new commission to art students to do new murals.

The ferry to Dartmouth. I only had a week so did not make plans to visit Dartmouth.

After the tour, there was a major event I had planned to attend – the Oyster Festival. When I looked up what events were taking place the week I was going – first on the list was this festival. I bought a weekend ticket. The 5th year of the Oyster Festival. Farms from Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and Virginia. Held in a big tent at the end of Salter on the Harbourfront.

Booths were setup along the sides. Plenty of oysters were shucked in advance. After an hour these guys were trying their best to keep up.

Tasting menu for the farms.

After having my fill of slurped oysters and some fish chowder I was ready to head back. Had a nightcap at the hotel bar then headed off to bed.

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