Thursday morning we awoke early with the intent of journeying back to Nova Scotia!
We opted for breakfast at the inn that morning, thinking it would be quick. How wrong we were! The food was good, but it took an hour for us to complete the meal and pay to get on our way! I was nervous about the 45 minute drive to the ferry, since it was a first-come, first-served situation!
We did get to the ferry with plenty of time, and we even got a great spot on the ferry! PEI was beautiful, making it very difficult to leave! But we knew we had great things ahead of us!
We arrived back on Nova Scotia Island at the Caribou ferry terminal and found our way back to cute little Pictou for a midday excursion. To the Hector! We found out why this ship is so important to them. It’s like our Mayflower! This lovely tall ship left the Highlands of Scotland with 189 hopeful settlers bound for Nova Scotia. A few people had already arrived and begun working to settle Pictou some time earlier, but this would be the first big wave of settlers to come in.
However, the trip didn’t go exactly as planned:
They were excruciatingly close to the shores of Newfoundland, but gale force winds knocked them back really far! The trip took an extra two weeks. Several people died from disease, and rations had to be cut way back. But the survivors made it in mid-September. Still, it was two weeks later than scheduled. And two weeks in a late Canadian summer can be crucial. They missed the planting season, and they were late trying to build log cabins–which they’d never built before.
But now, their legacy lives on in the tiny town of Pictou! We explored the ship and went over to a nearby lobster restaurant (aptly named the Lobster Restaurant and Bar!) on the waterfront. It was ok. Mom’s seafood chowder was excellent, but Joel’s and my lobster rolls were a little light on the lobster, heavy on the roll. Oh well. It was filling enough! Plus we stopped at Mrs. MacGregor’s for dessert. Sorry, it didn’t last long enough for a picture!
And then we were off to Halifax! It was about a two hour dive, but the only difficult part was navigating some of the older roads in Halifax. It’s mostly set up on a grid system like other towns of the time, but not all their roads are consistent with the grid pattern! Plus there was construction–not the best combo for visitors, but we made it to the hotel without incident!
We stayed at The Prince George Hotel–so fancy! It was historic, but a little too modernized on the inside for our tastes. It was right downtown, up on a hill, between the citadel and the waterfront. We tossed our stuff in the room and set out for… the Public Gardens!
Public Gardens were all the rage in the mid- to late-1800s. They were place place to see and be seen! Previously the preferred hangout had been cemeteries. (No lie!) The gardens are on 18 acres in the middle of downtown. There’s a little coffee shop there, and they’ve really done a fabulous job of making the gardens beautiful. And even more fortunately for us, Halifax had a late winter, so we not only saw all the things that are supposed to bloom in summer but also the things that should have bloomed in spring! It was fragrant, breath-taking, and generally spectacular!
After strolling the gardens, we walked down to the waterfront so Joel could see the famous Queen Mary 2! He is so into ships–floating, sunken, old, new, steam, sail, etc. We couldn’t be so close to a grand and well-known ship like the Queen Mary 2 and not see it! It’s so big–seriously, folks, four times the size of Titanic big! Joel is the one who spotted it from far away because of its smoke stack–red and black, the signature colors of Cunard’s ships. Cunard was a ship building mogul. I had knew nothing about him until I saw his statue in Halifax harbor.
Anyway, we told Joel to go on down, since he was excited and walking fast, and we’d catch up. It was so big, we had no idea how far away it was! We finally caught up with Joel and the ship a mile down the boardwalk.But first, Mr. Peabody Pembroke made a friend!
The Queen Mary 2 is far away in the background. The building over which she’s towering is probably 6 or 7 stories tall. Sorry I couldn’t get a better picture!
After that, we were quite hungry. The restaurant we wanted to go to was all booked up, so we ended up at an old tavern near our hotel. It was early enough in the evening that it wasn’t too crowded, but the barmaids–oh my stars! Our poor waitress’ bosom was about to pop right out at any moment. How embarrassing to be there with my mom and little brother! AH! The burger I got was decent. Dessert was good (brownie sundae!). But by the time we got done, we were ready to head to bed! There would still be a lot to do the next day!
Please join us for my next post: our last day in Halifax and the layover that wouldn’t stop!