Canada · Uncategorized

Halifax and the Never-ending Layover

It’s our last full day in Nova Scotia, so first up, a run for me! The harbor in Halifax is just beautiful, and such a great place to run! The boardwalk is really nice, and from the point where I started (straight down the hill from our hotel), it was a mile down to their famous Pier 21, where the Queen Mary 2 had been the day before. The weather was perfect the whole way there and back.

So, what’s the best thing to do when you’ve had a good run? A good breakfast, of course! We stopped into the cute coffee shop in the Public Gardens.

Date bar, coffee, and frittata

And then it was off to the docks. Joel wanted to check out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, down at the waterfront. Mom wanted to shop, though, so Joel went on his way, and Mom and I took the scenic route through the shopping district to meet up with him. And we made a friend:

Birds of a feather must flock together! 

The museum was interesting. And they had a lot of model ships, including the Queen Mary 2!

Small scale

 

Also in the museum, they talked about this huge explosion that happened and devastated Halifax. Why hadn’t I ever heard of this before? in 1917, a ship carrying munitions came into Halifax harbor, and the worst happened–it caught fire. They did everything they could to stop it, but the ship exploded in a matter of minutes, killing over 9,000 people and devastating the city of Halifax. That seems like it should have been a big enough deal to be in world history books, but I’d never heard of it before!

That was sad, but the coolest part of the museum was actually in the water. It’s the ship Acadia!

Acadia

Admission to this ship was included in the cost of the museum, but Joel also had a ticket to another ship on the water, so he hurried away to that while mom and I walked around on the boardwalk and scoped out a place to have lunch.

Lobster rolls. What else? 

After lunch, mom went to the room to take a nap, but Joel and I had more exploring to do… We needed to fill the rental car up and find the Titanic cemetery! No, that’s not a happy thing, but for Joel, it was really exciting because he’s been interested in the Titanic for so long. It was far enough away that we definitely needed to drive to it, so we armed ourselves with directions and a map and set out! We found it pretty easily. They had some good signage once we drove into the cemetery.

Clearly marked.

 

Three rows of 150 graves total. 

It was sad, of course, but we were both glad we went to see it. It took three days for a ship from Halifax to get to the wreckage of the ship. When a ship did arrive, it and two other ships recovered over 300 bodies, including an infant who would be unknown until DNA tests were done in 2010. Many, but not all, of the bodies were identified; some went to their home cities with family, and some were buried at a couple of the churches in town. But the rest were laid to rest here at the Fairview Cemetery just outside downtown.

After that Joel went back to the room with mom, but I really wanted to go see the Citadel, just two blocks up the hill from our hotel. It’s basically the city’s protective fortress on the highest hill around. Fully fortified with artillery, trenches, a fort within a fort, and even a school so the soldiers who lived there (nearly all previously uneducated) could eventually become officers. The highlight of the Citadel tour was the signal cannon that’s been signaling since 1749!

Signaling every day at noon!

He said they have even been known to shovel it out in a blizzard to make sure they can sound the signal!

After I looked through their exhibits on the two World Wars and the Canadian flag, I was hungry! So the three of us met up back in the room and found a great place to eat called Five Fishermen, just around the corner from our hotel AND with historic ties to both the Titanic disaster and the explosion in 1917! The building was once used as a morgue for the bodies recovered from both disasters.

And this, our last meal together in Canada, is where we had our first experience with Canada’s signature dish (we’ve been told), Poutine!

Lobster Poutine

Holy moly! It was awesome. It’s fries, gravy, cheese curds, and lobster. Amazing! We enjoyed it, and we could see why it’s such a popular dish.

And then it was bedtime. We were pooped from such a fun week of touring, and I needed to get up early to catch my flight out of Halifax!

Or, at least that was the plan.

Saturday morning dawned early for Quick Whit. Mom and Joel wished me well, and I started off to Halifax’s Stanfield International Airport at 6:00am! My flight to Toronto was just on schedule, but that’s about all that went right that day. I had trouble going through customs. Even with my Global Entry/Nexus documents and all the experience I have going through customs, I still got stopped at the x-ray machine for something in my bag (which has NEVER set off the alarm before!), and they actually had to search it twice! Their Global Entry Kiosks were on the fritz, so I had to fill out the form and go through the typical customs process instead of the expedited way I paid for. Thankfully it was not a busy time, so I didn’t have to wait too long!

And then the layover started… Suffice it to say that a four hour layover that turns into an eight and a half hour layover is not the way I wanted to spent my day! I could have easily had most of the day with my mom and my brother in Halifax because they didn’t have to leave until later that afternoon. Or I could have gone out to explore Toronto for the day! Mr. Peabody Pembroke and I tried to fight off cabin fever as well as possible, but goings were tough! Since I’d already gone through customs for the US portion of the Toronto airport, we were confined to only two terminals, which we walked up and down, back and forth several times. Oh well. At least we made it home before 10:00pm! I was so ready to see my Love!

More adventures coming soon!

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