Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Road Scholar Trip Continued: Peggy's Cove, Historic Lunenburg

Halifax NS, Wednesday August 10th

On the bus at nine this morning, I'm glad not to have to drive or navigate. I can just appreciate the scenery. There are no straight roads if you are going to the coast. Vegetation presses in closely at times but at other times there is a hay pasture opening the vista. We pass small farms with small tractors and "haylage" in white plastic tubes or round bales. There seem to be few new homes right here, most look to be built in 50's to 70's. The lawns are well kept and the Canadian flag is displayed. Laundry is seen on clothes lines fitted with pulleys. These clothes lines are stretched from the kitchen door to a pole in the yard so the dry pieces can be hauled in and folded one by one. South of Halifax near the coast are hills and beautiful coves. As we pass through older towns, the houses and businesses press close to the road. Nearing Peggy's cove the vegetation clears and bare knobs with stunted pines are seen. It is a beautiful sunny day almost calm. We are warned to stay off the black rocks near the water which are very slippery. If you slip you will be in the water and waves. 

This is a video Dave took at Peggy's Cove

The lighthouse at the cove. A woman was playing an accordion, adding to the quaintness of the cove. 

               You can see some black rock to beware of in this picture. 

         There are waves at low tide, too, but mostly the sea was calm. 

  You can tell that I'm enjoying this trip. 

    Some kind of flower was blooming profusely. 

   Day trippers gather smaller rocks and build these cairns. 

   Another flower umbrel gone to seed. 

There are 60 full time residents of Peggy's Cove. In summer 1-3 tour buses arrive at the cove every hour. Dave and I enjoyed espresso and a Cherry Mash candy bar from the concession stand/boutique.  
Waiting for the bus to load for the trip down to Lunenburg, I snap a few more license plates in the parking area. 

            It must be a long trip from Florida to Nova Scotia. 

  A very long trip from British Columbia, too. 

One of the many coves in St. Margaret's Bay as the bus navigates the curves and hills over to and around Mahone Bay and through the quaint town of Mahone Bay. 
As we reach our destination of Old Town Lunenburg (a UNESCO world heritage site) we are reminded that we are to lunch on our own. Dave and I find good eats at Grand Banker Seafood Bar and Grill. 

          Our restaurant for lunch. 

Inside the busy restaurant, we take a booth rather than wait for a table near the window as time is an issue. I had a tasty lobster roll and Dave opted for fish cakes which were white fish mixed with mashed potatoes and fried crispy. Cider for me and a beer for Dave. We were hungry and thirsty. 

Outside the resturant, this man was playing in a maritime style. Dave visited with him a bit and recognized some of the tunes he was playing. 
Soon we were on a field trip concentrating on historic Lunenburg, walking the hills and lanes with a local historian.  

The tour started here at the Academy on a hill above the harbor where a fortress originally stood which protected the settlement in early days. This academy was the first school in the area and is a point of pride. Restorations are ongoing and the building continues to be used for music festivals. 

                    Across from the school is an historic cemetery. 

   A fancy house in pink with the Lunenburg "bump" dormers on the upper floors. These are five sided and seem to be a feature that sets Lunenburg architecture apart. 

   Settlement was encouraged with the government giving land to each man, wife and each child as well as lumber and nails to build a house, seeds for a garden and provisions for the family for a year. The houses were built in the town and the land for farming was located outside of the town. The problem was that arable farmland was scarce so some farmers learned to fish and do other things so the town gradually expanded. 

 I think this house was actually new construction but a city ordinance permits only construction in a way that fits in with the community. 
 I like the flower beds. I notice blue hydrangeas in several beds. 

   Quaint looking house. 

  Shingle style house. 

As we get closer to town center and the harbor, larger houses appear along with churches. 

             A large house now used as an inn or B and B. 
  Here is a pulley clothes line and a wood pile. Getting ready for winter here.

The first church we enter is Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

    Canada's oldest continuing Lutheran congregation. This "Little Dutch Church" was founded in Halifax. In 1753, 1453 German, Swiss and French settled in Lunenburg. The French turned to the Anglican Church where they could worship in French. This fellowship waited nineteen years for an ordained minister, meeting in homes until this church was built and dedicated in 1772.  Services were in German until mid-1800's. 

This Casavant pipe organ made in Nova Scotia, installed in 1903 and was originally driven by a water powered motor. 
During WWII many Norwegians were stationed in Lunenburg and worshipped at Zion. 

The Anglican Church sits on a square. It burned to the ground as a result of a Halloween prank. It was rebuilt exactly as it was originally. 

The Anglican Church was able to be reconstructed from plans and photos of the original. Research was done on the star scene above the alter and it was found to represent the night sky as it is seen above Lunenberg. Our guide/ historian seemed regretful that not many people attend church regularly these days. 
                  The Bank of Montreal

   Beautifully "bumped" and painted house near the wharf. Our guide remarked that people of the town complained when bright colors appeared on houses in recent years after being uniformly white. Now the colors are accepted and not noticed except by tourists. 

      Colorful houses and flowers. 
Unique fish ornaments hanging from brackets in downtown Lunenburg. 

  The day is no longer sunny and the wind is coming up. 

Our guide finishes up his presentation and leaves us at the harbor. We have a few minutes to shop.

     An historic Jeep parked in historic Lunenburg. 

We have time to get an ice cream treat before the bus leaves. Then the long ride back to Halifax. 
A farewell dinner is held at the hotel that evening. We shared our email addresses to keep in touch. Tomorrow morning the group members all head home. 

Thursday August 11, Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Our airport ride isn't scheduled until late morning. With bags packed, we walk in the neighborhood down to the public gardens. It is a cool, misty day, perfect for looking at flowers. 

    This garden has fountains and ponds with ship replicas floating. 

     Beautiful flowers and a dahlia exhibit in large beds. 

        Happy to have been able to take this trip. Hoping for more!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Road Scholar Trip Continued: Halifax, Nova Scotia

 Tuesday August 9, Atlantica Hotel Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Atlantica Hotel is located on a hill several blocks above the wharf. There is a big park nearby with sports fields and a track. I watched as people took their early morning run from the window of our room. Another view looked onto public vegetable gardens. Beyond that was a cemetery and not far away, a public flower garden. Many of the nearby blocks had private homes, many of which looked to be made into student apartments. We didn't see a college. 
Breakfast at the hotel was another buffet. It was plentiful and the coffee was good. This morning two field trips were scheduled. The first was to the Citadel, a short bus ride away. 

The entry was guarded by a soldier of the 78th Highland Regiment. 

Students needing summer jobs are employed as soldiers, their wives and others whose occupations may have been needed at Fort George, the Citadel. The fort was named after King George II of Great Britain and has been restored to the Victorian era. 

This young woman was dressed as a wife of one of the officers. She was our tour guide. She showed us the cannon protecting the wall and the fortified double walls and how they were built. 

The cannon moved on a track and were positioned to protect the entire perimeter of the fort. 

Atop the walls were two tall masts for signal flags. One was for signaling for military purposes and the other to signal townspeople. A gun was fired at noon daily and this tradition continues. 

As you can see, this is a big structure. On the parade ground, a group of Highland soldiers drill, accompanied by a drummer and a bagpipe. The 3rd brigade of the Royal Artillery was stationed here at the Citadel at the same time as the Highland Brigade. The building in the middle was where the soldiers lived. This building now houses a museum dedicated to Canadian military history up to the present day. 
                  3rd Brigade Royal Artillery. 

     Highlanders drilling on the parade ground. 

The harbor as seen from the walls of the Citadel. 
The Citadel was never attacked but it was key in the defense of Halifax harbor and the Royal Navy Dockyard there. 

The next field trip was to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic located at the harbor. The museum now contains around 30,000 objects in eleven exhibits. It would have taken an entire day to examine everything from rum bottles to anchors to actual ships and shipwreck treasure.
The Road Scholars were given a 30 minute slide presentation about the maritime history found in the museum. Then we had a guided tour of the Titanic exhibit. 

     A replica of a Titanic deck chair. 
 An entire exhibit explores the sinking of the Titanic and Halifax city's response to the tragedy. 

Another exhibit we saw was of the Halifax explosion that happened in 1917 when an inbound munitions ship collided with an outbound ship in Halifax harbor. A fire started on the munitions ship and the crew evacuated but few other people knew what the ship carried. The explosion that followed was labeled the largest man-made explosion before the atomic age. 

There are 80+ small craft in the museum's collection. 
This is a place to return and spend more time. The museum also sponsors live music in the summer at its outdoor venue. 
Lunch was scheduled at "Salty's" on the wharf. We were shown to the second floor with wrap-around windows for harbor viewing while dining. We saw a submarine coming in with the crew standing at attention heading for the Naval Dockyard.  This is a great place for a meal, too. I had a salad and an entree of Maple Curry Chicken Pasta. Delicious! 
The rest of the day was free. We joined the Ores and Slivinskys and Janet Maker on a wharf crawl. We had heard that rum was the favored beverage in the Maratimes and a new rum distillery had just opened nearby. We signed up for the tour and learned about the process, saw the vats and distillers, met the head brew master and sampled the product. 

Even after all this sampling from white rum to spiced rum to dark rum, I wasn't favorably impressed. Maybe it just needed mixer. 

We had it in mind to go to the immigration museum which was a good walk along the wharf at Pier 21. We poked along, looking at shops and enjoying the sunshine of the beautiful day. 

A statue and plaque dedicated to the emigrants of Canada who came through Halifax until the age of airplane travel. Now the building that served as immigration central is a museum. You can look up your ancestors if they came through Halifax. We didn't get to the museum until a half hour before it was to close. They let us in free so we could take a quick look. It is another place to take a longer look at if we ever return. 
We had heard good things about "The Bicycle Thief" restaurant which was located on the harbor so headed there next. 
None of us were brave enough to try Poutine which is a plate of fries with cheese curd and gravy. It might be good, we'll never know. 

            A bicycle sculpture at the  Bicycle Thief Restaurant, Halifax Nova Scotia

   Dave, Charlie and Mary Slivinsky. Janet Maker across from Mary. 

   Diane And Rob Ore examining the menu. Our excellent waitress was from New Zealand. 

     Neat plate at this restaurant. We recalled the Bicycle Thief movie after some discussion. 

Dave and I had the Cioppino and it was great. One of the best meals ever. Mussels, clams, crab, lobster, shrimp and white fish of some kind in a red broth with a few potatoes and crusty garlic bread to sop the gravy. 
Tomorrow we visit Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg.