Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

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.

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