Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Canada By Rail: Halifax, NS

We began our city planning like we started all our other city planning by checking out the hop on/off bus and found out that the bus only ran when the demand was high (i.e. if a cruise ship was in town). The demand was not high. We decided to walk down to the waterfront to check out our options.

A colorful street on the way to the Halifax waterfront.
We confirmed that the bus was not running but the Harbour Hopper was. The Harbour Hopper is an amphibious bus-like vehicle that tours Halifax for about thirty minutes then enters the water and tours the waterfront for another thirty minutes. Yes, this was similar to the Duck boat that sank in Missouri. Before we left the captain of the hopper noted the difference. The hopper was an ex-military vessel used to ferry cargo to ships. It was first a seagoing vessel. The ducks were land vehicles that were modified to ride in the water. I’m not sure about the difference but the weather was great today and I wasn’t too worried.  The tour was interesting and marked our first amphibious vehicle ride.

The Waterfront from our Harbour Hopper.
After our tour around the city and waterfront we continued to walk the boardwalk along the water stopping in a few places to buy magnets and water. It was pretty warm here and the humidity made things a bit uncomfortable. We were thinking about what to do when a small “train” pulled up. It was a donation run tram that took you around a loop of the waterfront and downtown. We got on and rode it around picking out a few places we would return to. We ended up getting off at the City Hall.

Something not seen in American government buildings: A Thrown Room.
The City Hall offered free tours which we jumped at. We learned about the history of one of the oldest buildings in Halifax. It was an interesting tour.

We walked towards the hotel passing the Catholic cathedral, a very old cemetery, and a cigar shop where the Wife bought some Cuban cigars for her brother.  I like Halifax.  There is a lot of new construction and a lot of history.  Quaint homes and modern restaurants.  A nice mix of old and new.

A sail boat off Georges Island.
Later in the afternoon we went out for food and visited the Maritime museum that was free on Tuesday evenings. The museum was ... underwhelming. We walked through it like our butts were on fire. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are not museum people.

Entering the Citadel.
The next day we walked to the Citadel where we heard them shoot off the noon cannon. We had a light lunch here, listen to some bag pipes (naturally), and toured the World War I trench exhibit. It was quite interesting though it felt out of place in the much older Citadel.

We left the citadel. At this point we split up. The Wife went back to the hotel while I went to the Halifax Public Gardens. I strolled through the gardens looking at the scale model of the Titanic (It was listing, of course) and other photographic opportunities before walking back to the hotel.

In the late afternoon we returned to the waterfront and boarded the tall ship Silva for a cruise around Georges Island and along the waterfront.

This was our last full day in Canada and we were ready to go home.  The next day we took a taxi to the airport and flew home via Toronto.

It was nice to be home.

Photographs can be found in my 2018-06 Canada By Rail Google Photos album.

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