Ahhh Halifax! What a great city... I never tire of it. I love the beautiful old homes, the shopping, strolling the waterfront.. what can I say? I love Hali! As a child, it held great fascination for me as I listened to stories of the Halifax Explosion (Dec.6, 1917) since my grandfather was there at the time and my Mother had many photos in old albums. As a young adult, attending university in the Valley, Halifax was a popular weekend destination for a movie, shopping and the odd "evening of partying". (I had to chuckle when Mark was explaining to me about the good times he has had at The Split Crow, a popular downtown pub, and I replied that I too, as a student, had downed a few at The Split Crow - he looked at me with incredulous wonder... I guess he found it hard to believe that an old woman like myself was ever a student who drank draught in a pub!!)
So it was nice to have a few days in the city "to ourselves" - no errands to be done for the kids, no agenda. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the waterfront one afternoon. One never knows what you will see- from Theodore Tugboat to the Harbour Hopper to schooners on which you can take a harbour cruise. As I've mentioned before, a sail on the Bluenose II is on my
bucket list, but her restoration is not yet complete. (Her hull has been totally rebuilt and she is getting new mechanical and electrical systems. She is currently on the slipway on the Lunenburg waterfront.) So she is not yet back in Halifax....maybe I'll get my wish next summer...
There are currently several tall ships such as the one seen here, doing harbour cruises. Or you can take the Harbour Hopper, (green with yellow roof, at left) an "amphibious vehicle" called the Lark V, it was originally a military vehicle built for the U.S. during the Vietnam War era.
They were used to move troops and cargo from supply ships onto the beaches and jungles of Viet Nam. Basically it's a boat capable of being driven on land. It takes you on an hour-long tour first through the city streets to see sights like Citadel Hill, the Public Gardens and Government House, then you splash into the harbour to view the naval fleet and the waterfront. What fun!! Wouldn't that be a great way to pass an hour on a hot day?! There certainly is no shortage of things to see and do in downtown Hali, it seems I just always gravitate to the waterfront area...
The highlight of our visit this time was the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. If you have never
experienced the N.S. Tattoo, you have really missed something!! Make plans now to attend next year. It is a 2.5 hour family show that is jam-packed and fast-paced. Featuring military, police and civilian performers, the show includes pipes and drums, military and civilian bands, historical re-enactments, dancers, acrobats, choirs, military displays and competitions, drama, comedy and more. This year there were acts from Canada, Estonia,
France, Germany, Switzerland, the
UK and the US. All the entertainment is top notch, but I must say I was a little biased towards one act, Kathleen Gorey-McSorley and Carolyn Holyoke, two very talented musicians from Fredericton. Carolyn and I have been friends since high school and it was truly a thrill to see her accompany Kathleeen, an up and coming Celtic fiddler, in this wonderful production. You can read more about Kathleen and Carolyn
by clicking here. The music in the Tattoo is exceptional and when you combine it with the uniforms, the skirl of the bagpipes. the precision of the marching bands...well, one cannot help but be be moved and proud of our military and police who serve our country. The massed bands in the finale are joined by the choirs and all other performers... it truly is a sight to see. Special themes/tributes this year included the RMS Titanic, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the War of 1812. Although the Tattoo is now over for this year, you can get an idea of the show by watching the video here.
Come back tomorrow for Wildflower Wednesday...
"Farewell to Nova Scotia, the seabound coast.... "