Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 92

First I must apologize, Hubby informed me that it was NOT the Brooklyn Bridge that we sailed under but the Staten Island bridge. You can keep them straight? Have you ever seen how many bridges are across the Hudson River? Anyway, on with the tale.

On Tuesday we docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This part of Canada was settled by the Scots and they are very proud of their heritage. It is a beautiful city with reminders of Europe everywhere. We showed our photos to friends last night and they loved them. Commenting on how much the houses look like the ones found in England and Ireland. (by the way, these particular friends are headed there AGAIN in just a few weeks. We were invited to go but didn't have enough time off this year. Bummer)

Our planned excursion didn't leave until after lunch, so Hubby and I elected to get off the ship early and just walk the town. We walked down the boardwalk which is along the sea shore and visited the Maritime Museum. It has actual artifacts from the Titanic. Did I mention that this is the city that rescued and retrieved the passengers and crew of that fateful ship? They have an area in the city graveyard that is devoted to those people who perished in the accident and were either unclaimed by their families or unknown. We visited this place later on our excursion. Back to the museum. It has an actual deck chair, pieces of the carved woodwork and other items recovered from the wreck. But it also has model ships. LOTS of model ships and they actually build them here. Hubby had an interesting conversation with two of the builders. Boy do they do good work. It is so small. They told us that they use pieces of Wedding Veils for the fencing on the gates and such! We saw the actual light mechanisms from a couple of light houses, which are EVERYWHERE up here. The coast line is very rocky and has lots of cliffs. Lighthouses are placed on outcroppings of rocks, on islands, along cliffs, everywhere. And they are all beautiful.

The boardwalk has dolphin statues placed along it and each one is painted with different designs, much like the bears of Cherokee, North Carolina. We visited a local brewery where Hubby enjoyed a taste of a couple of specialty beers. I sipped both, but I don't really care for beer and was not impressed. But we had some interesting conversation with the bar tender. He did not have much good to say about the large breweries of America. But he was glad that the micro-breweries are becoming more available in the US.

We walked around some of the shops, but again most of the items were just too big or too heavy to bring back on a plane so we didn't purchase much. I got the grandsons a couple of flags and that was about it. Just didn't see anything small that we really liked. We did find some really nice nautical items, but again not easily brought home.

We returned to the ship and left the flags in our cabin, had lunch and headed back down the gangway to meet our bus. The bus took us to Peggy's Cove, a fabulous fishing village where life seems to have come to a stop around the turn of the century. The area got it's name because of a ship wreck where the only survivor was a young girl named Peggy. This is a cove off of St. Margaret's bay. The pictures we took here were beautiful. They look more like art than photos.
(Wish I could share some with you, but hopefully they will soon be on and if you really like them you can order some. We ship anywhere!)

After Peggy's cove we reboarded the bus and took a tour of more of the countryside. It is a most beautiful area. Much like the mountains of Tennessee in the TVA water area except that the shoreline is very rocky rather than the sloping coast of the Tennessee lakes. But they have many of the same trees and plants, they just don't get near as tall as in the mountains of Tennessee. They said this was due to the salt air. It was very pleasant and the temperatures were around 77 degrees. Everywhere you see lobster traps, fishing boats, etc. But the houses are mostly neat and well cared for. Apparently, Nova Scotia uses more PAINT than anyplace else in the world per person. This area has seen several tragic events. The Titanic being just one of them. Another shipwreck occurred the the narrow part the harbor when a relief ship and an ammo ship were heading in different direction through the most narrow part of the harbor and neither captain would give way. Naturally they scraped hulls in passing and since they were metal ships, sparks flew. The crew of the ammo ship knew what was about to happen and they jumped ship and swam to shore. They all survived, however the crew of the other ship and many thousands of citizens did not, when the resulting explosion blew away a rather large portion of the City. On his death bed some years later the captain of the ammo ship was asked if he would have done anything differently. He merely said, "I had the right of way." Can you believe that? During this time Boston, sent relief crews and supplies to Halifax to help out and to this day Halifax sends Boston a large fir tree to use at Christmas and gifts on July 4th.

Another tragic event was a plane crash in St. Margaret's bay which killed a couple hundred people. They erected monuments to these folks on both sides of the bay. In spite of all this evil in their history, these are very kind, and friendly people. We enjoyed our visit very much.

As we were leaving Halifax, many passengers spotted whales (including Hubby), But Not me, I had taken refuge in the cabin away from the wind. Too bad, like they say, "You snooze, you loose."

Next time the adventures of the Olson' at LaGuardia Airport on the return trip. I know you just can't wait.

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