Hello from Halifax!
So, another trip, more photos…seems like a good time to bring back the blog.
I’m off to the Maritimes this time. We’re in a fantastic hotel in Dartmouth right now – the Hampton Inn & Suites. It’s brand new, and tres posh. We got a great deal on it,and we’re hoping to get it for a third night, but we’re not sure yet — so far there no room.
Today, it was rainy, so we went looking for indoor things to do. Possibilities included the Alexander Keith’s brewery, the heritage village, and the Pier 21 museum (Pier 21 is where a lot of immigrants came into Halifax, and also where a lot of soldiers left for Europe during World War Two). We ended up driving down to the harbour area to see what there was to see, and quickly found:
This was declared awesome.
While we were grinning and taking pictures, and Mom and Dad were parking the car, guy walked up to us and said, “Um, are you tourists?”
What, did it show?
Turns out, he had gotten two free passes for something called the “Harbour Hopper”, a boat tour thing, and they expired today, and he couldn’t ue them, so he was looking for someone to give them to. So, we took them – seemed like something worth doing, and the tickets are normally $25 each. We ended deciding to buy two more, split the cost four ways, and take the tour. It was pretty neat — the tour boat was a n amphibious vehicle, military surplus (designed by the US military for the Vietnam War). Apparently it was originally painted black with shark teeth, but “that scared people when they saw it in their rear view mirror”, so the tour company painted it green and blue and put frogs on it.
Anyway, the tour drove us around Halifax for a while and showed us the sights — the first couple buildings built in the city, the Citadel (an old fort), a bunch of pubs (Halifax has the highest number of pubs per capita, and the highest number of university students per capita, in the world, they claimed), and a bunch of other stuff. Then it drove into the harbour, and boated us around for a while and showed us other stuff. Kinda cool.
A note on geography: Our hotel is in Dartmouth, which is sort of the twin city to Halifax. They’re on the opposite sides of the harbour, and these two huge suspension bridges connect the two.They’re toll bridges – 75 cents per trip. It seems like Dartmouth sort of got the short end of the stick, and all the interesting stuff is in Halifax.
So, after the boat tour, we went to an Irish pub called The Old Triangle for lunch (pretty decent), and then went to Pier 21. Like I mentioned earlier, that’s where a lot of immigrants came in, and there was a pretty neat guided tour, done by a Dutch guy who himself immigrated through there. There was also a “multimedia presentation” which was this rather nifty thing set up like a stage for a play (with chairs, tables, trunks, etc), and some sort of hologram trick that gave these “ghosts” that were telling their stories of traveling through Pier 21, and they were sitting on the chairs, putting things on the crates and tables, and so on. I’ve never really seen anything like it before, and combined with the other things they were doing with projected images onto two screens (one at the back, and a transparent one at the front), it added some character to what could have otherwise been an interesting but dry presentation.
That done, we killed some time wandering around outside (the sun had come out, so I actually got some decent light for pictures) until 5:30, which was when the Marine Museum had free admission. The museum wasn’t bad — they had exhibits on shipwrecks and treasure hunting, sailboats, steamships, the Titanic, tugboats, and the Halifax Explosion. They also had the entire original set from Theodore Tugboat, with all the boats — apparently the set was inspired by Halifax Harbour.
Anyway, after all that we got lost in Dartmouth, made it back to the hotel, spent an hour ordering a pizza, ate the pizza, watched Torchwood, and went to bed.
Not a bad first day.