Thursday, July 7, 2016

Chapter 21 - More Halifax and Dartmouth

July 6th, Day 40: Today is the day that my sister Anne and her husband John arrive so Kathy and I planned to do nothing this morning in the way of being tourists. Besides, Anne and John will be here with us in this area for the next 2-1/2 days and we have a lot of touring planned.  John and Anne arrived at our campsite at around three this afternoon and after sharing a few drinks and discussing what our plans were for the near future, we headed out for a few quick tourists stops and then an early dinner.

First, while Kathy and I had already visited the cemetery, I thought that it was important that we revisit the gravesite of our great grandfather John Patterson since it is doubtful that anyone in our family line down through John's son Douglas Patterson, our grandfather, had ever visited the grave besides myself. I asked Anne while she stood over the gravestone in preparation for the photograph, whether she might shed a few tears for our great grandfather. The photograph unfortunately reflects only her smile. Her tears may come later this evening.

Following the visit to the cemetery we headed down to The Wooden Monkey Restaurant located right on the Dartmouth Waterfront where we all enjoyed a few drinks and a great dinner. John and I both agreed that our haddock was just about the best we have ever been served and based on Cabo behavior after I shared with him a few pieces of my haddock, he seemed to agree. 

We agreed after dinner that we would get together tomorrow morning at 9 am to begin our tour of downtown Halifax.

July7th, Day 41: When we awoke this morning we could hear the gentle drops of rain on the roof of our aluminum home and with all of our windows open, we could easily feel the mid-50 degree temperatures. This was not a good start to a day where we had planned a two mile walk down the widely popular Halifax waterfront. Fortunately by 9 am when we picked John and Anne up at their hotel the rain had stopped but the temperatures remained cool and the wind was blowing.  As you can see in this photograph taken at the beginning of our tour down the Halifax "Harbourwalk" we were dressed for the cool weather. Sure is different than any July 7th day we remember while living in Florida.

The walk down this mostly wood "boardwalk" was loaded with boat moorings, monuments honoring the past history of the docks, shops, restaurants, historical buildings within a backdrop of modern buildings including condos, and of course great views of the Halifax Harbour. Very impressive. At one end of the walk was the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market (which we did visit) and at the other end was the Casino Nova Scotia (which we did not visit.) The walk took us around 2-1/2 hours including a brief stop for something to eat and a slightly longer stop(s) for souvenir shopping.

There were a lot of old ships of various ages moored along the harbor docks but one has to wonder if this old ship shown in this photograph to the right is really an old vessel or just a "Hollywood" fake.  Did not fool me one bit although Cabo seemed reasonably attracted. Kind of looked like a sausage.

Some of the buildings near the end of our walk were advertised as being historical buildings although they were oddly filled with fashionable shops of all types along their bottom floors. I wonder of all of these shops originated back in the mid-1700s when Halifax was founded.

At the end of the boardwalk it was a long walk back to our car but it was worth every bit of the effort and the exercise was healthy even on my aging knees.

After visiting the Halifax Harbour, we all agreed that it would be worth visiting something entirely different. We selected a visit to the Halifax Public Gardens.  To an individual like myself who far prefers visiting historical sites, the Public Gardens turned out to be a pleasant surprise and while I readily admit that gardens are not my specialty, the Halifax Public Gardens are by far one of the best surprises of this whole trip. The gardens were amazingly beautiful. The maintenance of this park must cost the city of Halifax a ton of money every year but the park was fairly crowded and obviously quite popular so apparently the maintenance expense is a good investment.

Our final plan for the day was to visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site which sits on a high hill above and in the middle of the city. The citadel was originally fortified back in 1749 when the city was formed obviously to defend the city against various enemies, primarily the French. Unfortunately after all of the walking we had done over the past four hours we all agreed that we would only drive around the exterior of the old fort, but not pay to visit the interior. As we drove up the hill we took this photograph of the Old Town Clock that was constructed back in 1803 and sits just outside the old stone walls of the Citadel.  

After a great morning and early afternoon of visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia we all agreed that it was time to return back to our "homes" and rest up for tomorrow and another wonderful day of touring Nova Scotia. Tomorrow we are headed west out of Halifax to visit the very picturesque city of Peggy's Cove.  Let us hope that tomorrow the sun will be shinning and the temperatures will be warm. Unfortunately that is not what is being projected.    

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