Halifax and Beyond

September 2, 2012 – On Sunday morning we parked in downtown Halifax and walked over towards the Citadel. On the way we passed the town clock tower, which was originally installed to help the soldiers know when to drill. Then we climbed the hill to the Halifax Citadel, where we discovered they have a small War of 1812 encampment there with about two dozen reenactors. There’s also a worker dressed as a Highlander, keeping guard at the gate. Another worker encouraged us to get our picture taken with him; Louisa didn’t want to get too close as he seemed rather imposing (although she was not perturbed when he suddenly slammed the gun on the ground when he changed how he was standing).

Yep, we were total tourists for this photo.

When we got inside the Citadel the reenactors were marching off to church, and had their drummers keeping the pace; we watched them disappear down the steps and wondered what the other church goers were going to think when that group appeared  The citadel’s wall is very intact (actually the entire structure is very well preserved, including the barracks) and we thought a walk along the wall would be a good way to experience the citadel and get a good view of Halifax.  We also explored the ammunition rooms / sleeping quarters which were built into the citadel walls near the cannons.

The Citadel Hill offers great views of the city and the water.

Up next was a quick walk along the water, towards one of their ships (HMCS Sackville… it was surprisingly small), then a stop at Tim Horton’s before walking back to the car.  After getting back, we decided to drive west towards Yarmouth (Tony liked to call it Yarrrrrrrmouth, hopefully because of lack of sleep), with a few via points along the way.

Lunenburg Ships
Lunenburg is an important Canadian port town.

First up was a quick stop in Mahone Bay for the classic view of the three churches (we actually hadn’t realized the route Tony picked would take us this way, so it was a nice surprise).  Next up was the town of Lunenburg. The old town’s original grid pattern and colorful wooden buildings have been well preserved. We recommend walking down towards the piers for the best views. Some guide books recommend driving across the water to the golf course, but we found this to be unnecessary. We walked a few blocks through town and decided on Big Red’s for a lunch break. Louisa was more than a little skeptical about ordering seafood at a pizza place, but fortunately Tony’s instincts (water + fishermen = good seafood) prevailed. The fresh mussels with garlic butter were good, but we realized that mussels aren’t our favorite seafood. The fried seafood was excellent.

Nova Scotia Countryside
There is plenty of countryside to see in Nova Scotia.

Once we were past Lunenburg we entered the Acadian area.  The term “Acadian” is originally an Anglicization of the French spelling of an Italian name.  The Acadians still speak French, so these signs were either in French then English (as compared with the New Brunswick signs which were in English then French) or French only.

Cape Forchu Lightstation
The lightstation was closed, but we did get some photos from outside.

We finally reached Yarmouth and we drove over to see the Cape Forchu Lightstation (after stopping at Tim Hortons). The light house is situated on a rocky outcrop; you reach it by driving a few miles down narrow roads with breakwaters on one side and fishing gear, lobster traps and tiny fishing huts on the other.  Then we drove back by way of Digby, and had a nice view of the sunset before running into a bit of rain. We got back to the hotel a bit after 10:00 PM again.


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