Today we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When we woke up this morning we were still off the coast of Nova Scotia and the skies were clear - yay! But as we approached closer to Halifax we went into a fog bank again... boo!
Fortunately by the time we docked and were able to disembark, about 10:00, the fog had lifted, and we had a mixture of sun and clouds (mostly sun) the rest of the day. Yay!!!
When I came downstairs after watching us dock I was able to get my picture taken with a certain mouse - such a gentleman!
We had again chosen not to take an organized excursion, but instead to wander around town on our own - there were a lot of sights to see not far from the port, and in fact we didn't have time to do all of the items on our list. We could've used the extra two hours here that we had in Saint John yesterday. (Saint John was 8:30-4:30, today was 10:30-4:30.)
On our way to the Citadel we went through The Public Gardens. This late in the season the plantings were a little disappointing but it was still a very nice area, and quite large.
We saw these G.O.U.S. there. (Geese Of Unusual Size, for those of you who are not Princess Bride fans.) They were kind of scary looking. First giant beavers and then giant geese - is EVERYTHING bigger in Canada?
The Citadel is one of the "must-see" attractions in Halifax. It's a star-shaped fort, originally built in 1749, and re-fortified multiple times after that. Halifax is in a strategic position because of its large natural harbor, but (probably because of the defense system) it's never been attacked. It was about a 2-mile walk from the Magic.
Since the Citadel is on a hill above the city there's a lovely view from there, so we were really glad that we had a clear day today!
Inside there are several museums and a couple of movies, as well as costumed soldiers who do live demonstrations. There's a changing of the guard ceremony every hour, and we saw a demonstration on firing a breech-loading rifle.
At noon every day (except Christmas) since 1856, they fire one of the cannons - the Noon Gun. We were there for that, and enjoyed seeing it - I plugged my ears during the actual firing of it, since it's pretty loud! :-)
We also walked up on top of the walls all the way around. There was a fair bit to do there - we were probably there for a couple of hours and didn't see everything.
I'm sure a lot of you remember the BeaverTail stand they used to have at the Canada pavilion at Epcot. It was always one of our favorites, and we were very disappointed when it closed. Well, before we left home I discovered that there was a BeaverTail stand close to the port (along their Harbourwalk), so that was the #1 item on my To Do list for Halifax!
And it did not disappoint - yummy, warm, freshly fried crisp and chewy dough. Lee chose the classic, coated with cinnamon-sugar, and I had Nutella spread on mine. Oh soooooo good!
Another recommended sight in Halifax was the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. It had quite a few different areas, with exhibits on shipwrecks, sailing and steam vessels, the Halifax Explosion of 1917 (which leveled much of the city), and cabling ships which laid/repaired the transatlantic telegraph cables. The most popular exhibit was on the Titanic - people are endlessly fascinated by that. I thought most of their other exhibits were more interesting, though. By then we were getting a bit tired of being on our feet so probably didn't enjoy the museum as much as we might have earlier. But since it was closest to the ship we did it last since we knew we could get back to the ship in time from there. As I said before, we really could've used an extra two hours in Halifax.
On our walk back to the ship we saw this cutie in the water. I think he was probably trying to beg bait from some people who were fishing - or maybe he was stealing the bait from their lines and then coming up to gloat.
We'd hoped to do a brewery tour but didn't have the time, but there was a place very near the ship that offered tasting sizes, so Lee was at least able to try a couple of tastes in the short time we had left. As it turned out we didn't really have to worry - at 4:20 the line to re-board was quite long, and we didn't actually pull away until 5:15.
We had a very full day in Halifax and enjoyed the city very much - a lot more than Saint John. It's a place I would return to, whereas I have more of a "been there, done that" feeling about Saint John.
Tonight is Pirate Night... but perhaps Disney should be a bit cautious about advertising that around here... in the Maritime Museum we saw what they do to pirates in these parts!
Tomorrow is a day at sea... it'll be nice to kick back and relax a bit on our final full day on board.
The previous post in this blog was The Art of Frankenweenie.
The next post in this blog is Disneyland Resort Halloween Time 2012 (9/14/12).