Halifax, NS, to home

Our final sightseeing day on this 2,000+mile journey, and it was a keeper! Halifax is a terrific city. Strolled down to the waterfront, with its fountain, sculptures, and seafaring playground.

Halifax took a neighborhood of old, brick warehouses and shops, put a glass roof over them, and created an indoor Farmers’ Market, complete with a brewery and entertainment.

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The waterfront also has some exhibits on the city’s sea-going history, from fishing to fighting in the big wars, including their World War I Jewish regiment. They have a portrait of RMS Olympic, a sister to the Titanic, which was retrofitted (with a complete double-hull and sufficient lifeboats) for the war and painted in “dazzle” camouflage to confuse U-boats.

We highly recommend the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, right on the waterfront. It’s current exhibit on the life and legacy of Samuel Cunard was fascinating – this Halifax native son created the first steamships to cross the Atlantic, in only 12 days, down from 40 days for the fasted sailing ship, in 1840. Lots of ships models, including the sister to the Lusitania. Plus a macaw you can watch on webcam.

And a model of what they do to pirates:

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The museum includes powerful exhibits and a film on the Halifax Explosion in 1917 – the biggest man-made disaster until the atomic bomb. 2,000 died while 9,000 were injured from the explosion of a French ship loaded with munitions for the war-front.  400 acres obliterated, a tidal wave, and the rescue effort was hampered by a blizzard the next day which dropped 16.” Many of the wounded suffered eye-injuries – since they all stood at their windows watching the ship burning, not knowing its contents – and every window in the city shattered. Boston sent the 4th most aid, after the governments of Canada, Great Britain, and King George V himself. In thanks, Halifax sends a giant Christmas tree to Boston every year to be the city’s official Christmas tree on the Boston Common. The staff at the Museum were excited to hear that we were from Boston, and tell us of Halifax’s gratitude.

Halifax was also the city closest to the spot where the Titanic sank. While the rescued survivors were transported to New York, the recovered bodies were delivered to Halifax. 3 cemeteries in town hold graves of the victims, including a J. Dawson, reportedly the inspiration for DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson in the 1997 movie. The Museum includes artifacts, like this photo of the grand staircase, and a model showing how they transported the dead.

Finally had to leave Halifax and its fascinating waterfront, to take this bridge to the mainland.

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Heading home, we pass Mt. Katahdin (Hi, Appalachian Trail!) and a quaint form of transport.

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What a trip! What a planet!

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