"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruise Journal: More Of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Friday, October 21, 2022

Cruise Journal: More Of Halifax, Nova Scotia

So, okay, the climb to the citadel was a little taxing on my knee but we made it. I thought we would find just a little foundation of some sort of fort but it was way more than that. I should have read the description on my GPS My City app.

The hill we climbed is appropriately called Citadel Hill. The site was fortified in 1749 when Halifax was founded by the British. The Citadel was there to defend Halifax Harbor and the Royal Navy Dockyard (probably from those pesky rebels to the south).

Over the years there have been four citadels there. The one completed in 1776 is said to be the main reason that Nova Scotia remained loyal to the Crown during and after the American Revolution.

The last citadel (1828-1856) was designed to repel both an attack by land or from the water by United States forces.

By the end of the 19th century the citadel was used mostly as a command center for other harbor defensive works and provided barrack accommodations.

In 1956, restoration was made and it was opened as a living museum and historic site. There are men and women dressed in period uniforms and dresses who greet you and answer questions. Throughout the year but mostly during the season of visitors there are reenactments portraying life there in the late 19th century.

It was almost noon and the main entrance closed just as we were to exit. It was time for the noonday cannon fire. We couldn't see really well from where we were but there was a bench in front of the barracks and a lady in costume encouraging us to climb the steps to the porch above for a better view. I thanked her and sat down.

As promised the loud bang went off on time and the entrance was soon reopened. They don't actually shoot anything out of the cannon. It's all smoke and gunpowder exploding but they close the entrance because the cannon is right above it and they want to guard against any unfortunate accidents. 

We left the Citadel down the sidewalk we'd come up and I clicked on the next icon on our tour. It was the Public Gardens. We found it a few minutes later and thankfully after traversing some level ground. I needed to sit for a bit and we found a nice bench near a picturesque spot near the entrance. 

There was a rumbling noise and the source was two tummies that were hungry. As we sat, we looked at a Google map to see what eateries might be nearby. Outside the main entrance we stood, phone in hand trying to decide which way to go. A sweet lady stopped and asked if we needed help. I smiled and said we were just looking for a place to eat and she named a few down the street. Bob said we were just looking for something light and pointed to the one on the corner across from us.

"Smitty's?" She nodded slowly. "I'm sure it's as good as any and would probably meet your needs." 

Not a whole hearted endorsement but it was close. We thanked her and went to Smitty's. Turned out it was my kind of restaurant--all day breakfast, much like a Denny's. We enjoyed a nice lunch and after a rest were ready to tackle the remaining part of our tour. 

The next stop was the Halifax Central Library. Completed in 2014, it is an ultra modern building to say the least. We didn't go in but there's supposed to be a nice collection of miniature paintings on display.

We were soon on to St. Mary's Basilica. I love the peace and serenity you find in the huge old churches. The stained glass windows are always amazing. In Europe we discovered that often the history of an area is told in the windows as well as Biblical stories. 

The waterfront board walk was a straight shot downhill from where we were and was the last of the stops on our tour. We skipped over the two between the church and the boardwalk for lack of interest and the need to go put our feet up for a while before dinner.

The board walk was buzzing. it was a beautiful sunny Saturday and couples and families and all sorts of groups of people were out including a whole shipful of passengers I'd wager. It was an amazing place full of amusements, food trucks, restaurants and a few shops thrown in. An old ship was offering tours of their decks. We strolled along enjoying the festival atmosphere and then I found it. Smoke's Poutinerie. Take a look at the picture. It says it all. I had to pass though. I didn't want to spoil my appetite for dinner.

Halifax. While not the nature trove I wanted to see in Nova Scotia it was a very enjoyable port stop. 

Next up--a day at sea and then some time in Boston before our flight home. What would we do with our six hours in the city before our flight home?

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