and I made Halifax day last Friday (with all my apologies to Stan Rogers).
I have some strong memories of Nova Scotia from my last trip there as a child, but it had been long enough since I’d been for me to feel it was necessary to revisit the area. Also, my last visit to the Maritimes was to New Brunswick, in 1994; just recently enough to remember things clearly, but long enough to coat the memories with romanticism. Even though my decision to move to Manitoba is firmly taken, I felt an inkling of regret at not giving the Maritimes a chance, too, as I love the ocean.
A friend’s move to Halifax and a subsequent request to come visit provided the perfect opportunity for me to test the waters, pun intended, and see if this ocean lover is really a landlubber at heart.
I’ll spoil the ending now: she is.
An 8:30AM flight required an early start. Up at 5:30. Yawn. Thank goodness for the programmable coffeemaker!
The bus ride to the airport was very quick; in fact I was so immersed in a book that I almost missed my stop!!!
I’d checked in from home, so I only had to deal with security. There, I had to either surrender my hand cream and toothpaste or check my luggage. I picked the former.
Landing in Halifax is comparably spectacular to landing in San Francisco, only this time you land in a sea of conifers instead of salt water. Apparently, Halifax Airport was built where it is located, in the middle of nowhere, because it was never foggy there. Acres of trees were cut… and the fog rolled in.
First stop after the airport: Pete’s Frootique. Apparently, this store was featured prominently on a CBC noon-hour programme about twenty-years ago. It’s a produce store with a large section devoted to British products. It’s definitely an experience!
Next, we dropped off my luggage at Julie’s. Her apartment is huge and located in a coniferous enclave off the bay. There isn’t much around her place, but downtown is about twenty minutes away.
We then drove to Martinique Beach, which is the nicest in the Halifax area. To do this, we had to cross the MacKay Bridge and then all of Dartmouth. There is a fare both ways. I was amused by the fact that the ‘speed pass’ for the Halifax area is called a ‘MacPass’ as the other bridge is the MacDonald.
Martinique Beach was indeed gorgeous and Noel’s ravages were evident in the amount of seaweed on the beaches and the broken docks.
After a couple of hours, we drove home to change and then headed back downtown for dinner.
Julie took me to The Old Triangle, her favourite pub, which was very nice. My meal was an okay veggie burger and a Keith’s Indian, and we shared a Bailey’s chocolate pie for dessert. Just as we were thinking of leaving, a couple sat down beside us and we began to chat. They were retired Americans from Colorado who had traveled extensively throughout North America and seen a good chunk of the rest of the world. We were regaled with tales of their travels through Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. I really enjoyed making their acquaintance.