Our last day in Halifax

We enjoyed a bit of a sleep in today, and then headed off to enjoy our last day in Halifax. 

We began at the Maritime Museum, learning all about the amazing shipping and military history of this city. There were exhibits about both the Halifax Explosion and the Titanic, as well as stunning models of ships throughout the past 3 centuries. Amazing!

We enjoyed another lunch on the pier with more buskers’ entertainment, and then hiked up the hill (the whole city is a giant hill!) to the Citadel. It was really interesting, and the displays and stories here connected with the stories we have heard at both Louisbourg and the CItadelle in QC. At the end of today’s visit, though, Cameron proclaimed that he did not need to see another fort on this trip 🙂

Peggy’s Cove

After the parade, we grabbed some warmer clothes at the hotel and headed out to Peggy’s Cove. The rainy weather turned beautiful and sunny for most of our visit. The fog rolled in just as we were leaving-perfect timing! We drive home in an awesome thunderstorm (complete with fork lightning).

Peggy’s cove is simply beautiful! We climbed on the rocks, took selfies, and lay back to listen to the waves. It was wonderful!

Halifax Pride

Today is Saturday and it is Halifax Pride parade day. In an effort to avoid road closures, we got up early and headed out on a tour of Halifax in the “Harbour Hopper”, an amphibious vehicle. Lots of fun! 

Then we found a donair shop (the official food of Halifax) and found a great spot to watch the parade. What a great party! So much fun, such colour. There was also a moment of silence in remembrance of the Orlando victims which was quite moving. It was chilling to hear the streets go from loud musical celebrating to complete silence. 

It’s all good

It turns out, Halifax is filled with things to do, just not after 9pm if you are under 19. We began our first day with a trip to the laundromat (necessary), and while waiting we enjoyed checking out a few of the local music shops. New discoveries included a “blukulele” and a “melodion”. We then headed down to the harbour. We began with tours of 2 Naval ships docked in the Halifax port-the CCS Acadia and the HMCS Sackville. We enjoyed a delicious snack on the pier of lobster rolls and poutine, listening to buskers who have arrived for BuskerFest. 

With food in our bellies, we took a stroll over to Alexander Keith’s Brewery. What an awesome tour! The kids were included in our guided tour of the brewery, given iced tea and lemonade while we enjoyed many samples 🙂 The highlight was when we were all invited to a ceileidgh in the pub, complete with beer and live music! The musicians asked for volunteers, and both Mara and Cameron were given percussion instruments to play. We sang along when we knew the tunes and had a great time. And then, to send us off, the hosts/tour guides sang “The Parting Glass”, a song that Mara sang with her choir in Ireland last year. Without missing a beat, she joins in with the 2 female singers, harmonizing beautifully. It was really lovely!

Halifax is closed 

We arrived in Halifax after 8pm. By the time we checked into our hotel and everything, it was after 9 when we headed out to find somewhere for dinner. We are right downtown, so figured it would be easy. No such luck. No one in downtown Halufax will serve food to children after 9pm! Well, Subway and Pita Pit would, but we were hoping for something a little more substantial. Thankfully, after a phone call back to our hotel for help, we found this place, and as long as we say on the right side of the restaurant, they could serve our kids food. I kid you not!

Baddeck, 18 years later 

We honeymooned in Baddeck way back in 1998, in a fancy hotel called “Castle Moffett” that is no longer accepting guests. (See Castle For Sale) We have really fond memories of this part of the world, and we have been looking forward to sharing it all with Mara and Cameron. Baddeck did not disappoint! Our last stop before leaving Cape Breton, we began our visit at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. We learned all about Bell’s fascination with telephones, yes, but also with teaching the deaf, airplanes, and hydrofoil boats.

We headed into town for a bite to eat, and stopped at a cafe and bakery that had great reviews. Turns out, it’s the same place we came to years ago – and THE bakery that introduced us to the awesomeness that is oatcakes. We enjoyed amazing sandwiches on porridge bread, and bought out the oatcakes they had left. We should be set for the rest of the trip. What a find! And the perfect way to end our time in CB. Now, it’s on to Halifax.

Cabot Trail

Wow. There just aren’t words. In one day, we drove through hot sunny weather, to cloudy, to cool and windy, to overcast and stormy, and we ended with a spectacular sunset. We walked on warm powdery sand and splashed on the beach in Ingonish, and we shrieked at the size and crash of the big waves on the beach near ChĂ©ticamp. Salt in our toes, we sang all the way home. What an awesome day!!

Live fiddle music 

So, after a great show last night, we got going on reasonable time today and headed off on the Cabot Trail. We stopped along the route at a few lookouts (how can you not???) and then we found an amazing place – The Clucking Hen Cafe. Not only did they have washrooms… aah… but they had oatcakes!!! Yes!!! And they’re as tasty as we remembered from 18 years ago. We may have bought a few packages…

Then, a little further up the road, there was a shop called “Wildfire”, advertising pottery and books for sale. We stopped (rarely do we pass by a used bookstore…) and the shopkeeper was a very friendly chap. He informed us that while his wife makes the pottery, his passion is traditional fiddle music and he publishes his own books of these collections. And to top it all off, he says “While you’re looking at the books, I’ll play you a tune”. He pulls down his fiddle and serenades us in our own private concert. What a treat!

Lighthouse!

I forgot to include this…Cameron had seeing a lighthouse on his wish list for this trip. Here is our first! It was on the other side of the bay as we left Louisbourg, and dates back to the 1750’s when the French controlled this Harbour.

Not a great pic, but you can kind of see it in the background…