Nova Scotia 2017

In August 2017, from the 18th to 23rd I went to Nova Scotia. I stayed in Metro Halifax, close to the VIA Rail Station. I took the train there and took close to thirty-eight hours. There where a few delays in getting there, so next time I go there I will take a flight there – it will be the shorter time frame.
On the 17th, the day before I finished figuring out where I would want to go – many within walking distance because I do not have a car or license to go further. I finished packing and got ready because the train had left in the morning.
August 18, 2017, was the first day of the trip. The train was about ten minutes late, this would be a precursor to all but one train ride which would be the one home funny enough. It was late getting into Toronto platform. I had a minute or two to get the train that would depart to Montréal. That train was about twenty minutes late getting into Montréal but I did not have to worry much because there were about an hour and a half of wait time for the next train. The central VIA Rail station at Montréal is pretty large, having a few stores, seating area, and food court. At the terminal, I was able to grab a few things to eat and charge up my iPod and cell phone while I waited. Even when I was at the terminal I was adjusting what I was going to see and when on my trip. On all three trains, there were stops along the way – it was not a direct link to either city, the one to Halifax from Montréal made sense to have a few stops because it was a long distance. On the ride to Halifax, I noted to myself I should have gotten an upgrade to a sleeper car than the economy. For that long of a ride, even with brakes to step outside the train, it still hurt and uncomfortable. It was not fun to try and find a somewhat comfortable position to sleep.
Saturday, August 19, the overnight ride there would stop and start which was rather bothersome and would become an hour late getting into the Halifax train station. I was not too happy about it, the delay they said was them waiting on a part of the track to let freight trains move past, and I overheard that staffing and shortages also was a factor. But I get it, I work in a place where there is at many times, not enough people to help out so I cannot get mad at them. When traveling through Quebec and New Brunswick – during the day when we could see the scenery, it was really beautiful. There was nice waters, greenery, and landscapes to see. But looking at all that moving green made me a little sick of it for a little while. You did see city landscapes as well. As I was making notes of my notebook I could not seem to focus on writing, reading, listening to music or anything really. And I only had about seven more hours left on the ride to go. An hour after I was originally supposed to get there, I arrived. I went to my room at the Novel Stay to drop off my luggage and then went to Pete’s fine foods to get some food. Time zone wise, if coming from Ontario/Quebec, Halifax is about an hour later. So, 8 pm here would be 9 pm there.
Sunday, August 20, was my first full day there. I went early to the Public Garden on Spring Garden Road, it had a very interesting front gate. The Garden was a beautiful, large piece of garden. Nice setup, figures, plants, small buildings and statues with descriptions, there was nice paths. Overall, it was a nice place to walk around, a few different paths to walk around the perimeter and inside of the park. There was a place set up with chairs facing what would be a stage for performances, which I found to be really cool. So if you like parks or greenery it is a nice place in between a hospital and homes. Next place I went to was the Halifax Citadel, I did not spend a whole long of a time there – being a Canadian Park and it being Canada 150, I got in free. So I did not waste any kind of money doing only a few minutes doing a walk through and listening to an interpreter for a few moments. It was something really interesting to see if you are a person interested in military history, Canadian history, coastal history. It is worth looking outward to the shoreline when you are up there and spending time at the Citadel – no matter how long.
I made my way to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, where I spent a long time going from a different level to the next. There were a few different exhibits being shown and all are very interesting. The ones that were going on when I went were: Shifting Ground – a look a charting the changing currents in contemporary Aboriginal art across Canada – and SakKijâjuk: art and craft from Nunatsiavut both were really neat to look at and to see what type of art form they use to express their history, emotions and what is going on. Buoys and Gulls – a selection of whimsical and sometimes humorous works tying to the regions heritage and ties to the sea was just that and really fun to see. In a flash, was the next exhibit and of interest who wants a small snippet of the First World War, it is not huge but nicely done. Vimy Ridge… artists document the First World War merged into the previous exhibit as well. The Maud Lewis Gallery and Maud Lewis & The Big Screen were next. You get to see numerous paintings done by the artist, which are very lovely to see. As well you got to see imagery and two costumes from the film about her (Maudie). The final exhibits that were in places also merged, they were the Centuries of Silence: the Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal and An Expression of Faith: Sacred Art of the Centuries Past. Now, these exhibits are not just for those of the Christian Faith, but for those who like the history of the East coast, music and all-around art. It was so many items to look at and was really beautiful pieces of works. Now I may have missed a few mentions but there was so much to have a look at and was really fascinating just to go from room to room and floor to floor to have a look at. Now this Gallery, you start on the south side, go down to the lower level in order to cross to get to the north side/ opposite side of the gallery which was interesting.
I filled my Sunday even more by going to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (or as some call it: the Titanic museum). This museum is the place if you have any interest in maritime, naval/marine, boat history, wrecks like the Titanic or the Halifax explosion. There are two levels to this museum and each is jammed pact with models and artifacts from different events, boats and times in the history of the Atlantic near or surrounding Halifax or Nova Scotia. As a person that has not much of interest in this area, it was really cool to see how they brought this aspect of history and life to the public. The models alone are worth having a look at and more active than other museums atmosphere.
After my time at the museums and parks, I made my way back to where I was staying but made a stop at a local ‘witchy’ shop called Neighbourhood Witch. It is located in a converted home with two other shops, you have to go up a set of stairs to get to it. It is divided into two small rooms that are sandwiching the room where they offer tarot readings, which I am assuming is also small in size as well. (Recently March 2018, on their Facebook page they made a note that moved to space downstairs, so they are in the same building.) The day as a whole was really nice, I did not take as many photos as I thought I was going to take but I had had a nice time.
Monday, August 21, on my way to Pier 21 I went to Trident bookseller and cafe, I just looked at the books – I got two. It is a small place but very nice and a good atmosphere. Worth having a look if you are in the area. It was divided into almost in thirds, book selection was about half. The food/coffee selection area and sitting area took up the other half. After, I went to the Pier 21 museum of immigration and shopped at the corridor 22 while I waited for the museum to open. These are connected to the Seafood market. The vendors in the corridor are only open when there are tours scheduled for the day, when I went there were multiple tours that were going to happen. The selection of the vendors was similar but still different enough to have a look at each one and see almost a lot of new things. After touring the museum for almost an hour, I went to Point Pleasant Park. It is almost pushed behind a suburb and train congestion. But when you enter through one of two entrances, a gateway welcomes you into the park, at the end of the suburbs. The other entrance/exit leads to a small parking lot. It is at this end where you can go to a convenience store and get something if you want. Depending on where you are, you can walk or take the bus to the park, if you do not have a car with you. There is a main trail that you can go on and it is a great trail to see a whole lot. You can see the coast, the blue ocean, coast of nearby islands and as well you see different sites that were placed in that area that seems to be almost hidden away. Along with the well worn main trail, there are a few different trails one could walk down and at crossings, posts are placed to tell you where you are. Here and there you can sit down on a bench. Now a good majority of the park people are allowed to unleash their dogs. So be aware if you are not fond of dogs or not be surprised of that. This park is beautiful and a beautiful place to visit. It is an amazing place to have a walk. It is a well-kept park and many people walk through this park. Families also come to this park, there are open spaces to have a seat and play or just explore. There are times where you can just sit down on one of the benches and be in the quiet noise of the wind and water.
When I was there, it was so beautiful to see. There were many people who were there. I happened to go at a pretty peak time. As well boats were on the water, so a few people were watching those. It was nice to see families there as well and people getting their exercise in. I was able to be alone in the beauty of the park a few times. Mainly on trails that are not the main ones, but people still go on those. I was able to be alone at some of the fortifications and to see the history of this little piece of land was amazing. The park is so well and beautifully kept. Like me, many were exploring this amazing park or just sitting around on one of the benches or ground in one of the open spaces. On the tip of the park, you can see the Atlantic ocean opening up. Off to the side, you can some houses beautifully built coastal houses or cottages. The map of the park is placed in a few spots around the park, mainly at intersections of main trail paths. I took a picture of the map to know where I was, but you do not have to. I spent a good hour just walking around the park. With the trees full of leaves you are able to get into the shade with a lot of your walking but the sun does come in. You forget that there is a suburb and rail tracks on the other side of the edge of the park.
After walking back to my hotel room, I cleaned up a little and then went again. Close by this time because where I was staying it was a twenty-five minute walk back from the park. When I went out again I went to a local bookstore called Bookmark. Oh my, it was nice. I didn’t get any books but spent some money on notebooks and accessories. A very nice place to have a look at and the personnel is really great. Then I went to a restaurant/pub called Your Father’s Moustache. It was a great place to have something to eat and drink. As well there is a patio if you are a type of person that likes to eat outside on a good day. The patio is on the roof though and not on the ground level like other patios are, but since it is in an area where places are close together, going up is the option to go.
Tuesday, August 22, my last day there was more low key then the previous days. I took a ferry to Dartmouth and looked at two parks that were close by to the terminal. I went to the Peace Park Pavilion, which is small but very interesting to have a look at and is overlooking the coast. Next, I went to Sinnot Hill Park look out for another view of the cemetery and park below and that part of the coast. Leighton Dillman Park was the next park I looked at, and is just as nice as the Public Gardens. It is more of a park that people go through to get to downtown or to the ferry. It really is a nice park and goes more uphill than it is level. After I took a ferry back, I stayed along the coast and waited for nature and whale watching tour I booked. Though I did go a few minutes away to have a look through Coles and be inside for a few moments and get something to eat. I went on the tour, two and half hours long and really cool see the coast by boat. We did not see any whales but did see some sea lions and more porpoises. There was a regalia going on when my tour was going passing through. After the tour ended I walked around a little and went back to my to my hotel room.
Wednesday, August 23, my last day here and left at eleven and made my way to the VIA terminal. It was on time but we had to wait ten minutes before it got going again. It would become delayed between twenty and sixty minutes. Though when it came into Montréal with about fifteen minutes to spare, so I was able to get onto the train. This one was slightly behind and I was able to get to Toronto with about half an hour to spare waiting. The one going to Kitchener was the only one that came and arrived on time and was on schedule. Overall, minus the nervous over the train times, I had a great time in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If I get the chance again I would be interested again to see other places and do a few more boat tours. It was a really nice place to stay and a place really getting into being green/ environment interest. I had a great time walking around seeing the local shops and seeing the coastline and the natural areas. If I had more time there I would love to see more and revisit many of the places I went to on this trip.

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