171004 Halifax

Halifax is the seaside capital of Nova Scotia. Enjoy which ever excursion you choose.

Overnight, we leave the United States and cruise on to Halifax, Canada. The entertainment for the evening is a young saxophonist who plays all his own arrangements of old songs as well as some he has composed himself. After he is done, we went to the BB Kings Show for some African American pop-type music.

Halifax has lots of history to do with the setting up of the country by the British and the wars and take-over bids for various parts of the ‘colonies’ of the day. There are many types of parkland, we notice, and after the 3-hour city tour and walk around the Fort George Garrison Grounds, we make a beeline back to where we noticed the Public Gardens. (Did I say that was after we had a delicious Cows brand ice cream for lunch?) At noon, an old cannon is fired to signify the event, which causes many in the tour group to wonder where we were.

There are three cruise ships in port today; the Zuiderdam, the Queen Mary 2, and a Celebrity Cruises vessel (Haven’t seen the name yet). With so many tourists wandering about the various ‘high’ spots in the town, it becomes difficult to manoeuvre to where you want to take the photos you want to capture, especially in the public gardens. A cold snap of weather is due to arrive next Monday. The locals say this brings the leaves to their colour-change season. We haven’t seen the REAL colours of autumn, yet, but are hoping to in the next 3 days or so before this cruise ends.

The hydro package we bought into is a good one, especially for when we are about to go to bed. We missed the evening’s show and spent the time in the spa, and some time on the heated ceramic beds; the best way to end another day on a cruise.

We head to Sydney, Nova Scotia, this evening.

171005 Sydney

Sydney is on Cape Breton Island. It is rich in Gaelic, Mi’kmaq and Acadian culture and so we should learn something to tell our grand children about.

Sydney, Canada was our next stop. There is no fabulous harbour like the Sydney of Australia. There is no opera house, no grand habour bridge and no skyscrapers. This Sydney is just a little village that ‘closes down’ for the icy cold winter for 7-8 months of the year. This is ‘fiddle’ country and a big one welcomes us at the wharf.

After a full breakfast and some time on shore to use the free Wi-Fi, we check out the street shops nearby. Trying to find Wi-Fi while waiting while for the ladies to shop brings an idea to mind: why don’t shops have a Wi-Fi signal called “For Husbands Waiting for their Wives while shopping”? That would make things so much easier than waiting for all the different business Wi-Fi signals to show up on the device in hand.

When we booked for the Harbour Hopper, we didn’t realise that the mode of travel would be another ‘duck’, similar to how we got around Boston. This one was a little different but did the same thing; toured the city by land and then took us into the water for a quick sail around the harbour to view our ship from a different perspective. The Harbour Hopper idea is just three weeks old for this town and as we pass elementary schools, the kids wave and cheer to us and we shout back “quack, quack”. I guess the novelty will wear off soon but will begin again when the winter passes and the cruise ships return. Winter here, is not too far away and apparently comes all of a sudden and with a vengeance.

Our guide shows us the different types of dwellings that are built in the town. A different style for those areas that doctors and lawyers and well-paid workers live compared to the labourers and small wage earners. Interestingly, all are wooden and many have large stockpiles of cut timber ready for the fireplace. The leaves are showing signs of turning colour but we are running out of time to see the real autumn colours we came all the way from Australia to see. Yes, the weather has been sunny and warm, but that is not what is needed to bring on the colour. Up at this latitude, it takes one or two frosts and the leaves can change colour and fall within a few days. Hopefully, that beauty is at our next stop.

This Harbour Hopper is one of nearly a thousand built for the Vietnam War. Many were left in Vietnam in a bad state of disrepair but some were either returned or just didn’t get to Vietnam and were kept in ‘hiding’ until recently. It’s a novelty way to show us around Sydney, Canada. I wonder when Sydney Australia will catch on to the idea and start running similar modes of travel around that city?

It was great to sit out in the warming sunshine as our ship left Sydney and headed towards Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. After dinner and the evening show, we returned to the spa for another relaxing experience.

Tomorrow, we visit Anne of Green Gables territory on Prince Edward Island.

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