Thursday, July 19, 2012

Halifax, Peggys Cove, and Tall Ships...

My first foray out since a few moments in Bergen was in Halifax where Randy and I had rented a van that we shared with two other couples, Donna and Steve and Chris and Phil. I feel much better but still have occasional coughing fits—very embarrassing if I am in a crowd and not able to get out!

After four days of cold and fog it was supremely nice to have warm, sunny weather to explore the Halifax area. It did however take us quite a bit of time to find the car rental place. We even asked a taxi driver and he sent us off in entirely the wrong direction. Our problems started with the wonderful—not exactly!—Princess map that put the ship docking about a kilometer from where it actually docked so we thought we needed to head off in exactly the opposite direction to where we actually needed to go!

We were looking for Hollis Street which we finally found thanks to a nice bartender. But the Alamo Rental was buried in the Rail Station. Wouldn’t you think that that little bit of information would have been good to include on the rental agreement, rather than just 1161 Hollis Street. Anyway, we finally found it and off we went to try to beat the bus-tour crowd (we did!) to Peggy’s Cove.

There is a drive to Peggy’s Cove that is supposed to be scenic one way and fast back. Well, as far as we could tell, it was scenic both ways! What we could see of Halifax and the environs was so beautiful! Many, many little coves ringed with deep greenery all around and colorful boats in the water alongside picturesquely dilapidated wharfs (or is it wharves? This is when I miss have quick—emphasis on the quick part—internet access. I could look it up if I did.). There were several groups (where’s the internet? What’s the collective for geese?) of Canada geese resting on the water; so pretty! Of course I’ve heard of people who have some geese decide to stay over a few days in their yard because they have a pool. Pretty soon they are awash in goose poop. So not all is copacetic with geese!
Harbor scene in Peggy's Cove
Another harbor scene
Yet another harbor scene
I am not at all sure why Peggy’s cove is so famous, as opposed to any of the other “So-and-so’s” Coves in the area (of which there are many), but it sure is pretty—the others are as well, however. Its main claim to fame appears to be the lighthouse, touted as the most photographed lighthouse in the world/North America/Canada/Nova Scotia. It IS very picturesque and we all took lots of photos before our rumbling stomachs told us to go to the Sou’Wester restaurant for beer (natch!) and grub.

Speaking of grub, or grits, another of my digressions: Randy abandoned our dinner table a few nights ago because our friends had somehow heard of grits and as grits come close to being Randy’s favorite food, he “volunteered” to come to their table to educate them in the finer points of eating grits. Luckily it was one of the nights when I was indisposed and so I didn’t have to go and try to seem like I actually liked the semi-food called “Grits.” Now that he knows grits are available he has taken to ordering it (them?) for breakfast. Yuck. Grits are an excuse to eat butter and salt.

Back to the Sou’Wester restaurant. Five of us had a local Nova Scotia beer and Donna, who never had root beer, tried that. Now we all want to know if root beer and sarsaparilla are the same thing. She thinks they taste very much alike. Three of us had lobster rolls and three has fish and chips. The vote on the lobster rolls was that they were terrific! And for dessert, one order of homemade ginger cake and vanilla ice cream with six spoons, also voted as terrific.

A  little retail therapy—we bought a kinetic garden ornament—and more photography and then back to Halifax. After dropping off the car we wandered the boardwalk (literally a boardwalk) that stretched farther than we wanted to walk looking at the Tall Ships that were in port. Halifax is having some kind of a celebration of Tall Ships so there were many of them at anchor for us to look at; not to board, unfortunately. But they are beautiful to look at. A few mega-yachts were tied up there as well so the window shopping was fun. And we were lucky enough to watch a crew of guys pulling up the sails  the barkentine Gizela. Quite a show! I never before knew how they did it.

A little beer break at the Bicycle Thief pub and a wander back along the waterfront and we were home again.

Tomorrow we get to New York and we’ve been told it can take as long as four—yes, FOUR—hours to get off the ship. Welcome to America. Now go away. I know we are paranoid but we aren’t the only country in the world with problems and we’ve disembarked in Egypt, India (the worst, so far) in literally minutes. Some countries send their emisaries on board at the previous port to speed up the formalities so that people can get off AND SPEND MONEY IN THEIR COUNTRY! I will try to withhold any more judgement until after tomorrow. But I have a tour of 21 people going to the aircraft carrier Intrepid. We’re getting together at 0730 in order to HOPE to get off in time for our tour at 1000.

More later!

A local artist's carving in the local granite
Pam & Randy by a beautiful harbor scene in Peggy's Cove

It's so pretty here that we are all taking pictues of each other

Randy in front of the Sou'Wester, where we had lobster rolls

Peggy's Cove lighthouse, arguably the most photographed lighthouse in the world/country/North America, depending on which book or website you look in.

I can't resist taking pictures of flowers

Flat Stanley at the Peggy's Cove lighthouse

Looking toward the Peggy's Cove lighthouse from the site of the SwissAir crash

One of the Tall Ships in Halifax harbor

A nice reflection of our ship as we sailed out of Halifax
This looked like so much fun!
The Bicycle Thief restaurant; they have a great beer!

I think this is a gun emplacement from World War II

1 comment:

  1. In Georgia I learned to eat grits made with onions fried in butter and then adding that and Worchestershire sauce to the grits and melting in some cheese to top the whole things off. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Good.