We packed up the car one last time and set off on our last road trip in eastern Canada on Monday with an earlier start than anticipated (on account of the lack of alcohol in Baddeck) and we arrived in downtown Halifax for early afternoon (fondly bidding our Nissan goodbye). We checked into Dalhousie University and faced one of the first real hard moments of the adventure so far, we were in separate beds!
Once we had overcome the trauma, we composed ourselves (like the adults we are) and decided to keep the university days theme going and headed to Halifax Alehouse as Monday night is their wings night! With a lack of real atmosphere (probably as the students weren't back and it was, you know, a Monday night) we ventured deeper downtown and landed in the Loose Canon, a Scottish pub, on Argyll Street, in Nova Scotia (something about Brits abroad!?) We only stayed for one as the party didn't seem to start at all on a Monday night but Craig did notice this charming poster on his way back from the loo.
Tuesday morning and we reengaged tourist mode from being students the night before and headed down to the Marina. We walked along the promenade from South to North starting at Pier 21, where 1.5 million immigrants entered Canada (similar to Ellis Island in New York) from the early to mid 20th Century. We wandered along the promenade taking in the views and admiring some of the ships docked, which included the HMSC Sackville which is the last 'Flower-class' corvette from WWII.
With the walk going quicker than we expected (no space for souvenirs) we took a seat outside, near the end of the promenade, and consulted the world famous google to decide on our next steps (our planning never seemed to get as far as Halifax). With a high rating on trip advisor and neither of us quite ready for lunch we headed to Alexander Keith's brewery to take the 12:30 tour. We had a great time sampling 4 different beers and learning more about the Scottish man who put beer on the map in Halifax in the 1800's. The Scottish links followed throughout, with ancient Keith tartan decorating areas and we finished our tour in a bar similar to the one that used to be near the brewery and were entertained with live music. We had a great time although we did have the misfortune of an American woman on the tour asking great questions like "was the ancient Keith tartan named after Alexander Keith" and "does Nova Scotia really mean New Scotland?" One of the most interesting things we saw however was a bottle half filled with beer that had been found by a diver that dated back to sometime between 1870 and 1880. When it was tested it was found to be a beer very similar to the current iteration made to a similar recipe today, the IPA (India Pale Ale).
A lazy afternoon followed as we let the alcohol leave our systems with someone napping out the worst of it (ahem, Katy). Dinner for the evening was a subdued affair as Tuesday appeared even more quiet for a night out than Monday and an early night with our books followed.
On Wednesday morning, Craig cheated. Not on Katy, nope, on Gary, his barber from Badlands Barber in Glasgow (sorry Gary!) and he went for a haircut at Noreast Barber with Liam who left him without a beard for the first time in years! After Katy had nearly walked past Craig in the street we headed to the Halifax citadel which was a crucial fortress during the British empire with strong connections to the Scottish armed forces. We spent time walking along the ramparts, wandering around the museum dedicated to the armed forces of all Nova Scotia, the museum walking us through the history of the citadel and the city of Halifax itself and we witnessed the noon canon (Katy still got a fright despite watching the fuse being lit).
After a quick sandwich stop we headed to the public gardens and spent time wandering and relaxing around the 18 acre garden in what was a nice afternoon. We of course, because it would have been rude not, got ice cream cones to enjoy as we went.
Just like that, we were doing the 'p' word again and after organising our bags we headed out for our last meal in Halifax. On the third time of asking we finally found a restaurant, Antojo, that was busy and had a great atmosphere! We enjoyed some tacos and tequila based cocktails (because, when in Mexico...) before heading back to our room to grab some shuteye before the 03:15 alarm on Thursday morning!
The eastern leg of Canada has come to an end and now we join the cowboys and head west to Calgary!
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