Canada in 2013 page 7 -- Halifax NS 28 June to 02 July 2013
All pictures, unless otherwise noted, are copyright 2013 by John A. and Elizabeth B. Lucas. All rights reserved.

Introduction Vancouver/Victoria Kamloops/Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper Toronto/Niagara Falls Montreal Quebec/Baie St. Paul Halifax Wildlife Second Thoughts Technical Details

28-June (evening departure) Charny PQ to Halifax NS on VIA The Ocean Train

We were driven to the Charny station, across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City. We had passed through Charny on the Montreal-Quebec City corridor train but were routed to the line that crosses over into the city. That put us north and east of Charny while we needed to be on the through track on the south side of the St. Lawrence heading east. (There are no bridges across the St. Lawrence downstream from Quebec City.)

This is a sleeper train originating in Montreal and serving both the Gaspé Peninsula and Halifax, being broken up at Matapédia, Quebec in the early morning (when the train is on time). The Halifax section arrives at its destination in late afternoon about 20 hours after leaving Charny. It was more like early evening when we arrived. (See Second Thoughts for commentary on the VIA Atlantic Service and the CN trackage.) Thus our Halifax experience essentially begins on the 30 June.

This shows the end of the tracks in Halifax. The passenger station is just around the curve to the left and part of the container terminal is straight ahead and to the right.

Accommodation: The Halliburton House
Transfers: Town Limousine
Tour(s): Ambassatours Gray Line

The Halliburton House was the third small hotel we used, this one comprising three adjacent townhouses about two blocks from the harbor. It includes Stories Restaurant, called by some the best place to eat in Halifax. We couldn't say -- Stories has about 12 tables and it was a holiday weekend. We couldn't get reservations for dinner. The Halliburton also does not have an elevator which meant dragging our luggage up the central stairway. Not a problem for weekend guests but a major annoyance for us at check-in and check-out time. Our room looked out the back over a quiet garden and a small parking area.

Despite occasional showers, over the two and a half days we walked in Halifax from near the casino to Point Pleasant Park and from the waterfront to and in the Public Gardens.

We took the obligatory Halifax Highlights Tour (closed top double decker bus) and we were two of the three passengers on that particular tour. This tour did not stop anywhere but fulfilled its purpose of driving past pretty much everything in downtown Halifax. To be fair, the bus did slow down at times for "the gentleman upstairs with the camera."

Then we started walking.

We toured the Alexander Keith Brewery, quite a show with live actors and singers. And glasses of brew, too. As usual, John opted for the darkest one on the list, the Dark Ale. Yum.

Also on the waterfront, we encountered Theodore the Tugboat and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The museum includes artifacts from the Titanic, ship models, a restored chandery, figureheads and much more.

We hiked uphill to the Public Gardens and even managed to catch part of a noontime jazz concert.

This fountain was originally built for Queen Victoria's Jubilee. It was completely reconstructed for Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee. The red flowers form script "E"s.

The musicians had a bit of trouble with the wind. Their jazz style seemed to be traditional New Orleans seasoned with a bit of Latino (maybe salsa? John's no expert). It seemed a bit of an odd combination in Atlantic Canada. But then John also had a seafood jambalaya in Halifax (Tabasco asked for in advance!)

We were supposed to have a tour to Peggy's Cove (a picture postcard fishing village) on 1 July (Canada Day) but the trip was cancelled because of weather. Halifax apparently did manage to get their fireworks shot off but the visibility was chancy all day.

Heading home! In early afternoon on the 2nd, we were driven to the Halifax airport and caught the one hour flight back to Boston's Logan Airport. From the mid-1950s until recently, there were car ferries operating between Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. These cut off hundreds of miles of driving around the Bay of Fundy. These no longer seem to be operating, no doubt victim to rising fuel prices and the economic downturn. John's family used the ferry twice to go from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. Thus he was in Halifax twice before though more than 50 years ago.

We arrived safe and mostly sound, weary but pleased with the trip overall. Then it was time to get caught up - a box of mail from the post office, 1500 unread emails for John and so on.

For conclusions, comments and recommendations, see the section Second Thoughts.
For information on the photographic equipment carried and the workflow used to produce these webpages, see the section Technical Details.