A lovely warm and sunny day, so a 20 or so minute walk into Halifax to see the oldest church in North America with a piece of debris from the Halifax explosion embedded in a wall. The Halifax explosion was in 1917 when a French vessel loaded with TNT and a Norwegian vessel with relief supplies were manoeuvring in the port and collided creating sparks which ignited flammable liquids on the French deck.
St Peter's Church
The flames quickly got out of control and when they got to the TNT set off the largest pre-atomic bomb explosion. 2000 people were killed instantly and over 300 acres of Halifax were flattened.
On to Province House, the seat of Provincial legislature. A lovely Georgian sandstone building where we enjoyed a free half hour guided tour filling us in on all the elements we might have otherwise missed.
By now it was midday and feeling thirsty, we headed down to Alexander Keith's Brewery. We went for the double tour; a guided tour of the brewery together with a harbour trip on the sailing boat 'Silva'.
Alexander Keith's brewery tour
The brewery tour was rather quirky with costumed guides taking us 'back in time' to Mr Keith's time. With over-enthusiastic overacting for my taste, I found it interesting but OTT and light on detail. The tasting was for two of the brews and although for good volumes, it would have been nice to try a small amount of all 4 brews prior to choosing which to sample in quantity. I tried the ruby and IPA and found both a bit light, thin, acid and flavourless. It tasted to me like sparkling water that had had any life chilled out of it; a huge disappointment after the wonderful craft beers I had sampled the last week. As we exited we were surprised to note that we had been inside for 1.5 hours.
Abord Silva in Halifax harbour
A quick bite of a wonderful seafood chowder from a harbourside eatery and we were due on 'Silva'. Once out of her berth, we hoisted sails and sailed gently round the island in the harbour and under the suspension bridge for 1.5 hours. It was very pleasant but didn't compare with our trip on Barnaby in NZ, although it was a great way to see the harbour.
A couple of berths along was a corvette similar to the one in which a certain Cockshutt matelot spent many enjoyable hours bobbing along in the Atlantic between 1942 and 1945. I knew it was small but until you see it in the flesh, you don't realise how small. I would hesitate to cross the solent in one, never mind the Atlantic. We had hoped to see the WT office in which he had spent his time but sadly it wasn't possible.
Not far from here is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. No admission fee after 5 on Tueday – open to 8. There is a marvellous exhibition on the 'Titanic'. Not simply the tragedy itself but the aftermath which is often overlooked. Apparently, even in death class was respected with first class passengers meriting a wooden coffin while second and third class passengers got a canvass sheet!
We aimed to have a beer and meal at the 'Lower Deck' , a pub recommended by Mike, Ollie's boss. Our guide book misplaced it but determination allowed us to find it in the historic buildings area.
We had a lovely meal but being owned by the same group as Alexander Keith's Brewery, it stocked the same beer and I was sad to find that even with food, it still left me disappointed.
Back uphill to our B&B via the No7 bus – we had had quite a long day and some walking!!
on August 1, 2012
from the travel blog:
Go West then go East
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written by delhi gust house on August 6, 2012
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