Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Thursday, August 23, 2018

 

At 8:00am this morning, we smoothly glided into port and docked at Pier 21.  This is where all the waterfront attractions start.  The Garrison Brewery, Farmers Market and the Pier 21 Museum are next to the ship’s dock.  The Garrison Brewery (across the street from pier 20) is not the historic brewery in town, but they did start Nova Scotia’s “craft beer” movement with their “Irish Red Ale” in 1997.  The Farmers Market located in the building south of pier 20 is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  The Immigration Museum is located between piers 20 and 22 on 1055 Marginal Rd.  They’re open from 9:30am to 5:30pm and admission is 7.60CAD/pp/senior.

The Alexander Keith Brewery at 1496 Lower Water Street is the historic brewery of Halifax.  Begun in 1820, it remains in operation and produces India Pale Ale, the most popular beer in Nova Scotia.  One-hour tours ($23.95CAD/pp/sr) are available from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, running every ½ hour.  A beer tasting culminates the tour.  Keith Hall, the historic residence, is behind the brewery on Hollis St. and connected by an underground tunnel.  It’s been restored for commercial use.  Further up Lower Water Street at #1675, is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic with its extensive displays from the Days of the Sail to Age of Steam; artifacts from the Titanic; and exhibits of the devastating Halifax Explosion.  (open 9:30am-5:30pm; admission 8.50CAD/pp/sr.)

All of this is within easy walking distance of the ship.  We know because we have done all this in the past.  But today, we are booked on the ship’s tour, “Iconic Towns of Nova Scotia” and will visit Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and Mahone Bay.

Here are the photos:

Sailing into Halifax past George's Island.
Sailing into Halifax past George’s Island.
Docking at pier 21.
Docking at pier 21.
Museum of Immigration is right there!
Museum of Immigration is right there!
So is the Farmers' Market.
So is the Farmers’ Market.
Departing pier 21 on the "Iconic towns of Nova Scotia" tour.
Departing pier 21 on the “Iconic towns of Nova Scotia” tour.
Leaving Halifax, we pass the Old Burial Grounds in use from 1749 to 1843.
Leaving Halifax, we pass the Old Burial Grounds in use from 1749 to 1843.
On our way to Peggy's Cove we pass thru some lovely countryside.
On our way to Peggy’s Cove we pass thru some lovely countryside.
Arriving in Peggy's Cove.
Arriving in Peggy’s Cove.
The de Garthe Gallery
The de Garthe Gallery
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This sculpture by William de Garthe is a 100-foot long granite outcropping situated behind his home in Peggy’s Cove. It is his “lasting monument to Nova Scotia fishermen” and depicts 32 fishermen, their wives and children.
Beautiful Peggy's Cove
Beautiful Peggy’s Cove
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Everywhere you look there is something lovely to photograph!
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The iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in Canada!
Leaving Peggy's Cove and headed to Lunenburg.
Leaving Peggy’s Cove and headed to Lunenburg.
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Unfortunately, the bus broke down! Another bus came to offer assistance. Couldn’t help. Left us.
The police came to re-direct traffic.  That was needed!!!!
The police came to re-direct traffic. That was needed!!!!
So we exited the bus and waited for another to come pick us up!
So we exited the bus and waited for another to come pick us up!
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These folks weren’t home so they never knew we had hung out in their front yard for a while.
We finally arrive in Lunenburg.
We finally arrive in Lunenburg.
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This is a charming and historic town that commemorates Nova Scotia’s sailing and fishing tradition. Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The famous Bluenose II going out for a sail.
The famous Bluenose II going out for a sail.
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The carriage ride is a pleasant way to see the town. This is the rest stop for the horses.
Leaving Lunenburg and heading to Mahone Bay we pass many beautiful homes.
Leaving Lunenburg and heading to Mahone Bay we pass many beautiful homes.
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An example of the Lunenburg bump in architecture. The 3-window projecction over the door is distinctive.
Arriving in Mahone Bay
Arriving in Mahone Bay
The old railroad station is now a smallshopping complex.
The old railroad station is now a small shopping complex.
Mahone Bay looks like a charming community.
Mahone Bay looks like a charming community.
Obviously, sailing is a way of life here.
Obviously, sailing is a way of life here.
As we leave Mahone Bay, anoher excellent example of the Lunenburg bump.
As we leave Mahone Bay, anoher excellent example of the Lunenburg bump.
Heading back to the ship in Halifax.
Heading back to the ship in Halifax.
Back to Pier 21.
Back to Pier 21.
Unfortunately it's after 5:00pm and the Farmers' Market is closed.
Unfortunately it’s after 5:00pm and the Farmers’ Market is closed.
Nothing to see or buy.
Nothing to see or buy.
Nothing to eat.
Nothing to eat.
No one around.
No one around.
Time to head for the ship.
Time to head for the ship.

Our voyage comes to an end.  We are now on our way back to Boston and look forward, as always, to going home!  Thank you for joining us on this adventure.  We’ll look forward to sharing our next journey with you!!!!

St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

 

St. Johns, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador and the province’s largest city, is not only the furthest-east city in North America, it is also the oldest.  First discovered in 1497 by John Cabot, it was later claimed as the first permanent settlement in North America for the British Empire by Sir Humphrey Gilbert.  As you might imagine, St. Johns has had a long and significant history:  the Vikings are sure to have been in this area in the 1000s; and 900 years later, in 1901, Marconi received the first radio signals from across the ocean at Signal Hill; in 1919 Alcock & Crown departed from St. John’s on the first successful transatlantic flight by a team of aviators; and in 1927 Charles Lindberg’s last North American landmark sighting on his famous solo flight across the Atlantic was of Cabot Tower on Signal Hill.

St. John’s is noted for its pubs, food, and music scene.  An entire book, The Overcast’s Guide to Beers of Newfoundland, (The Definitive Guide to Beer on the Rock), Breakwater Books, 2018, has been written about the breweries and beers of this island.

We began our day late—not leaving the ship until after lunch—and walked around sampling the shopping, food and drink along the way.  Water Street is the main shopping street.  The shops are quite charming, usually several rooms of merchandise, and no two shops seem to have the same wares (quite an unusual and refreshing experience.)  George Street is the main street for pubs.  The rest of the city hugs the harbor and runs uphill for several blocks.  It is very compact but requires long staircases to get from one street to another!

The pictures will tell the story:

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The sail-in to St. John’s Harbor is quite lovely. It’s a shame the ship’s windows are so dirty–but I hope you get a sense of this rugged terrain.
This is quite a busy harbor.
This is quite a busy harbor.
It's a working port.
It’s a working port.
That ship docked in front of us is a supply ship for the oil patforms.
That ship docked in front of us is a supply ship for the oil patforms.
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This is Harbourside Park. Those statues are of a Labrador Retriever and a Newfoundland. The breeds are native to this province.
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Nobody knows the origins of the Newfoundland. He may be descended from the Tibetan Mastiff or the Norse Black Bear Dog or others. But it is known that he arrived with the fishermen. The breed is known for strength, endurance and intelligence.
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The Labrador Retriever is descended from the Newfoundland. Mated with English Setters and Pointers for gaming, they are also a gentle, loyal, family dog comfortable in the water, on small boats and in the home.
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Everywhere we went in Newfoundland, someone would bring their Newfoundland dog by for a pet and a visit. This puppy is just to precious for words!
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This photo, taken from the ship, shows the layering of the city. The Courthouse (forefront) is on Water Street. Above it is the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist; above that the Basillica of St. John and to the left, The Rooms Museum.
St John's Court House
St John’s Court House
Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Basillica of St John the Baptist
Basillica of St John the Baptist
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The Rooms is a cultural space where archives, artifacts and art come together to show the nature of this province. It is an experience.
Gower Street United Church
Gower Street United Church
Taking the stairway up to George Street.
Taking the stairway up to George Street.
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Coming down the courthouse staircase from Duckworth Street to George Street. That’s Clift’s Baird’s Cove Street going down to the water.
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We sailed into St. John’s Harbour through “The Narrows”, that you see directly ahead. You are looking at Signal Hill on the Left. and Cahill Point with Fort Amherst on the right.
This is Cabot Tower, atop Signal Hill.
This is Cabot Tower, atop Signal Hill.
A shop entrance on George Street.
A shop entrance on George Street.
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The book of Newfoundland beers! A wealth of information, history, and statistics. The industry began in the early 1800s but in 1962, the independents were bought up by the large national breweries. Only the brews from 3 St. John’s breweries survived .
We sampled our first local beer at The Newfoudland Pub & Eatery.
We sampled our first local beer at The Newfoudland Pub & Eatery.
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Black Horse, originally brewed by Bennet Brewing is now owned by Molson. It is still (and only) brewed in St. John’s. We enjoyed our drinks with a spicy plate of nachos! And the Pinot Grigio was good, also!
Later, we stopped at Erin's Pub on George Street.
Later, we stopped at Erin’s Pub on George Street.
Live entertainment is provided by by Kevin Joyce.
Live entertainment is provided by by Kevin Joyce.
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The bar at Erin’s Pub on George Street stocked not only the the 6 surviving traditional brands of St. John’s along with an international asortment, but also the new kid on the block: Iceberg beer, brewed by the microbrewery, Quidi Vidi Brewing.
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Quidi Vidi opened in 1996. Its most distinctive offering is Iceberg beer. This is made with the purest, softest water in the world–iceberg water! Harvesters go out and, by means of mechanical jaws, bore holes into the icebergs to grab center chunks.
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After a truly enjoyable and enlightening afternoon libation, we walked back to MS Rotterdam and awaited the the beautiful sail-away while having dinner. Very nice port.

 

 

Our next port is our last port.  We will visit Halifax Nova Scotia.