Friday, July 01, 2005

Eleanor Rigby

When I was in Canada in December, I bought Douglas Coupland's latest book. I didn't get around to reading it until this past trip to Halifax, but found myself transfixed by it. I consumed it in about a half day. I found myself drawn into the plot, which jumps between decades, of characters that are flawed but very approachable.

The story revolves around a mother who meets her son for the first time when he is 20. She finds out that he has MS. The book has moments of tragedy, but it so very hopeful throughout and has an amazing last dozen pages. Near the end of the book (page 246) I found myself smiling widely and experiencing just about as much pleasure as reading can bring. I loved this book.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Nova Scotia -- Bore Tide Video

Paula took a little video of the bore tide as it came in. Be warned, the video is 21 MB but worth the download!

Click on the picture to see the video.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Last Day in Halifax

Today was our last day in Halifax. I have to say that I'm enchanted with the city, its people, and the province. I do believe we'll be back. I am sunburned from our long hike today and feeling pleasantly tired. Tomorrow is going to be a very very early morning--we're up at 4 am which is 2 am in our home time zone.

While hiking, Paula and I mused about the fact that this is the farthest east either of us has been in North America. Anchorage is probably the farthest west. I boggle at how fast airplanes can get us hither and thither.

This morning we went back to Pier 21 to do some research on my Father and Mother's boats. We got some good information about Dad's boat, but my Mother's boat isn't on record with them.

This is my Father's boat.

After lunch we headed to Point Pleasant for an afternoon of hiking. The park is quite beautiful despite the damage that Juan did three years ago. Even so, the obvious damage the hurricane was responsible for can be seen all around the park.

The squirrels are very friendly, and we don't see very many of the small red ones in our neck of the woods.

There are also quite a few military ruins ranging from those built in the 1700's to 1940's. Its interesting that the buildings erected during WWII are almost gone, while the Martello Tower built in the 18th century is protected as a Parks Canada memorial in GREAT shape.

The scenery is pretty stunning looking out into the water.

All in all, this has been a fabulous little vacation. It hasn't been long enough, but it has been pretty special. It has been very good to be home--at least my home country.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Our Fourth Day in NS

It was our 8th Wedding Anniversary today. It was a really great day. We went to Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove. Both spots were well worth visiting, but there is something pretty special about Peggy's Cove. It is a fishing village with only 60 residents.

They are very patient with all the tourists--we probably saw at least 100. It is on the coastal barrens. Within less than a quarter km, it goes from being thickly treed to almost no trees and lots of glacial granite. There were amazing views. Did I mention that it has been really really hot? Every day the highs have been between 25 and 32 C. For all my American friends and relatives, that is in the 80's.

Pictures then.

The Anniversary Kids

This is a pretty famous view in Lunenburg of three of the five churches in town.

This is the Anglican church

This picture of the Bluenose 2 was taken with a telephoto as it came into port at Lunenburg.

A pic of the Bluenose 2 at port.

Peggy's Cove Coast...wowsers.

The Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove

A picture of the town.

We went to the Five Fishermen for dinner. They have an all you can eat mussle and salad bar. I can eat a lot of mussles. We had a bottle of Chandon bubbly with dinner. I had a sesame encusted piece of yellow tail and Paula had a seafood linguini. While the food was good, and the company was great, I think it was a little pricey for what we got.

Our day ended walking down the pier and then back through downtown Halifax to the hotel. It was a really nice day.

More tomorrow!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Today we drove to Avondale to find a spot where the Bore Tide can be seen well. Originally, we were looking at going to the Tide Bore Farm, which apparently has been closed down. We were very lucky. We found ourselves at a wonderful spot in Avondale.

The tide is so great, that boats are grounded at low tide.

We took a bunch of pictures and sat down with an older couple who wander down most days to enjoy the breeze and the country side. We mentioned that we were waiting on the bore and they let us know we needed to drive up the road to a bridge because the "farm" was closed after the person who ran it died last year.

The tide is pretty crazy. Because of the tides, some rivers that run into the sea run backwards twice a day when the tidal forces are just right. In some cases the tidal bore can be quite a few feet in size. It also raises the river bank significantly in just a few minutes.

The first riverbank shot shows the river a few minutes before the tide.

And then after.

The next two shots show the tide coming in.

After we got back to Halifax, we went to the public gardens. They are quite lovely. They also have very friendly ducks.

Tomorrow we head to Peggy's Cove for a day trip.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Halifax Second Full Day

Well, we slept in pretty seriously this morning. It felt pretty darn good. After a breakfast of Rice Crispies and Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, we headed out. The day was very warm, topping out at about 32 degrees celcius. We headed to the Citadel (which was more for me than Paula), a fort built to defend against the American menace just about the same time as Fort Henry. It went through 4 phases, the first being simply a wood and earthen defence to the final fort that stands today. It is a pretty amazing piece of engineering.

After going to the Citadel, we did a little shopping (which was more for Paula than me) and headed to the pier to scope out the Bluenose. It wasn't at the pier. We grabbed a cone at Cows (which was for both of us, but more Paula than me) and then went to the Granite Tavern--a local brewpub (which was more for me than Paula) where I had a sampler and settled on their IPA.

Tonight we went to a pub for dinner called Rogue's Roost. Paula had poutine for the first time and it left her kind of unimpressed. I had some really delicious mussles, but my fish and chips weren't anything to write home about.

Ok... Now for some pictures...

Flag Pole at the Citadel

Reverse Fire Chamber at the Citadel.

The Citadel Moat.

The Town Clock Tower.

Cool Reflection of a Flag

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