Having slept off my all-day travelling, I could now explore Halifax (and Dartmouth, to some extent) in more detail!
After having breakfast at our hotel, we set out to get to know Halifax a little better and see some of the sights. Due to the snowstorm mere days before we left for Nova Scotia, the snow was so thick that my feet would get swamped all the way up to my ankle! I had to kick some of it down so I could make my way through.
Making our way down Spring Garden Road, we took a little detour into Victoria Park, where I found the first pigeons I’d seen in Canada (I didn’t see any in St. John’s as I stayed in the airport the whole time we were there). I thought there wouldn’t be any pigeons as it was so cold and I thought their wings would freeze off, but they seemed surprisingly resilient, even puffing up their feathers to keep warm.
As we ventured deeper into downtown Halifax, I began to recognize some of the famous sights which I’d seen so many times on Google Maps while taking virtual tours of the city. We went inside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to relive Nova Scotia and Halifax’s maritime heritage and history, including the Halifax Explosion which had devastated much of the city in 1917 and the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 (many of the victims are buried in Halifax). We even got to meet the Museum’s resident parrot, Merlin, and bought lots of Nova Scotia souvenirs!
After touring the Museum, we took a little walk beside Halifax Harbour, where I got a view of Dartmouth and Georges Island with its lighthouse. We then went inside Halifax’s Historic Properties, home to some historical buildings from Halifax’s past, and then went to Scotia Square Mall to have lunch at A&W and buy a few more clothes for the cold. I snapped a photo of the twin Purdy Towers, often popularly thought to be the ‘landmarks’ of Halifax.
Having eaten, I then felt the Darkside calling. No, I’m not talking about Star Wars, but Dartmouth! We hopped on board a bus going across the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge to get a glimpse of the Darkside. (Dartmouth is to Halifax as Luigi is to Mario – it always seems to be overshadowed by its bigger brother.)
We didn’t stay in Dartmouth for long, but we did go to the Micmac Mall, which is the largest shopping mall in the Halifax Regional Municipality. We just had a relaxing browse around all the shops and had a hot cup of coffee and chocolate at Starbucks (yes, I know… it’s not Tim Horton’s, though I did eat from a Tim Horton’s in St. John’s). I even got to go to EB Games and found a selection of Pop vinyl dolls, just like the Joy doll I got for Christmas at home, and my own IAmMatthewian Project doll designs!
We returned to our hotel exhausted but happy that I’d seen my favourite Canadian city in detail for the first time, just as I’d always dreamt for so many nights for the past five years.