Every day in Halifax, it gets colder and the snow becomes deeper. So much so that my trip out today had to be dramatically cut short, because the cold was almost unbearable even with warm clothes on.
Despite this, I still managed to have a little walkabout through some of the roads of Halifax I hadn’t gone down the other day. We still ended up at Victoria Park like before, but we took a different route down Brunswick Street (not like New Brunswick, this is Nova Scotia) and came across another one (or two) of Halifax’s landmarks – the Citadel Hill and the historic clock tower.
Every day at 12pm, a gun is fired on Citadel Hill for the remembrance of Canadian soldiers in the two World Wars. Halifax was a prime defence fort for several centuries, built by the British military in the 18th century. As I was warned beforehand, the gun is very loud – probably about 90 decibels – and it almost sounded like there was another Halifax Explosion happening, as the blast resonated across the harbour to Dartmouth!
We then made a hazardous descent down the icy hill to a pizza place in downtown Halifax, where we kept ourselves out of the cold with a cheeseburger, chips and a chocolate cheesecake. (Lots of alliteration there!) I even got to chat to a few of the restaurant staff about their life in Nova Scotia, with one of them mentioning that one of his colleagues had a cottage near Pictou.
As we went back outside, the snow restarted, and the cold got even worse – it was now -10 Celsius, according to the weather forecast! (This might be the coldest I’ve ever experienced!) We had to take further shelter in a mini-mall on Spring Garden Road, where I bought some sweets, chewing gum and some atlases of Nova Scotia, and inside another mini-mall at the junction with Robie Street where we kept ourselves warm with a hot chocolate from Starbucks.
On the way back to our hotel, I saw some kids on sledges sliding down a hill in a snow-drowned park just off the street. The snow was so deep it went up to my knees, and they were becoming wet and cold! It was still fun to have a bit of a snowball fight with the other kids and watch them go sliding down the hill in the snow!
While it was a little disappointing that I couldn’t explore Halifax a little more this time due to the bad snow, I could still re-discover what a real Canadian winter looked like.