Day 73 August 21 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Following our long morning dog walk, i.e., our attempt to poop out the pups, we drove back into downtown Halifax.
We took the Harbour Hopper amphibious boat tour, which started out with a driving tour around the city, and ended up with a cruising tour on the harbor. The tour hosts were entertaining, and we got a good overview of all the cool stuff to see in Halifax.
It was on the Harbour Hopper that I finally found out what the Halifax Explosion was. I thought it was a reference to a music movement, ya know, like the British Invasion, or British Explosion refers to the time when all the great British Bands and British culture became popular in the United States. And I kept waiting to hear about all the great bands coming out of Halifax.
The Halifax Explosion was a huge freakin’ explosion out in the harbor back in 1917. Short story is that a French cargo ship loaded with wartime explosives, had a collision, which started a fire on board, which led to the big KABOOM!! Killed about 2,000 people, injured almost 9,000 others, and obliterated almost all of the buildings within a half-mile radius. The blast was the largest man-made explosion prior to nuclear weapons.
Explosions are cool in the movies….not so cool in real life. But the cool thing that did happen, was that this was the beginning of an everlasting love between Halifax and Boston. Seems that Massachusetts was key in the relief effort, sending doctors, nurses, medical supplies and household goods to help out the people of Halifax. And to this day, every Christmas, the Province of Nova Scotia presents a giant Christmas tree to the City of Boston. And this would also explain why we saw so many people in the city wearing Boston Red Sox t-shirts and caps.
Anyways….safely back on land, we took our own walking tour around the city, and booked a tour of the Alexander Keith’s Brewery. This brewery tour was unlike any other. It wasn’t so much a tour of the actual brewery, as it was an historical reenactment of the history of the brewery. Sounds corny, but it was actually quite fun and really well presented, and we got free beer.
Come evening time, about the only thing left was to find some good live music. And so, we did. We first found an awesome guitar duo playing at The Carleton. And we finished up the evening at Durty Nelly’s, where there was a good old fashioned Ceilidh (kind of an Irish music jam).