Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 19 of 49 citidel

Today we headed back into Halifax to see the Citadel.  It was amazing.  The reenactors are all college students making money for the summer.  They all did an excellent job. 

 Citadel National Historic Park
 The first fort was simply a small redoubt which stood near the summit with a flagstaff and guardhouse. 
The first major permanent fortification appeared on Citadel Hill in the American Revolution. The possibility of attack during the Revolution required a larger fortification to protect the city from an American or French attack. Built in 1776, the new fort on Citadel Hill was composed of multiple lines of overlapping earthen redans (French word for projection, v-shaped angle toward an expected attack) backing a large outer palisade wall. At the center was a three-story octagonal blockhouse mounting a fourteen-gun battery and accommodating 100 troops. The entire fortress mounted 72 guns.

 A new citadel was designed in 1794 and was completed by 1800. The top of the hill was leveled and lowered to accommodate a larger fortress on the summit. It resembled the outline of the final Citadel, comprising four bastions surrounding a central barracks and magazine, but used mainly earthwork walls.

 The current star-shaped fortress, or citadel, is formally known as Fort George and was completed in 1856, during the Victorian Era, following twenty-eight years of construction. This massive masonry-construction fort was designed to repel a land-based attack by United States forces.

An interesting note with all the fortifications and all on this fort it change hands seven times without a shot fired!!!



The renowned  78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot were stationed at Halifax for almost three years (1869-1871).  A total of 765 men disembarked in full dress uniform. The Regiment was divided into two depots and eight service companies, consisting in all of 34 officers, 49 sergeants, 21 drummers, 6 pipers, and 600 rank and file.

During our visit to the fort there was some kind of demonstration going on.

This is one on the loading and firing of the canon.  At noon everyday since the fort began a canon on the wall is fired.  That canon is still fired today.  It is so loud.  We also had rifle demonstrations too.

There were small pipe bands marching in the compound throughout the day.

One of the handsome military dudes. 

the changing of the guard.  There was a guard posted at the entrance of the fort.  Today the guard is on duty for one hour.  He stands there without moving, other than a few marching maneuvers and steps to keep the blood running.  No facial expressions.

getting ready

changed.  He is now on duty for one hour.  Fun to watch. 

Rog has just dipped his pen in the ink well and is signing up to join the army.  The paper is like the one a man back in the day would sign.  Interesting.

Then he heads over to get his uniform, kilt and jacket. 
At noon they had a concert with the pipes marching and playing with one of the members telling us about the group.  After the performance I asked if they learned to play at the University of Bag-piping on Prince Edward Island.  They said no that they learned here at the fort.  The playing of the instrument is in a group of its own and does not prepare you to play any other kind of instrument.  I was wondering if you learned to play the bagpipes if it would transfer to any other musical instrument.  

The  Town Clock opened on October 20, 1803 at a location on the east slope of Citadel Hill on Barrack (now Brunswick) Street and has kept time for the community ever since.

 This is a wonderful place and we had a great time here. 

I have eaten two more lobsters.  If you going up to the office you can order them he will have them delivered and cook them for you and you take them to your rv and eat.  They are so sweet and wonderful.  I have lost count the number of lobster I have eaten while here so far and I am not done yet.  There is another lobster dinner planned for us with this tour. 
 Tomorrow is a moving day.  This is a heads up in case there is no internet.

Day 18 of 49

We boarded a bus this morning and saw some amazing sights.  I will only be able to touch on a few.  I started the day out discovering that the battery in my camera had only enough power for 10 pix, but the tailgunner of our group loaned me her camera.  I did not really know how to work her camera so did not get some shots I know I would have gotten with my own camera.  But she was a life saver so I could get what I got and I have the battery for my camera in the charger the minute I got in the door. 

We headed down the road to Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.
 Peggy's Cove
 The village of Peggy's Cove was formally founded in 1811 when the Province of Nova Scotia issued a land grant of more than 800 acres to six families of German descent. The settlers relied on fishing as the mainstay of their economy but also farmed where the soil was fertile. They used surrounding lands to pasture cattle. In the early 1900s the population peaked at about 300. The community supported a schoolhouse, church, general store, lobster cannery and boats of all sizes that were nestled in the Cove.  The population today is 34 in the winter, but many more in the summer when peeps like me come and look around. It is mainly an artist village now.

 This is the entrance to Peggy's Cove very small.  Well the whole cove is tiny tiny,

 This is a type of seaweed the locals use around their plants to fertilize them because it is so high in goodies for them. 

There has been much folklore created to explain the name. One story suggests the village may have been named after the wife of an early settler. The popular legend claims that the name came from the sole survivor of a shipwreck at  Halibut Rock near the cove. Artist and resident  William deGarthe said she was a young woman while others claim she was a little girl too young to remember her name and the family who adopted her called her Peggy. The young shipwreck survivor married a resident of the cove in 1800 and became known as "Peggy of the Cove" attracting visitors from around the bay who eventually named the village, Peggy's Cove, after her nickname.
William deGarthe  This is the picture on the cover of his book Peggy of the Cove, 

William deGarthe home once upon a time when he lived at Peggy's Cove.  He painted and also learn how to create art with a chisel. 

He created this piece of art on a piece of granite in his front yard.  This pix really does not do it justice.  

 This is the lighthouse in Peggy's Cove.  This is the most photographed lighthouse ever. This pic was taken from a sight seeing boat we boarded here at the lighthouse. We also saw sea life when a underwater camera was lowered below, lobster and flounder.  On our way back we saw a sunfish on the surface of the water.  I tried to get a pic, but not knowing the camera and the waves in the boat I could not get one in focus.  It was a huge fish and they say they only see them about once a week and they go out a lot.

They have had some very traumatic things happen in the part of the country.  A plane wreck right off the coast at Peggy's Cove with no survivors and the local fishermen were the first to respond.   The wreck of the Titanic close enough so they were the site the victims were brought to for identification and burial.  When 9-11 happened and all planes were grounded many many had to land in Halifax and Newfoundland for days and the locals took them into their homes.    And last year a hurricane hit and leveled trees for miles and miles and shut down the place for days. 

We then headed to Halifax, Nova Scotia to see the sights there.  One of our stops was the gardens.  How beautiful.  Here are a few pix,

On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage. After stops at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, she steamed for New York, USA carrying over 2,200 passengers and crew.
Four days later, on Sunday, April 14 at 11:40 pm, Titanic struck a giant iceberg and by 2:20 am on April 15, the “unsinkable ship” was gone.  In less than three hours, the pride of the White Star Line had become one of the greatest marine disasters in recorded history.
Within days of the sinking, the White Star Line dispatched the first of four Canadian vessels to search for bodies. The first two vessels to carry out this grim task were the Halifax-based Cable Ships Mackay-Bennett and Minia, which recovered 306 and 17 victims respectively. In all, 150 unclaimed victims were laid to rest in Halifax, forever linking the city to the vessel’s tragic tale.
Today, the city of Halifax and the Province of Nova Scotia retain many reminders of the way in which the tragedy of the Titanic touched the lives of those who lived here. From the gravestones of victims, to memorial monuments; preserved fragments of the vessel, to original photographs and documents; stories passed down through generations, to new insights and discoveries; Nova Scotians have remained respectful keepers of the vessel’s memory.

These are graves from the Titanic, the group of shorter ones in this pic.

As the bodies were recovered they were identified by tying a strip of canvas with a number and placing personal items in a bag with the same number.  This number was then used to identify the graves.  This was an unknown number 223.  The 223rd body to be identified.  Sad.  

We are getting up in the morning to have breakfast served to us by the staff and then off to Halifax again to see some more interesting stuff.  Stay tuned.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 17 of 49

Today was a travel day.  We only went 50 miles from Lunenburg to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  

It was foggy most of the night and also when we woke up.  Staying by an active port and wharf we were listening to the fog horn all night.  It really is a peaceful soothing sound.  

We lazed around the camp this morning because we couldn't be in the next campground until 1 o'clock.  This is interesting when you have 21 rigs 60 feet in length trying to pull off the road to kill time.  So we stayed put in Lunenbury to kill that time.  
  This particular spot was not so level.  LOL

  Was foggy the whole 50 miles here, but as soon as we hit the drive of the campground it started raining and we got soaked before we could get the rv all set up.  This is a pic of us all crammed together.  We are only here two days so not so bad.  We do have all the hookups so what's not to like.  The wifi could be better, but I did get this post out in the morning.  We are off to see some site today.  

Halifax facts:
  The war was seen as a blessing for the city's economy, but in 1917 a French munitions ship, the Mont Blanc, collided with a Norwegian ship, the Imo. The collision sparked a fire on the munitions ship which was filled with all kinds of bad bad stuff.  

  Items from the exploding ship landed miles away. The explosion decimated the city's north end, killing roughly 2,000 inhabitants, injuring 9,000, and leaving tens of thousands homeless and without shelter.  The following day a blizzard hit the city, hindering recovery efforts. Immediate help rushed in from far away.  . The most celebrated effort came from the Boston Red Cross; as an enduring thank-you, since 1971 the province of Nova Scotia has donated the annual Christmas tree lit at the Boston Common in Boston.  This is interesting to us because this is where we spent a lot of our time while we were in Boston this summer.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 16 of 49

Weighed in at 25 lbs.
The Museum commemorates the fishing heritage of the Atlantic coast of Canada. Housed in brightly painted red buildings, with floating vessels at wharf side.  

This is a long blog so I am going to just post pix and write and not proof read this tonight.  I have things to do, mainly visit.  LOL

Rog and his seafaring friend

While wooden shipbuilding lapsed in other parts of Nova Scotia with the arrival of steamships, Lunenburg yards specialized in fishing schooners which remained competitive until the 1920s. The most famous was Bluenose built in 1921, a schooner which brought in record catches and won the International Fishermen's Trophy.

The original Bluenose was designed by William RouĂ© and built by the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard in Lunenburg.  She was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, as both a working fishing schooner and a racing ship. This was in response to a Nova Scotian ship's defeat in the International Fishermen's Race for working schooners established by the Halifax Herald newspaper in 1920.
  The results of W.J. Roue's efforts was a sleek looking craft, designed to meet the race rule specifications of 145 feet overall maximum length and racing trim water line length not exceeding 112 feet.

Bluenose soon proved to be an excellent sailing vessel and after a season fishing on the Grand Banks, she defeated Elsie (out of Gloucester, Massachusetts), returning the International Fishermen's trophy to Nova Scotia. During the next 17 years of racing, no challenger, American or Canadian, could wrest the trophy from her. These racing successes earned Bluenose the title "Queen of the North Atlantic".

There was no rest for the champion. When her full sails were not speeding her to the finish line, they were racing her to the fishing grounds where she toiled as a salt banker. As Lunenburgers, and their country, faced the harshest of depressions, the Bluenose was a spirit lift, a beacon in an era of gloom. As she aged, it seemed she might fade away and in fact, when she met her watery grave hauling freight near Haiti in 1946, many feared it was the end of an era.

In the early 1960's the brewing firm of Oland and Sons was planning to build a replica of a Nova Scotia fishing schooner to help promote their new product, Schooner Beer. The result was Bluenose II, built from the original plans in the original shipyard by some of the same craftsmen who had given Bluenose her magic. The keel was laid on February 27, 1963, and she was launched on July 24 of the same year.

Bluenose II was sold to the government of Nova Scotia for $1 and serves as a goodwill ambassador, tourist attraction in Lunenburg, and symbol of the province.

Bluenose II is not allowed to race. It was decided at the outset that she would never jeopardize the reputation of the original Bluenose. However, ships will occasionally test her speed by assuming the same course when she is seen passing; like her namesake, she moves like the wind. Her interior however is very different, having comfortable quarters, a chart room and a spacious salon in the areas where salt and fish were originally stowed.

The majestic image of the Bluenose has adorned the Canadian dime since 1937. She has been portrayed on three postage stamp issues including a fifty cent stamp in 1928 and appears on the Nova Scotia licence plate. The Bluenose legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of Canadians!

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We had a great morning at the wharf and the museum.  

We had lunch in town.  At the museum we were told how back in the day they salted the fish to preserve them and to experience that salted fish today one would go to a restaurant and order fish cakes.  So I order fishcakes and Rog ordered Mac and cheese with lobster.  Both dishes were very good.  

Then for the afternoon we decided since learning Rog's great grandfather was a farmer here that we would head down the road to an 1816 working farm museum.  It was a wonderful experience.  It was truly a working farm with period dressed docents to help explain all.

Ross Farm Museum is a window into the past of Nova Scotia’s rich agricultural history with many things to see and do that the whole family will enjoy. 

The museum is a living, working, farm museum depicting 150 years of agriculture in Nova Scotia. We are a single family upland farm on land originally granted to Captain William Ross.  Ross Farm Museum is still being farmed with Oxen, the way it was in the late 1800s. In Rosebank Cottage, the original home of the Ross family built in 1817, you may see food being prepared over an open fire, straw hats being woven, wool or flax being spun, butter being churned, or many other skills being demonstrated that were daily chores for our forefathers, but are now almost lost.

There is a working blacksmith shop where hardware is produced for the farm and they shoe approximately 30 teams of oxen each year. There is also a working stave mill and cooperage producing barrels, the original workshop where products such as butter churns, spoons, buckets and even snow shoes are made. You also might have a chance to take part in a class in our one room school.

This is the one room school house

Here I am studying hard.
We took the horse drawn wagon to the lower part of the farm and walked back up looking at everything.  This is a team of Canadian horses.  They were designated a breed in 2005.


This is the pumpkin patch.  Students come and plant them and in the fall they come back and pick their pumpkins.  Fun

This is a hay field.  It is planted for the hay cutting contest in the fall.  The men do it by hand with a scythes.

A cooper is a tradesman who constructs and repairs barrel, casks, and other similar wooden vessels, as well as various other wooden utensils and implements.  The trade of coopering has been practiced  in Nova Scotia  since the seventeenth century, probably introduced by early Europeans fishermen whose fleets landed along the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Before the advent of power-driven coopering machines, all coopering was by hand, using unique hand tools to perform the intricate work required to construct a barrel.  Each part of the coopered article was made separately by hand, and the parts assembled to make the finished product.  These barrels and crates  were use to ship everything in those days, like the cardboard box of today. 

The barrels and buckets that he has made there.  Also the tools used to cut the strips they use to band the barrels.

This is the wood he gets from the stave (saw mill) .  They are heated in a wood stove in a special compartment and placed in the form below to form the curve of the barrel. 

The band he is placing on this barrel are strips of wood, notched and overlapped.  The strips are in pic below.

These are the strips he places around the barrel to hold the wooden slats in place.  He will soak what he needs about 24 hour before he uses them.  There was no metal used in the making of these barrels.  It was amazing to watch. 

The oxen hauling the slats to the cooper

They have bells on their necks and I asked why.  Was told it was because back in the day the roads were very narrow in wooded areas and the bells could be heard for miles away.  This way you could find a place to pull over to let the other team by.  Also,  when they stopped for the night they would not tight the team up they would let them graze at will so with the bell they could locate the animal quite easily. Today it is prestige, who can have the best made, sounding and looking bell.  It is a neat sound to hear as we were walking around the farm.  

He is sawing the slats for the barrels

Here you can see the whole mill with the place where they cut the round tops for the barrels. 

Veggie garden with the little patch of green in the left hand corner in the front of the pic is flax.  They plant this to demonstrate the making of linen. 

The wood carver was there making spoons.  This shows the steps in spoon making.  The wood, the board, the first spoon shape is made by using an ax, the second uses a chisel,  and the last spoon the shaping is done with sandpaper.