We had a drivers’ meeting at 10:00AM today to review the route for tomorrow. We will be driving to the Arm of Gold Campground in Cape Breton, NS. This is near N. Sydney, NS and is a distance of 247 miles. The estimated travel time should be about 5 ½ hours.
A tour bus picked us up at noon to take us on a tour of “Historic Halifax.” Our first stop was the Fairview Cemetery, one of three cemeteries in Halifax where victims of The Titanic are buried. When The Titanic sank at 2:20AM on April 15, 1912, more than 1,500 lives were lost (almost two-thirds of the people on board). Only 306 of the bodies were recovered. They were numbered in the order of recovery. Of these, 150 were buried in Halifax with 121 of them buried at Fairview Cemetery. One of the headstones marks the grave of “J. Dawson” but, no, it was not Jack Dawson, Ruby’s love in the movie. Both of those characters were fictional. The similarity in the name is only a coincidence. Most of them only have the victim’s name, date of birth, date of death, and number. Some only have the date of death and number, as they were never identified. However, a few have fancier headstones.
After the cemetery we rode all over Halifax. Actually, most of the group will probably admit that we saw a lot more of the city than we really cared to. Many, many buildings were pointed out to us, including just about every college at Dalhousie University in the event any of us wish to become a dentist or physician. We saw libraries, hospitals, football fields, warehouses, bridges, wharfs where container ships were being loaded or unloaded, churches, schools, parks, hotels, an old folks’ home, and who knows what else.
We also stopped at the Public Gardens, the largest Victorian public garden in North America, maybe the world (I can’t remember). It was indeed a nice place and I found some interesting subjects to photograph, however, probably the best thing about the park was the ice cream because the day was so hot. By the way, I thought that the Historic Gardens in Lunenburg were much prettier.
The temperature was in the 90’s with a high humidity (the “feels like” temperature was over 100 degrees) making it difficult, if not impossible, for the air conditioner on the bus to cope with that high temperature. Halifax is an “Idle-Free Zone,” which means that a bus can’t sit with the engine idling in order to keep the A/C going while waiting on its passengers to get out and look at something. The engine was restarted each time we got back on bus and the A/C had to work hard to catch up. It never did.
After the Public Gardens we rode around some more to make sure we hadn’t missed any buildings in Halifax. Once the guide was sure that we had been up and down every street in the city (some more than once) we were let out at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The most interesting part of the museum was The Titanic Exhibit, which told the story of The Titanic and displayed some of the items recovered from the wreck, 12,500 feet deep. There was also a small theater (perhaps 20 seats at most) with two videos of about 15 minutes each that repeated over and over. One video was about The Titanic and was quite interesting. The other video was not nearly as interesting and was made in 1988. But the room was cool, dark, and a good place for a nap.
After Carol Ann and I had seen enough of the museum we walked down to a Tim Horton’s and had donuts and coffee (to help wake us up). We still had about an hour before we could board the boat for our dinner cruise. After our coffee we walked down to The Cable Wharf, which was where we were to board the boat. Almost everyone else was already there, all scrunched up into the only shade around. Earlier, I had noticed what I assumed to be "our" boat. It sported a sign that read “The Q104 Rockin’ the Harbour Party Cruise”. I was a little worried. Our group did not exactly fit the image of anyone that would be Rockin’ the Harbour. Fortunately, our boat turned out to be the boat next to it. It’s sign read “101.3 The Bounce, Party Cruise.” I thought we would be able to bounce a lot better than we would be able to rock. The dining tables were on the main deck, which was enclosed in glass and was actually a bit too warm. The dinner was a very good buffet and once most of us got our plates we took them up to the second (top) deck where there was a nice cool breeze. There were tables and chairs and the deck had a roof but only a railing around the sides, which allowed us to enjoy the sea breeze and take photos.
After the two-hour cruise we returned to the wharf and boarded our bus for the ride back to the RV Park. I’m sure that everyone was tired and happy to be back, their energy having been drained by the heat. Our air-conditioned motorhome felt like heaven. It is almost 11:00PM so I will stop now.