Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Halifax Nova Scotia

I am finally getting back to posting our Canadian Maritime trip. We just returned from an eight day FMCA rally and mini state park tour.  This was also a fun trip and we will have to plan more of these short trips.

Halifax is the province capital and is an important economic center in the region. It has a diverse industry base including shipping, mining and other natural resource development. It also has several important and tragic shipping events in its history.  The port of Halifax was the closest large port to the site where the Titanic was lost.  Numerous search and rescue vessels were dispatched from here.  It soon became obvious that the bigger effort would be in the recovery of bodies.  Approximately 1500 people lost their lives in the sinking of the Titanic.  The four rescue ships recovered 328 bodies, many of which were buried at sea due to condition.  Over 200 were returned to Halifax, where a few were claimed by families and the rest buried in the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, many not identified.  The cemetery was our first stop on the way into town.

Our second stop was Fort George on CitadelHill.  This fort was established in 1749 to counter the large French fort in Louisbourg.  Over the years it saw extensive improvements as the conflicts between the French and English continued with the largest improvements coming during the American Revolution..  Today, it is a living history museum.  The massive star shaped fort is physically impressive and boosts a commanding view over the city of Halifax and the shipping channel.  As you walk the grounds there are many guides in period dress who will explain the ins and outs of the fort and answer all of your questions.  There are numerous demonstrations on life in the fort.  A museum also displays the history of the Canadian military services.

Our visit to the downtown area included a stop at the maritime museum which has exhibits and artifacts from the Titanic.  You will also learn about the largest explosion to occur before the first nuclear bomb was dropped.  It was a maritime disaster that occurred just a few years after the Titanic. On Dec 6, 1917, the Belgian relief ship Imo collided with the French munitions ship Mont-Blanc in Halifax harbor.  The resulting blast leveled the north end of Halifax.  More than 1800 died and over 9000 injured.  The shock wave broke windows 50 miles away and the blast reportedly could be heard hundreds of miles away. The museum also covers the maritime history of the region and has several vessels to visit. The view from its waterfront piers proves a great view of the harbor.

We attended one of the performances of the annual Tattoo.   This is an international event that combines the traditional military style Tattoo with local entertainment.  There were units from eight countries performing.  It was very entertaining and I only wish the pictures did it justice.


Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

That was a very sad day. Glad to read that so many were returned to their homeland.

I love visiting living history museums. Seeing them in uniform makes it so much more real.

Thanks for the link to the Tattoo. I had no idea what that was. Looks really neat.

Wanderin' said...

That would have been very interesting to attend. The performance must have been fantastic. Look like you walked away with some great photos too.

Sherry said...

I had no idea the Titanic so many from the Titanic were buried in Halifax. What a sad event that was. I also didn't know about the devastating explosion that leveled part of Halifax and in which so many died. Thanks so much for this post. I usually don't do cities but your pictures make me want to change my mind.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

I was fortunate to be able to visit Halifax once during my career, but unfortunately that most of my time was spent working. Did get to see some of the waterfront sights, and still have a return trip (non working this time) on my bucket list.