know the facts: Halifax

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Facts: Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia.  Sidney Crosby is from Halifax.  Halifax rules.

Halifax is one of the economic hubs of this region, with a ton of history as a bustling seaport.  The site of the Halifax explosion of 1917 and also the closest land to the Titanic wreck, this city has seen its fair share of disastrous events.  It’s also home to one of the most iconic sights of Canada, Peggy Cove lighthouse.

facts on ‘fax

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The thing to see in Halifax is Peggy’s Cove, a fishing village in picturesque St. Margaret’s Bay.  This quaint town is home to Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, a comely structure to which all other lighthouses should aspire.  This literal beacon of light sits atop craggy granite boulders and is as classic an Atlantic maritime scene as you can see.

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Located about 43 km away from the main city, it is definitely worth the trek.  Legend has it that the town was named after the lone survivor of a shipwreck, a little girl named Peggy.   How come lighthouses often have such morbid backstories?

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I was able to see the full gamut of weather, from foggy AM with rough surf to bright and sunny calm.  There are shops and restaurants around the town, but the main event is Peggy’s lighthouse.

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After you head back into town, the easiest way to see the whole city is via Hop On Hop Off.  They have antique double decker buses from England that will take you on a loop of the city.  Be sure to plan out your routes as it can take awhile for the buses to return to pick you up.

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My first point of interest was the Halifax Public Gardens.  This sprawling park is so peaceful, filled with gorgeous landscaping, gazebos and reflection ponds.  The perfect place to enjoy a picnic or a respite.  The dahlias are so pretty!

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It’s a quick uphill walk to the next site which is the Citadel of Halifax.  This is a national historic site, as Halifax is on the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia, this fortress had to serve as the lookout for any nefarious comers.  Every hour, there is a changing of the guard, and at 12 PM, there is a canon shot (just like in Edinburgh).

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It, of course, sits at the top of a hill and overlooks the harbor.  The Halifax Town Clock is another iconic structure, looming over the wharf.  From this point, it a very easy amble through downtown.  There’s a lot of financial outposts here, along with your typical chain retailers and a rare Starbucks sighting.

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Argyle Street has a lot of bars and cafes, Spring Street is where all the shopping happens.  There’s also one of the coolest libraries in the world, the Halifax Public, which is designed to look like a stack of books.

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Hop back on the bus at the Cathedral to be driven about town, passing the historic Abbott neighborhood, the Titanic cemetery and back to the wharf.  I didn’t have time to go to the Maritime museum, but there is a huge collection of artifacts from the Titanic shipwreck.

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Halifax wharf is a nice long boardwalk with a smattering of shops and food shacks.  This is where you can catch a ferry across the bay to the up and coming suburb of Dartmouth.

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Once known as the sketchy part of Halifax, it is slowly becoming the Brooklyn of Halifax; the ferry is only about 10 minutes and on the way back you get a view that can’t be beat.  It’s a beautiful skyline befitting a beautiful city.

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