After an evening of last minute packing, and finally being on the red-eye as the first of two legs to my personal adventure I was eager to sleep the few hours until arriving in TO. Of course, nothing can go smoothly when heading to such a major centre for air travel and we were diverted before landing to Hamilton due to fog. No biggie...just more opportunity to sleep. However as a result, the window seat I had reserved for my connecting flight to Halifax was lost: something which would suck even more the day I returned to Edmonton when the temperature and conditions made it too hazy to enjoy the departing view.
Our flight was then sent back to TO for our landing and I was quickly shuffled off the plane to another gate to find out when my rescheduled connecting flight to Halifax would take place. I had 20 minutes and passed a Starbucks on the way. As I stood in line for my Mocha Latte I heard my name called three times before I headed to my boarding gate. Nothing like being the last one to walk on to a full plane, with a fresh brewed fancy coffee in hand!
The flight to Halifax was uneventful. Without access to a window I instead opted to review some of the tourist materials I had collected to get a feel for my general plan. Once we landed I quickly picked up my bags and rental car. And so the trip's adventures began.
Aside from adjusting to a strange vehicle not totally positive that I was headed in the right direction the drive in to Halifax was simple enough. That is until I realized the odd layout of the city. Instead of heading the way I planned to reach a large welcome centre right downtown, I found myself in odd marine parts of the business section. However my trusty methodology of 'stay on one road until you figure it out or can't go any further' proved useful. I found my chosen destination and then began the painful search for parking which did not require steep hill navigation.
I wandered the tourist filled pier for a couple hours, and collected MANY information booklets telling me all I could do while I was in this beautiful land. Looking at the architecture of the downtown/Dalhousie University area I knew I would not be disappointed whatever I decided.
My first picture as I walked the water was a busker in normal clothes playing the bagpipes which you could hear for a great distance before actually seeing him. It was because of this music that I chose to turn right instead of left as I meandered. His picture was well timed as a boat passed in the harbour behind him. I walked further past him until I found a bench with a few worthy views where I sat and enjoyed the great weather. Shortly after sitting though a couple ladies approached me asking if they could join me to which of course I agreed. I can't remember how I struck up the conversation with them, but soon we were chatting like we were old friends as they inquired about my trip and my plans for the week.
I connected with the first on the list of 'friends of friends' that I had collected prior to heading out. And soon made plans to meet up and chat. I decided to spend the time in between merely traveling a highway as far as I could with a reasonable return time. By doing so I discovered further confirmation of the beautiful landscape and history present in this province. But first I had to get back to my car which was a few blocks away (and uphill). I walked slowly and in a round about fashion taking a few pictures of the view, an island, a ship, the boat from the Busking Piper again, an old fashioned ship, a building, a wall / fence, the entrance to the old burying grounds...
In those first few hours walking downtown I felt a hint of the girl I once knew very well... the girl that liked to know at all times where she would be, and what she would be doing. But when I convinced myself to breathe through the panic and just wait and see how this first day would unfold I discovered much enjoyment from the freedom and randomness that I had allowed myself. There is nothing more pleasant then driving in unknown directions...missing your turns countless times and doing numerous stop-reverse-turn-around moves in order to actually visit the sites you want...all when it's just you and no one else to answer to.
My first night in this strange place was spent in the spare room of this friend of a friend after a few local beers and a quiet exit the next morning to begin Day 2.
See all the pictures in my photobucket.