Thursday, September 27, 2012

Halifax, Nova Scotia - Day 1

The lure of the east coast has been in the back of my mind for a long time and yesterday I finally got my first taste of all things maritime as I headed to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was lured here for school first (I will present my master's research at a conference this weekend), but the beauty of Nova Scotia is the second lure, and may keep me here!

My first day was conference free and I took advantage of it to see as many sights as I could. Tops of the list is the Halifax Citadel, one of the oldest fortifications in Canada, 28 years in the making. I have long been in love with photos of this fortress and today I got to set feet on the walls, peer through the cannon holes and see the panoramic view of the Halifax harbour the Citadel protected. I happily spent a couple of hours wandering the walls and listening to the guided tours. My life is complete!

But the fun didn't stop there. I wandered further up the hill and inland to the Public Gardens in the heart of Halifax. This large green space emulates Victorian gardens of the day. With the proximity to both St. Mary's and Dalhousie universities, the space was full of students strolling, sitting, studying and feeding the ducks. It was a beautiful lunch-time stop for me.

I headed back towards the waterfront, my sights set on Pier 21 - one of the first immigration posts people encountered when heading to Canada from the 1800s to 1960s. On the way I couldn't help but snap some photos of the colourful Halifax housing.

Once I arrived at Pier 21 my mission was to see if I could find the landing records of my great-grandfathers' William "Scottie" Lauder and Albert Brunsdon. As luck would have it I was able to find records of them both. Printed copies safe in my luggage I know my parents will both be thrilled to have one more piece of their ancestry revealed.

The landing papers for my great-grandfather William "Scottie" Lauder

Finally I was ready for a little fun, and something to wet my whistle so I walked along the waterfront and eventually came to the Alexander Keith's brewery. Around since the early 1800s Alexander Keith's is an institution across Canada but no more so then in the home brewing town of Halifax. Still brewing from it's original location we were treated to a campy, acted out tour complete with singing, dancing, storytelling and of course - beer!
 Alexander Keith's brewery!

 A little song with our ale
 Rumor is Mr. Keith built this exact tunnel between his house & the brewery
The day wasn't quite finished as I connected with my friend Monica for dinner and more beer. I met Monica this summer in Vermont and she is enthusiastic to show me her hometown. I feel more adventures are to come!

I'm a tired panda tonight and should get some zzzzz's soon. Tomorrow is my day to present but I'm ready for the challenge. Stay tuned for more pictures and stories :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh how wonderful that you found your family's records! It looks so beautiful. Love the houses! A-M xx