Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ann & Dave's big trip to THE CITY (or: mini-walking tour of Halifax)

Dave and I thought when we moved to the country that we'd probably get back to the city quite regularly, but as its turned out, we only go in about once every 6 months or so. So, it's a big deal when we do leave the country and head to the city. Today we thought we'd hit a few used book stores and wander around a bit. :)

This is me on the ferry, just before we leave the Dartmouth shore. You can see the MacDonald bridge in the background, one of the two bridges that span the Halifax Harbour.

This is a shot of the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal. The building complex houses the ferry terminal, bus terminal (you can use transfers to go from a bus to a ferry without paying an extra fare, they're all part of Metro Transit), the largest public library in Dartmouth, restaurants, convention centre & art gallery, Saturday Farmer's Market, and a theatre company.

Here's a better shot of the MacDonald bridge, and you can see the second, MacKay, bridge in the background. Can you tell that our province really WAS settled by a large proportion of Scots? :) Nova Scotia is New Scotland, after all... And note the notice on the ferry, to warn people that you might hear a foghorn in fog - it might be suprising if you hadn't heard one before!

Here's some shots of the Halifax Waterfront, as we go by on the ferry. The two blue buildings out on the water to the right are the Purdy's Wharf towers, full of businesses/offices.

Here's the ferry we traveled on, waiting to take more people back across the harbour. It's a great ride, especially in the summer time, on top - smooth ride, only takes about 10 minutes, and great views of the harbour with a nice ocean breeze.

Here's a shot from the corner of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road, looking down Barrington street. There's a modern building on the left (an apartment building, with art supply and book store on street level), but further down you can see some of our more historical buildings mixed in (keep in mind, of course, that Halifax was flattened in 1917 by the largest non-nuclear explosion the world had seen, so many of our really historic buildings were destroyed).

This is the beautiful St. Mary's Basilica (Roman Catholic), adjacent to the apartment buildings in the picture above, on Spring Garden Road. Great stained glass, great architecture. They have a really nice Sunday Morning service at 11 am, if you're interested; the choir is lovely.

Across the street from the church is the Old Halifax Burying Ground (originally associated with St. Paul's Anglican Church (the oldest Protestant place of worship in Canada), up the road on Barrington Street, but eventually came to house the all deceased from the local Halifax area. No fresh burials in over 100 years, so the people buried there are Haligonians from the 17 and 1800s. Mike Campbell (another Scottish name!) :) has a great picture tour of Halifax, and more information on the Burying Ground here.

This is a shot of Spring Garden Road. If you look carefully, you can see the bottom of the Basilica far up the road. But you can also see a van-type vehicle parked on the side of the road, in the left of the picture. That is Bud the Spud (named for the famous song by Stompin' Tom), and they have sold french fries there since the 1970s. They are very much an institution in Halifax, there's always long lines there in the summer time. If you look during the winter (you can't see it in the summer because, of course, he's parked there), you can see that there is a special parking zone painted & labeled on the street for him. :D

In between taking the pics, we hit a few used bookstores, and we got some great summer reading material. All of these are on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax.

- John W. Doull, Bookseller - A massive bookstore, piled to the rafters (literally!) with books of every kind, including lots of rare ones (but I find it's so warm inside that it's hard for me to stay as long as I'd like). :)
- United Book Exchange - Air conditioned, which we greatly appreciated. :) Has a good selection, from romance to mystery & horror, and popular fiction.
- Dust Jacket Books & Treasures - My favorite. Huge selection, easy to browse, has everything from current titles to hard-to-find items.

Here's a great list of all the used bookstores in Nova Scotia, if you want more: