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Published: July 26th 2016
I am at my final type of accommodation on this trip - ye olde Bed and Breakfast! I didn't remember that I had booked such a place, but I'm glad that I did. It is also the most expensive place I booked in Canada. But so far, this makes for my 6th type of overnight - at a hostel, with friends, using airbnb, a straight-up hotel, a dorm, and now a B&B. If we wanted to split hairs, I could even say that my 'hotel' in Saint John was actually a 'motel,' but it's basically the same thing from my perspective.
Now, I didn't start the day here. I woke up still in Halifax, NS, in my dorm. I woke up earlier than I had expected, mainly thanks to the sunrise. But I had plans to go places, so I didn't feel too bad about an early start. My first stop was the Point Pleasant Park, at the southern end of Halifax. It's a free park with free parking, a rarity in Halifax. I found signs for a 'Shakespeare by the Sea' company that puts on almost nightly performances in the park. I'll have to check that out when I'm
back in town. There are bits of fortifications scattered at various locales around the park, since it used to be the site of a fort. Some places are in better condition than others, but there's really not much to see in general. Most people use the park to walk or bike or take their dog. My favorite part was the seaside trail. It was my first up-close view of the Atlantic on this trip; it was also my last, since I'm now heading in the opposite direction. While I was enjoying the view, several dogs came by and waded into the tides, just enough to get thoroughly wet before heading back up to find their humans. As I made my way along the trail, some monuments appeared, and I've included photos of them. It's just a very relaxing place to go and walk or sit and people-watch. Or tide watch. Or watch the shipping and the big metal cranes. The sound of the surf makes it soothing. I was probably there for 45 or 50 minutes.
My next stop was breakfast. I had read that one of the best places in town, and centrally located, was Annie's Place. I
was not misled. The food was reasonably priced and cooked to order. I had bacon, eggs, and toast. The toast was very thick and so good. The main story from the restaurant, though, was the lady I met who, as soon as I walked to the counter, asked if I went to TCU. I was wearing one of my TCU shirts, so her question wasn't some kind of random mind-reading. I swear, I've gotten more comments and questions from people associated in some way with TCU than with anything 'Georgia' that I've worn. Anyway, she was originally from Fort Worth and now lived outside of the DFW area. She was asking about my future plans after I told her I was graduating in 5 days (!!!) and then proceeded to tell me about her whole family and their higher-educational experiences all over Texas. Once I ordered my food, she asked me to join her, so I did, and we talked about travelling and fast-food hamburgers, of all things. One thing she did say, and with which I totally agree, is that solo travelers typically tend to be engaged in conversation by strangers more than people travelling in pairs or groups.
And our conversation is apparently exhibit A. She is retired and a grandmother who seems to travel solo, despite still being married. Halifax is one of her favorites, and she said she was in town for a month this summer (she returns every summer, the Texas heat being one of the reasons). Sometimes she comes with family, sometimes not. At the moment, she was all alone and told me that I had made the right decision about breakfast. She had some helpful suggestions, as did Annie, the restaurant owner/cook. As I said, next time I go, I'll have plenty to occupy my time.
After breakfast, I walked over to the Halifax Citadel, literally right across the street. It's the highest ground in town, and it still contains the fort that was built in the early 19th century. Admission was pretty cheap, and most of the place is a go-at-your-own-pace type of experience. They did have a guided tour that I'm glad I hopped on; it had already started, but it didn't look like they minded latecomers. A man in a Scottish uniform gave us the tour, taking us to several important places within the fort. One of the stops
was a rifle demonstration, and I was unaware of the development of the modern rifle and its lethal impact on military tactics that took far too long to take the new technology into account. We saw the signal posts up close and even visited the trench outside the main walls. The guide was an amiable fellow, which I'm sure helps with some of the inane questions that people asked. After the tour, I visited the World War 1 trench exhibit - the lady from breakfast had recommended it - where I also picked up some seeds from Flanders poppies, which were set up on a table at the start. Grow your own! I talked to a soldier in full WWI woolen uniform about how hot that must've been and we both agreed that it would've been pretty miserable in the summer. At several points during my time in the fort - a total of 2 hours, give or take, the 'soldiers' played bagpipes and even formed a small band on the 2nd level of the visitor center. As I was about to leave, I noticed that the exit had been blocked because they were about to shoot off the noon
cannon. I hadn't planned to be there for that, but since I was, I made my way to the ramparts and watched and listened. Apparently, people around town to this day still wait for that gunshot to go on their lunch breaks. Tradition.
The rest of my day was spent driving. For 6 hours and 20 minutes. I only stopped once, to refill the gas tank. Besides that, there's not much else to tell. Edmundston is right on the border with Maine. Only a river separates them. I could see back into America at several points in the final hour of my trip since the road almost hugs the river. You'll have to wait for me another week, USA. My B&B is probably the nicest place I've paid for so far on this trip. The lady asked me what time would be good for breakfast and that she would be happy to serve me at their dining table in the morning. I have keys to the house and to my room, with my own private (and nice) bathroom. And now it's raining, which is making me sleepy. I didn't think I'd be so tired today, but walking 10,000 steps
before noon and then driving 6+ hours will take it out of you. I'm looking forward to sleep and to breakfast in the morning.
Tomorrow, I head to Quebec City, Quebec, and back into Eastern Time. I hadn't taken that into account, because it's a 3-hour drive and the place I'm staying in Quebec doesn't allow check-in until 2PM. Which is like 3PM here, and I think it would be quite obnoxious to hang out at these people's house until noon. I honestly don't even know what time check-out is here. My breakfast is at 8. I guess I'll find something to see in Edmundston or stop for a really long lunch once I hit Quebec. Oh, and I should say that this part of New Brunswick is considered Acadian, which is French-speaking (the word 'cajun' is a slack way of saying 'Acadian'). New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that is officially bilingual - all the road signs are in French and English. But as I got closer to my stop today, the billboards and local signs became French-only. That's how it'll be in Quebec, too. It's a good thing I bothered to get that master's in
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