Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 11: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today was our full day to spend in Halifax. We started at the Citadel, poking our noses into powder magazines and sentry stations, and generally immersing ourself in 1869 military life. There are excellent films and exhibits there, that we didn’t really do justice to. We were up at the cannon for the firing of the “noon gun”, which was loud enough to satisfy even Will.

From there we went to the Cheelin restaurant, one of the few downtown Halifax “Where to Eat in Canada” restaurants that’s open for lunch. It’s a Chinese restaurant in the brewery market, which is an old building that houses Alexander Keith’s brewery, although they seem to only inhabit part of it. There was only one table seated when we arrived, but it quickly got busy, for good reason; it was noticeably better than your standard Chinese, even the lemon chicken, which I protested to the guys is not really Chinese food. Everything was very fresh and light-tasting, even the lemon chicken, which wasn’t too cloying and sweet. A former staff member from the restaurant was there having lunch with her extended family, and it was nice to see the owner come out and chat with them.

When we asked Will what he most wanted to do in Halifax, he looked over the “Doers and Dreamers” guide and picked the Clay Cafe, a place in the north end of town where you buy pieces of pottery and paint them; they take care of the glazing and firing. I’m not sure why they advertised in a tourist guide, because you need to come back later to pick up your pottery; however, they didn’t mind shipping it to us for a fee, so Will picked out a big mug and painted it with a mix of words and pictures. It should be waiting for us when we get home - his souvenir of the trip!

We didn’t want to head back to the campground until we were thoroughly done for the day, so we grabbed granola bars in the bus and drove back downtown. Will and Mike went back to Buskerfest, and I checked out the store I most wanted to see - “The Loop Craft Cafe”, which appeared to be Halifax’s knitting store. (The website mentioned crocheting and crafting too, but knitting is so trendy these days I was betting on it being the focus). The Cafe part closed at 5pm, right when I got there, but I was able to browse the store, then sit and knit for a bit to rest and relax. I had given up on finding a cross-stitch kit that I liked, but they had the best selection of Foxberry Cottage (Nova Scotia designs) I’d seen yet. I bought one of the Old Town Clock in Halifax, and I also had to buy a skein of Lucy Neatby hand-dyed yarn in the colour “Seashell”. Although the theme is good for a souvenir of the trip, the colours really remind me of cotton candy.

I had an hour to kill after the store closed at 6pm, so I went to the nearest pub for a cup of coffee on the patio. (Another beautiful day - patio weather!). The people at the next table - Kelly, Lindsay, and Lindsay - included me in their conversation, Kelly in particular wanting me to knit sweaters to sell in his shop in BC. He was pretty drunk, but still insisted on giving me his email address.

By 7pm we were ready for dinner, so we stopped at the grocery store and headed back to the campground, treating ourselves to baked beans for dinner.

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