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Sunday, July 12 2020 @ 05:06 MDT

Vacation time

Crünchy ToastWell I've been off on vacation, which is why I've not written much here of late. Two trips were on offering for me. The first trip, Mrs. Evil and I went to Halifax, NS. My second trip was a solo backpacking trip in Banff. Both were wonderful trips.

Mrs. Evil and I chose Halifax for a vacation (as we miraculously both ended up with a few days off at the same time) since neither of us had ever been there. We flew in on Westjet on Sunday the 21st of August, rented a car and let the adventure begin. The adventure being finding our hotel in the dark in a city we'd never been to. But find it we did and we settled in for the night.

The next day we started late, heading into Halifax proper at noon (our hotel being between Halifax and Bedford). We stopped in at a pub called the Split Crow for lunch, having seafood of course (Mrs. Evil's goal was to have something with lobster in it at every meal, she came close, only two of her meals didn't contain lobster). After that we went to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and enjoyed the displays there as well as the ships nearby on static display, the CSS Acadia and the HMCS Sackville. We also saw many a painted lobster around the town in a project similar to the painted cows in Calgary a few years ago.

The next day we headed back into Halifax and went to the Citadel. The Citadel is a fortification built by the British to defend Halifax harbour, which is the worlds second largest natural harbour. We arrived just in time to watch them fire the cannon at noon, a tradition going back centuries to when the cannon firing was used by sailors to reset their ships' clocks for navigation purposes.

After that, we headed down to Peggy's Cove. It's as picturesque as it's reputation claimed. The town is in an area that has been protected from development so the buildings in the town remain the picture of a small Nova Scotia fishing village, even though a lot of the buildings are now engaged in the tourism business. It's nice to see a village survive it's popularity and not lose the quaintness that it was famous for unlike say, the Banff townsite which has become hideously overdeveloped.

We then followed the coastal highway though numerous other small, picturesque villages till we arrived in Lunenburg. Though not that small of a town, Lunenburg is still very picturesque. It's also the home port of the Bluenose 2, which was in town at the time. For those of you who aren't Canadian, the Bluenose (the original) was the fastest schooner of it's day, retiring from it's racing career undefeated. Sold off and wrecked in the Caribbean, the Bluenose was important enough to the Canadian psyche for two things to happen. First, look at any Canadian dime to see the Bluenose under full sail. Second, a second ship, the Bluenose 2 was built by the same shipbuilding company, in Lunenburg, to the same plans and by some of the same shipwrights.

After visiting the Bluenose 2 and a short walk around Lunenburg, we returned to our hotel via the main highway. A faster but less scenic trip.

Our final full day in Halifax consisted of first going on a Harbour Hopper tour. Basically, you climb aboard a Vietnam War era amphibious vehicle and they tour you around Halifax, both the town and the harbour. What's cool is that you get to see the harbour from the harbour, the craft drives right in and you sail away. It was a fun trip.

The second attraction we saw that day was the Alexander Keiths brewery tour. It was well done. Basically the brewery has set up in the original brewery on the harbour front a small working museum. Guides dressed in period costume guide you through the history of the brewery and the some of the brewing process. Of course, with any brewery tour you get samples of product, Mrs. Evil says that the samples were excellent. It was a fun time.

After the tour and supper we headed back to the hotel to get an early sleep as we had to be at the airport at about 5:30 in the morning to catch our flight home.

Since Mrs. Evil had to return to work on the weekend, I went on a four day backpacking trip into Banff. I hiked into the backcountry to a site by Hidden Lake (for those of you who know how Banff names sites, the site was Sk5), just behind the Lake Louise Ski area.

Now, I've hiked the trail before, in fact going farther and over even rougher terrain. I was much younger then and I still can't believe that I made it farther the first time, given how much this trip took out of me (I lost upwards of 4kg in the four days). But it was worth it. I day tripped around the area, scrambling up mountainsides and taking lots of pictures. I hiked out on Monday just in time to be rained on. It was a nice trip.

Alas it's back to work tomorrow...

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