Monday, October 17, 2016

Halifax: the Final Day

I woke to my final day in Halifax with the intent to cram as much as possible into those final few hours as possible. The bus was set to depart at 12:45 we my friends and I were all up by 8 and ready to begin our day. However, the weather had other plans. Over night, the final remnants of hurricane Matthew had descended upon the Maritime provinces with blast of strong wind and rain.

So even though we had planned to begin at the Public Gardens, we had to nix that stop or face a drenching. Instead, we decided to head straight to the Museum of Natural History. It was only about a 15 minute walk from the museum to the hotel, which would have been fine...except for the rain.

Those who know we won't be entirely surprised to hear that I wasn't all that prepared for the rainy weather. I'd left both my jacket and poncho at UPEI and wound up thoroughly soaked in the walk. Some of my friends had the forethought to bring umbrellas and were kind enough to share their shelter, but the wind prevented even the umbrellas from being all that effective in keeping off the rain.

Eventually, we tumbled into the museum, dampened form our efforts but ready to explore its archives. The first room was filled with many live reptiles, amphibians, and even a hive of bees (yay!). The next room held a geological history of Nova Scotia from the time of the dinosaurs and onward. Beautiful bird and mammal specimens are on display here, as well as excavated whale and walrus skeletons.

Beautiful honey bee colony in action!
Some of my friends didn't find the bees as wonderful as me

Encountered my first Canadian moose while in the museum!

Another room depicted the history humans in the province from the First Nations peoples of the Mi'kmaq to the European settlements by the French and the British peoples who began to arrive in the early 1600's.

One of the world's most well-known and on-going treasure hunts takes place in Nova Scotia. 
The mystery of Oak Island continues to enthrall many people, 
including my family, and I knew they'd get a kick out of this exhibit. 

Time sped by in the museum and when we once again ventured out into the (now even sronger) rain storm, we had less than an hour left until we were scheduled to depart. After arriving back at the hotel, changing into wonderfully dry clothes, and checking out, it was time to board the bus and we said goodbye to Halifax.
Rainy day last looks at this great city. 

I assumed our departure would be the end of this post, but I'll add an additional weather-induced anecdote. After a couple hours drive, we arrived at the Confederation Bridge that connects the mainland to Prince Edward Island. Because of the strong winds, our bus was too large to safely make the crossing of the 8 mile bridge. Instead, we pulled into a rest stop and waited over two hours for a troupe of vans to arrive and take our group of 30+ people across. Yet even in the vans, the wind pushed back and forth upon the vehicles as the drivers carefully edged their way across the bridge.

--More than a couple people had a death grip on their seat belts during that crossing!--

But finally, we were all safely back on PEI soil, boarded onto a new bus, and deposited back at UPEI...only about 3 hours later than originally planned.

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