As part of my series, Southern-Traveller Heads North, today’s post focuses on Halifax and Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and was one of the first English settlements in Canada. The city itself is a blend of modern office towers, restored historic buildings and a waterfront boardwalk with shops, museums, and galleries.
My first stop after embarking the ship was the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. I have to admit that my first thought was, I don’t want to spend my limited time in a musty, old museum. But, I was pleasantly surprised as I explored Canada’s newest national museum. It is beautifully designed (just re-opened in May 2015 after being renovated) and offers many interactive activities to keep not only kids, but adults engaged.
First-person stories with archival photos and artifacts bring the history of emigrants to life. Guests are invited to add some of their own history to various exhibits throughout. The restored historic site tells the stories of 1.5 million immigrants, war brides, displaced people, evacuee children and Canadian military service personnel who passed through its doors 1928-1971.
Peggy’s Cove is one of several small fishing villages on the eastern shore of St. Margaret’s Bay. While Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses, Peggy’s Point Lighthouse (established 1868), perched atop a huge granite ledge is one of Nova Scotia’s most famous lighthouses and is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in Canada.
The small village is quite a tourist destination and it’s almost impossible to get a photo of the lighthouse without people around unless you come early morning or late evening. However, some of the most scenic shots to photograph can be found by just walking around the small village. Quaint inlets with boats, wooden buildings, lobster traps and buoys provide a wealth of photographic material.
The village itself is likely named after Saint Margaret’s Bay (Peggy being the nickname for Margaret), which Samuel de Champlain named after his mother Marguerite. Another interesting site, approximately 1 km northwest of Peggy’s Cove, is a memorial to the victims of Swissair Flight 111 which crashed into St. Margaret’s Bay on September 2, 1998.
(Article & photos by Sandra Chambers © 2015)