Lighthouses, lobsters and the romance of the Atlantic Ocean – these what usually draw tourists to Canada’s Nova Scotia province. And for good reason, I found out as I arrived one late spring day at Halifax’s Stanfield International Airport – the first thing that greeted me was a cheery stall selling the bright red crustaceans. Indeed, Nova Scotia can lay claim to being the largest lobster region in Canada but as I discovered over a weekend stay, this province offers a merry mix of maritime delights.
My introduction began in the provincial capital of Halifax, a fascinating hilly city with a harbor that carries the same name. From its foundation in 1749, Halifax’s development has always been tied to the sea. At the charming waterfront, the bustle of downtown comes alive at a three-kilometer stretch of museums, tourist shops, food stalls, restaurants, hotels and the city’s main ferry terminal. This area has been a center of trade since the 19th century and that tradition lives on at the Historic Properties, a collection of period stone and timber-frame structures originally built as warehouses but today have been repurposed as modern retail outlets.
At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax’s history with the sea is chronicled through a fascinating exhibit of boat crafts and models as well as a stirring exhibition of the Halifax maritime disaster of 1917, considered the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
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