Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Bucket List

I got the idea to create a bucket list from the movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson with the same title. I saw it one Sunday afternoon on TV while I was trying to get rid of my writers block. Here is a list of the Top 30 things I want to do in Nova Scotia before I get old and hopefully be able to blog about my adventures. There are a few things that not everyone would enjoy doing but some are not so outrageous; it’s just that I have never done them before, or have and been too young to remember.  

So here’s a list of 30 things I wish to do in the next two years. If you have any advice, please let me know in the comment section. 
  1. Handgliding 
  2. Ziplining
  3. Portage in Kiji
  4. Whale Watch on a Zodiac
  5. Subbie River Rafting
  6. Drive the Cabot Trail in a convertible with top down.
  7. Kayak Cape Chignecto
  8. Learn to surf
  9. Wine tour
  10. Red Shoe Pub
  11. Ghost walk in Annapolis Royal
  12. Do all the Brewery tours in Halifax in one day
  13. Take a picture of all the lighthouses on the Lighthouse Route
  14. Go to Sugar Moon Farm
  15. Hike Crystal Falls, Nova Scotia
  16. Free Wheel Adventures Bike tour of South Shore
  17. Attend Evolve Festival
  18. Attend the Wharf Rat Rally
  19. Go scuba diving
  20. Go to Bear River
  21. Fish for Atlantic Salmon and catch one
  22. Stay at Fox Harb’r
  23. Stay at the Train Caboose
  24. Attend Harness Racing in Truro
  25. Ski at Wentworth
  26. Attend the Wild Blueberry festival
  27. Attend the Lavender Festival at Lavender Farms near Tatamagouch
  28. Take a Cruise on Silva Q104 Party boat
  29. Sherbrooke Village
  30. Kayak in the Minas Basin and then walk the ocean floor in the exact same place I kayaked just a few hours before
WARNING: List is subject to change at any moment, particularly in length.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month commemorates the date of the end of the First World War so in all Commonwealth countries like our own, a day of remembrance is observed in memory of those who were lost to us while “fighting the good fight”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m am a Canadian and I strongly believe in peacekeeping rather than policing or invading Countries without concrete reasons but I do believe that Remembrance Day is important since it does play a big role in reminding us that there is always a human cost to war. 

Nowhere in North American (with the exception of maybe Hawaii) knows more about this than those who lived in the Navy port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since we are the closest port to the European allies with a deep harbour that does not freeze, we played a significant role in supply routes across the Atlantic Ocean.  War time was not a fun time in Nova Scotia. In fact, Halifax Harbour is the site of the Halifax Explosion which happened when two ships collided, one carrying a full load of ammunition en route for Europe during WWI and is still the largest man-made non-nuclear explosion to date and is responsible for killing approximately 1,800 civilians almost instantly and levelling most of the downtown area..

Picture of the Devastation caused in Downtown Halifax a few days after the Halifax Explosion

WWII was no walk in the park for Nova Scotia either. Germany U-Boats swarmed our coastlines looking to pick off any ship that could possibly be carrying any supplies to the allies in Europe.  Blackouts were mandatory to keep the U-Boats from detecting the city, and an influx of sailors caused shortage of infrastructure and housing spaces. The constant anxiety of another collision and the devastation that follows, permeated the province. So on November 11th, Nova Scotia honours all those who have sacrificed both big and small and also remembers the lessons learned in WWI and II, to resolve issues and conflicts before it’s too late and give peace a fighting chance.
An aerial view of the merchant ship awaiting Naval Escort in Bedford Basin at the mouth of Halifax Harbour

Here is a video from the Nova Scotian artists, The Trews, called Highway of Heroes which marks the journey that our fallen soldiers make when they return to Canada before being laid to rest.