Being that I am usually on the bottom floor of cruises with the animals, it was a big step-up this time to be on deck eight, where we had a balcony that I spent a lot of time on (eavesdropping). As the Carnival Glory pulled into the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the third day of our cruise out of five and our second and last stop, I heard the accented New Yorkers on the balcony say, “Yesterday it looked like we cruised into the Bronx. Today, it’s goddamn Newark.” Ahh, Canada.
After a previous rather disappointing day on the Bay of Fundy, aka the Bay of No-Fundy (I’m sorry) I wasn’t really that psyched to get on another bus with a bunch of dimwitted tourists to go to our next destination, Peggy’s Cove, also located about one hour from the main city. I was even less excited when the irritating tour guide wouldn’t stop yapping about the native flowers to Canada and more culture-y things I don’t care about.
However, as we neared Peggy’s Cove, I started to change my mind, even though the tour guide still wouldn’t shut it. This place wasn’t the touristed-out lake that I paid $60 to visit yesterday. This place, although still reminding me of Long Valley (can’t escape), had an untouched, silent elegance to it that made you think that the people who inhabited these tiny, colorful seaside cottages actually probably had a pretty sweet life, breathing in the sea salt and rocking by on their canoes all day long.
The bus barely made it through the windy dirt roads that neared the edge of the town where a lighthouse sits on rocks next to the water and makes the high point of the place. Even though rain started to fall the second we got off the bus and it wasn’t exactly promising to see people piling on their layers in August, it was very much worth it to be in a place where you could feel a breath of air in the serenity and peace of Peggy’s Cove.
We climbed up and down the rocks, trying not to fall down and tossing wishing stones back into the water, before walking down the dirt roads to spy on the rainbow homes dotting the grass. Cars, swing sets, and boats surround each house, however it seemed that the fact there were tourists didn’t bother any of the gentle inhabitants that called it home. We stayed until it was too cold and too rainy to do anything more before getting back on the bus.
After, we went to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, which is where 121 victims of the Titanic are buried, some of them simply bearing a number because their bodies were never identified and able to be claimed by families. Halifax was the closest port to the resting place of the Titanic, so three ships went out the morning after the crash to gather the bodies, since the lifeboats did not take any of them with them for obvious reasons.
Nova Scotia, and Canada in general, isn’t the most exciting or coolest place in the world. But it sure knows where to gather quiet when it needs it.