Transatlantic cruise Barcelona to NYC part 2


There were beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the ship. We had fancy dinners and watched movies and went to the gym and generally passed the time with no obligations to do anything. It was kind of nice but it could be boring as well. And we inched inexorably towards the US. 


The next stop was Sydney, Nova Scotia in Canada. It was a small town, very pleasant to walk around, and it was nice to get off the ship. The community is very proud of its musical heritage and its ‘largest violin in the world’. A community orchestra played in the small port building near the ship dock. We walked around the town and were happy to find a used book store. The twins made a friend on the ship and we walked around together.

Later the kids returned to the ship and I walked around some more. I checked out St. George Church, the oldest building in Sydney. 


I also enjoyed St. Patrick’s Church Museum, which had a nice exhibit on the native language of the area inside and old graveyard outside. The Mi’kmaq language had hieroglyphics that were documented by missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. 


I really savored this town as it was almost our last before hitting US soil and the end of our trip. We got back on the ship for another day or two of cruising. The best parts were hanging out with my parents and seeing the kids so happy and independent. Fiercely, being a teen, actually had access via her room card to a special elevator key going to the teen hangout on an upper floor of the ship. The other kids enjoyed sleepovers and parties that usually require extra fees but were complimentary on this off-season cruise. All of the kids made friends with kids from other countries, which I loved. Before long we were docking at Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


It was a beautiful day and the waterfront boardwalk was nice. I spent some time at the maritime museum, notable for two historical exhibits of fame for area- the Titanic and the Halifax explosion. Halifax was the closest land to where the Titanic sank in 1912. Rescue teams set out to aid survivors and to document those who did not survive. Here is a transcript from a shortwave radio operator of the messages coming from the ship that night and some recovered objects.

The explosion happened just five years later, on December 6, 1917. This watch stopped at the moment of the explosion, just after 9 am. 

It was a massive event, the largest man-made explosion until nuclear weapons were developed decades later. A cargo ship loaded with explosive weapons collided with another ship and ignited, killing and injuring some 11,000 people in what was then a busy port. All structures within 800 yards were destroyed, it melted metal and snapped trees beyond that radius, and a tsunami devastated a nearby Mi’kmaq community. 

The museum had many other ship-related items such as a lighthouse glass, ship instruments, and displays from foreign lands. 

 

I liked the museum and Halifax. I liked it all the more since this was our last day as world travelers on this trip. Happily, Halifax is drivable from the US east coast and, unlike many places we’ve been, it is reasonable to think we may be back before too long. 

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