12.09.2011 - 07.10.2011
This is the first blog I’ve done since we were in LA. Kel is more diligent at this stuff than me. However, I’ll try and do a bit of an update now.
Since I last wrote, we spent 10 days in New York, 12 days in Newfoundland and we are now back in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We’re spending a couple of days here catching our breath, i.e. catching up on emails, postcards, washing etc and just chilling out a bit, before moving on to Quebec City on Sunday. Halifax is a nice little place, well not that little I guess, the population is around 300,000 but it’s quite relaxed. Yesterday was rainy so we checked out the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. It was pretty cool because they have an exhibit on the Titanic and some items that were recovered from the wreckage. Halifax was the place that sent rescue boats to the Titanic and it is also where people that didn’t survive the sinking were buried. So it was really interesting.
So back to New York. I loved it, it was my first time there and it was nothing less than it promised. It’s larger than life and non-stop. We stayed in an apartment in Harlem, which was great and convenient as we were able to catch the subway anywhere we wanted to go. Harlem is quite a big area and has diverse neighbourhoods within it, so it doesn’t really live up to the bad reputation that it has from years past. Sure there are still some dodgy areas but you get that anywhere. The area we stayed in had a lot of families, a few schools and churches etc, so it had a community feel which was nice. We did all the touristy stuff in NY like see the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, walked the Brooklyn Bridge etc. Also we checked out Greenwich Village and Chelsea which were pretty cool places to hang out for a coffee and chill out a bit. Kel has been writing up a more detailed blog post for New York so I won’t write too much more here for that.
After New York we flew to Halifax via Montreal, hired a car and drove up to North Sydney at the top of Nova Scotia. The next day we caught the ferry, with our car, over to Newfoundland. What a change of pace from New York! Tiny little towns where people don’t lock their doors, friendly people, beautiful wilderness, lots of space and sooo quiet! Newfoundland was absolutely gorgeous, with one picture-perfect vista after the next each day. We drove all around the island, going right up to the top where you can see Labrador across the ocean and old Viking settlements, and over to the east to the city of Saint Johns which was lovely. A laid-back place but with all the city conveniences but also a bit of a trendy, cool feel. We also went on a boat tour of Western Brook Pond through Gros Morne National Park which was amazing! When they say pond here, it’s not what we think of at home. This was a massive body of fresh pure water, and the tour took us through huge rock faces on either side of the pond. It was a wonderful experience. The Pond is not accessible by car, we walked 3km in to it, so as you can imagine it is a beautiful untouched wilderness.
One of the things you couldn’t miss in Newfoundland was the moose stuff everywhere, including signs on the roadside, moose antlers on people's houses and on their ATVs, as well as moose served in restaurants just about any way you like it. There were moose pies, burgers, stews, stir fries, roast dinner and even bottled moose! We were so keen to see a moose that we started seeing mirages of moose on the roadside! But no luck, and in the end we decided that if we couldn’t see one we might as well see what they tasted like. Kel had a moose burger just like a normal burger pattie with onions, cheese, sauce etc. It didn’t taste too different, but you could just taste that faint hint of something different, a bit like kangaroo. Well, we have another 6-8 weeks here in Canada, so hopefully we will get to see a real live moose soon
We had intended to spend just over a week on in Newfoundland but time kind of slipped away as we enjoyed it so much, and eventually after 12 days we caught the ferry back to North Sydney. We were actually really lucky to get back when we did because the weather turned nasty with high winds and storms prevented any further ferry crossings after ours for the next 2 days.
To sum up, we are really enjoying our trip but you know in some ways it’s not that different to home, ok we don’t have to go to work, fair enough (don’t hate us) but we’ve realised that our life still revolves around several basic things:
1) finding available toilets,
2) deciding what our next meal will be,
3) finding somewhere to sleep, and
4) finding somewhere to do our washing so that we have clean undies!
Anyway, that’s about it for now. I’ve rambled on for long enough. I’m off to have a bit of a walk around and some lunch. We’ll post some more photos soon, and Kel will be blogging later today as well. Hope you are all doing well at home, sending love and best wishes.