Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

24 September 2019:
Halifax, Nova Scotia:
The Great and Terrible Harbor

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Through the many entries in this blog, you can read about the great harbor of Halifax, and about the terrible explosion during World War I that killed and injured thousands. Today Halifax is booming in a good way, with waterfront condominiums and office towers and its cruise port is sometimes home to four or five ships at a time.

Halifax remains one of our favorite places to wander. A block or two in from the harbor shows the trading heart of the port and up on the hill is the old British Citadel. There’s also the lively student-city-within-a-city of Dalhousie University, and nearby to that the lovely old-fashioned Public Gardens, now shifted to fall colors.

And an easy drive across the island province of Nova Scotia brings you to the beauty and wonder of the Bay of Fundy, home to some of the highest tidal variations in the world.

Variety is a good thing.

Today the schooner Bluenose II was in port. The original Bluenose was launched on 1921 as a coastal fishing vessel and quickly became an unofficial symbol of the Canadian Maritimes. It foundered in 1946, but a replica took to the seas in 1963 and today serves as a grand ambassador of the region and indeed, the nation. I carry a portrait of her in my pocket… on the front of the Canadian dime.

Bluenose II in Halifax today
The Public Gardens, near Dalhousie University
Decorations on the facade of the handsome Bank of Nova Scotia
Inside the bank

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

23 September 2019:
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia:
The Failed French Bastion

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Louisbourg is about 20 miles southeast of Sydney, on what was once a particularly lonely piece of coastline in Nova Scotia.

The times we have visited—even in summer—it has often been shrouded in fog and mist, sometimes nearly wintry. Today was reasonably temperate, but very windy; we were lucky to be able to anchor the ship and get ashore.

Here’s our ship at anchor:

Silver Wind seen from Fortress Louisbourg today

The principal attraction here is the Fortress of Louisbourg, a partial reconstruction of the 18th century fortress. The French named the port Havre Louisbourg after King Louis XIV. And the Fortress of Louisbourg was made the capital of the colony of Ile-Royale.

The location on the southernmost point of the Atlantic coast of Cape Breton Island was chosen because it was easy to defend against British ships attempting to attack Quebec City. The fort was also built to protect France’s hold on one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, the Grand Banks.

South of the fort, a reef provided a natural barrier, while a large island provided a good location for a battery. These defenses forced attacking ships to enter the harbor via a five hundred foot channel.

It was given the nicknames ‘Gibraltar of the North’ or the ‘Dunkirk of America.’

The original fortress, constructed between 1720 and 1740, was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications in North America.

The expense was so great that King Louis XV was said to have joked that he should be able to see the buildings from his Palace in Versailles.

Louisbourg was a large enough city to have a commercial district, a residential district, military arenas, marketplaces, inns, taverns and suburbs, as well as skilled laborers to fill all of these establishments.

For the French, it was the second most important stronghold and commercial city in New France, behind only Quebec City. In 1719, the fort was home to 823 people. The population would eventually reach more than four thousand.

The fort was surrounded by two and a half miles of wall. On the western side of the fort, the walls were thirty feet high, and thirty-six feet across. On the eastern side of the fort, fifteen guns pointed out to the harbor.

That said, it had a fatal flaw: its design was based on protecting against assaults from the sea. The back door, the defenses facing toward the land were relatively weak. And that, of course, was where the principal attack occurred.

The British would go on to advance into the Saint Lawrence River valley to take Quebec City and displace the French from New France.

The British ended up destroying the fortress and it lay in ruins for two centuries. In the 1960s, the Nova Scotia and Canadian governments helped pay for a massive reconstruction based on the original plans, creating a tourist attraction and providing much-needed jobs for unemployed coal and steel workers in the region.

Today dozens of locals work as interpreters.

Other Visits to the Fortress

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

1 November 2018:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Banking on Beauty

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I’ve been in Halifax dozens of times, and greatly enjoy the mix of architecture: old wooden wharves and ship’s chandlers along the water, solid stone offices and banks in the commercial center, and modern glass cubes that mirror the view all around.

Today I set out on a photo expedition that led me into a 1930s wonder, hidden in plain sight.

The Bank of Nova Scotia, on Hollis Street, is easy to pass if you are distracted by the impressive Province House and the Citadel above.

But today, as I turned the corner, I stopped to admire its design: many old banks were designed with a salute to the local economy and to project the solidity of the financial institution within. That is very much the case here.

Built in 1930, it is very much a classical design inside and out, with some subtle–financially conservative–flourishes of Art Nouveau.

The building is surrounded by a cornice with medallions of old French, English, Canadian, and Nova Scotian coins. Other decorations include seagulls, Canadian geese, bear, silver fox, codfish, and beaver.

When I finished taking photos outside, I opened the massive doors to the bank, fully expecting to be body-slammed by a security guard; instead I was welcomed within.

The main banking hall has a 33-foot (10-meter) ceiling, with some handsome metallic lighting pendants.

And then I turned around to look above the main doors of the bank and saw a handsome mosaic that depicta the arrival of the Cunard steamship Brittania on her maiden voyage. Samuel Cunard, founder of the shipping company that still bears his name, was born in Halifax. His parents were Loyalists who fled north after the upstart Americans declared rebellion.

The Brittania was launched in 1840, one of four ocean liners in the first years of the company: Brittania, Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia.

Charles Dickens crossed the pond on Brittania to Boston in 1842, and did not much enjoy the voyage. He wrote about it in his book, “American Notes.”

Elsewhere in town I stopped to photograph the old schooner Silva, and a collection of wooden pulleys and equipment nearby.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

30-31 October 2018:
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Northeastern Pumpkin Time

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

It has been a stormy few days in Canada, and our plans to visit Saguenay Fjord were blocked by bad weather in the watery canyon,

and then our planned call at Baie-Comeau on the Saint Lawrence River were actually blown away by high winds that damaged the dock.

Instead, we had an extra day in Quebec City, and after an unplanned day at sea an extra afternoon in Sydney, on the island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.

The fall colors were somewhat dimmed by the storms, but I still found much to point my camera at:

The Pier at Sydney, Nova Scotia, in the land of the Ceildh or Celtic Barn Dance.

A glorious tree…

and the same scene with a bit of photo magic: a virtual oil painting.

I went with guests to the Eskasoni reserve, home to several thousand Miq’Maq indigenous people. They work hard to keep alive their language (part of the Algonquian group) and their culture.

Roasting bannock (a native bread) on an open fire.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

21 October 2018:
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Peeking at Colors

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The colors of autumn are spectacular, but fragile. They appear when the temperature and water levels are just so, and can begin to fade or blow away with the arrival of storms.

We are once again in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton and this sleepy town is beginning to lose its brightest colors.

But a glistening sheen from light rain and a few tricks of the photographer (me) cast a different light on them.

Here is some of what I saw today:

I found a spectacular red tree:

And the same tree treated as if it were an oil painting:

And a scene in Wentworth park, solarized for art’s sake:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

20 October 2018:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Shades of Gray

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are back in Halifax, a handsome port that glows in the sun. Today we are in the cold rain of autumn. Just like its history: today Halifax is written in shades of gray.

In September 1943, during the dark days of World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill came across the Atlantic for a conference of the Allies in Quebec.

He then made a visit to Hyde Park, New York to see American President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

From there he came to Halifax.

Halifax was the most important gathering place on this side of the pond for the Atlantic convoys bringing food, supplies, and men to Britain and later to Russia.

Meeting the town mayor Churchill was said to have declared, “now, sir, we know your town is more than a shed on the pier.”

Despite the security risks, he insisted on taking his morning constitutional, something that is commemorated by an evocative statue in the Spring Garden area near Dalhousie University.

From Halifax, he was met by the cruiser Renown, which brought him home. News of Churchill’s visit was kept secret for a week until he was safely back in London.

THE OTHER SIDE, ANOTHER TIME

The island of Nova Scotia’s tangled history includes Le Grand Derangement, the Great Disruption.

That occurred when the British expelled thousands of French Catholics from the region known as Acadia. It was a sad story, with little in the way of defense for the events.

On a recent visit to Halifax we drove west to the shores of the Bay of Fundy, and there we found one of the Canadian government’s remembrances of the events at a place called Grand Pre.

Today it is a peaceful and lovely spot:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

12 October 2018:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:
The Great Harbor

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are back in Halifax, a handsome city with a lively waterfront. Today, the harbor was deeply enveloped in fog, with bands of heavy rain heading our way. We put on our anoraks and pulled up our mukluks and set forth for a damp power walk.

Out in the country west of Halifax is a booming winemaking industry, and we went there a few weeks ago…in much better weather.

As seems appropriate as Halloween approaches, we found many of the vineyards enclosed in pest-proof shrouds:

The big city of Halifax somehow also retains a smalltown friendliness. That is a particularly Canadian trait, and Halifax is Canada Plus.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

11 October 2018:
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Frozen in Time

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Once more into the fiddle.

It is a grey and somewhat foreboding day here in Sydney, hinting at the winter around the corner. But they don’t let that get in the way of a good party, around here often called a ceilidh or barn dance.

In fact, Cape Breton is in the midst of its annual Celtic Colours Festival.

SYDNEY

Sydney is the less-known port of Nova Scotia, although it played a major role in World War I and World War II as the port of dispatch for Atlantic convoys.

The coal fields and the steel mills are gone, and the port and town are much sleepier now.

Sydney in the fall can be one of the prettiest places in the Canadian Maritimes.

The restored fortress of Louisbourg is one of Canada’s best historical recreations, especially when there is a hint of cold winter in the air.

LOUISBOURG

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

30 September 2018:
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada:
The Big Bay

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sydney, around the corner from Halifax in Nova Scotia, is frozen in time.

That’s not a bad thing, either. From here you can time travel to the Fortress of Louisbourg or to the resplendent Bras d’Or lake. Or both.

Today I went fors return visit to Baddeck, to the wondrous museum that celebrates the mind and achievements of Alexander Graham Bell, who maintained a summer house here.

Here is summer of what we saw today on a lovely fall day in Baddeck:

SYDNEY AND LOUISBOURG

You can read more about Sydney in my posting from September 20.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

 

29 September 2018:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Under the Gun

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have returned to the grand harbor of Halifax in Nova Scotia.

We went for a walk to the famed Public Gardens of Halifax, one of the world’s finest Victorian parks. Today we could feel the hints of winter around the corner, with the garden at peak but frail colors.

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND

The last time we were here, on a glorious last day of summer, we rented a car to drive across Nova Scotia to see some of the small harbors and high tides of the Bay of Fundy, which has a world record rise and fall of about 40 feet in places.

Here was some of what we saw at near high tide in Wolfville:

And then we returned about two hours later as the tide began to run out:

A TUMULTUOUS HISTORY

Halifax has had a tumultuous history. The British built a great citadel here as part of its claim to New England, and it still stands guard over the city.

Every day at 12pm they fire the noon gun; no matter how many times we have visited, it still startles.

 

 

But there are echoes of other events: the arrival of Loyalists who fled the upstart American colonies during the revolution. The departure of raiding parties from here to burn Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812. The both-sides-against-the-middle trade with the South and North during the American Civil War.

You can read more about Halifax and see some more photos in my blog posting of 21 September 2018.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

21 September 2018:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Fair Season

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’ve been to Halifax more times than we can remember…and it always leaves us gushing with appreciation of its great harbor. More about that in a moment.

On this visit, though, our port call coincided with a great old event: the Hants County Exhibition, an agricultural fair that lays claim to being the oldest such gathering in North America: 253 years old, to be exact.

We could not resist that opportunity and so we rented a car and drove about 40 mills across Nova Scotia to Windsor, near the Bay of Fundy.

It was the real McCoy, with flower arrangements, apple pies, barnsful of cattle and horses, a midway, and us.

Here is some of what we saw today:

THE HANTS COUNTY EXPOSITION

THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE HARBOR

Cruise ship visits to Halifax are at an all-time high, and on this visit we docked around the corner from our usual location, tying up at the commercial wharf.

It was from this wharf that thousands of Canadian troops embarked for the two World Wars, and also where tanks and tires and foodstuffs were loaded aboard convoy ships.

The machinery of the port and the connection to the trans-Canada railroad system remains:

The great port of Halifax—by some measures the second largest in the world, after Sydney (the one in Australia)—is lined with handsome architecture. Some of the buildings are great Victorian and Edwardian stone structures; more modern buildings are almost all lined with mirror glass to reflect the sky, the water, and the old buildings around them.

Sky, clouds, and water in Halifax. Photos by Corey Sandler

A bit further into the city, at The Narrows, the architecture is a bit more uniform and relatively grim. This was the area that was leveled by the Halifax Explosion of 1917: considered to be the largest manmade explosion from the dawn of time to the atomic bomb.

The explosion was the result of a collision between two ships that were part of the gathering convoys bound to and from World War I Europe. One ship, the Mont Blanc, was packed with a witch’s brew of TNT, benzol, and picric acid.

In the explosion, about 1,951 people were killed—most of them spectators gathered along the waterfront. More than a thousand were blinded by flying glass.

It is, for me, impossible to look at today’s Halifax without hearing an echo of one of the worst moments of that war, nearly three thousand miles away from the front lines.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

20 September 2018:
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada:
Can You Hear Me Now?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

High seas and winds kept us from our scheduled call at the French islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon near Newfoundland. So instead we spent yesterday at sea, arriving last night at Sydney, Nova Scotia.

We arrived with a chill wind, a harbinger of winter around the corner.

Sydney seems mostly frozen in the 1950s, a simpler and more innocent time—at least in my memory.

It is one of the only places in North America where I could direct you to a cobbler to have your shoes resoled. Or Doc Archibald with his office in an old Victorian behind a white picket fence.

The fiddle at the Sydney Cruise Terminal. Photos by Corey Sandler

From 1784 to 1820, Sydney was the capital of the British colony of Cape Breton Island. The colony was merged with neighboring Nova Scotia when the British decided to develop the abundant coal fields surrounding Sydney Harbor.

By the early twentieth century Sydney was home to one of the world’s largest steel plants, fed by the coal mines of the Dominion Coal Company.

Silver Spirit at anchor in Sydney harbor today.

By the late 1960s both coal and steel industries were failing, and were taken over by federal and provincial governments. That lasted until late in 2001 when they could not be sustained any further.

Today the economy is not exactly booming, although the region benefits greatly from the lure of the Louisbourg Fortress nearby, a faithful reconstruction of the great French citadel erected to fend off the British. That didn’t quite work, and the Brits eventually captured and then knocked down the thick stone walls. But in the 1960s, federal and provincial governments, along with private money paid for the reconstruction of the fortress.

TODAY IN SYDNEY

In another direction is Baddeck on the Bras d’Or (the Golden Arm), which most of the Anglophone locals insist on pronouncing something like “brass door.”

This was the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell, and the museum erected there is an amazing peek into the mind of a true genius.

Bell is perhaps most famous for the telephone; I guess we will forgive him for that. But consider also his accomplishments in aeronautics, metal detectors, sound recording, photoelectric cells, solar heating, and even air conditioning produced by directing fans across ice harvested from Lake Bras d’Or and stored in the basement of his estate.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

25 October, 2013: Halifax, Nova Scotia

High Skies in Halifax

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

An incomparable autumn sky greeted us in Halifax.

The great port here—by some measures the second largest in the world, after Sydney (the one in Australia)—is lined with handsome architecture. Some of the buildings are great Victorian and Edwardian stone structures; more modern buildings are almost all lined with mirror glass to reflect the sky, the water, and the old buildings around them.

SYDNEY NS SANDLER 5372 20mm-9228 SYDNEY NS SANDLER 5372 20mm-9225

Sky, clouds, and water in Halifax. Photos by Corey Sandler

A bit further into the city, at The Narrows, the architecture is a bit more uniform and relatively grim. This was the area that was leveled by the Halifax Explosion of 1917: considered to be the largest manmade explosion from the dawn of time to the atomic bomb. It was the result of a collision between two ships that were part of the gathering convoys bound to and from World War I Europe. One ship, the Mont Blanc, was packed with a witch’s brew of TNT, benzol, and picric acid.

In the explosion, about 1,951 people were killed—most of them spectators gathered along the waterfront. More than a thousand were blinded by flying glass.

It is, for me, impossible to look at today’s Halifax without hearing an echo of one of the worst moments of that war, nearly three thousand miles away from the front lines.

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All photos and text copyright by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.

24 October 2013: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Old Times Not Forgotten

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

To me, one of the appeals of Sydney, Nova Scotia is that it is mostly frozen in the 1950s, a simpler and more innocent time—at least in my memory.

It is one of the only places in North America where I could direct you to a cobbler to have your shoes resoled.

Or a seamstress or tailor..[whohit]-SYDNEY24Oct-[/whohit]

Or old Doc Archibald with his office in an old Victorian behind a white picket fence.

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The fiddle at the Sydney Cruise Terminal. Photos by Corey Sandler

From 1784 to 1820, Sydney was the capital of the British colony of Cape Breton Island. The colony was merged with neighboring Nova Scotia when the British decided to develop the abundant coal fields surrounding Sydney Harbor.

By the early twentieth century Sydney was home to one of the world’s largest steel plants, fed by the coal mines of the Dominion Coal Company.

By the late 1960s both coal and steel industries were failing, and were taken over by federal and provincial governments. That lasted until late in 2001 when they could not be sustained any further.

Today the economy is not exactly booming, although the region benefits greatly from the lure of the Louisbourg Fortress nearby, a faithful reconstruction of the great French citadel erected to fend off the British. That didn’t quite work, and the Brits eventually captured and then knocked down the thick stone walls. But in the 1960s, federal and provincial governments, along with private money paid for the reconstruction of the fortress.

It is an astounding site; I wrote about it in an earlier blog posting.

In another direction is Baddeck on the Bras d’Or (the Golden Arm), which most of the Anglophone locals insist on pronouncing something like “brass door.” This lovely Lakeland was the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell, and the museum erected there is an amazing peek into the mind of a true genius. Bell worked on the phone, of course; we’ll forgive him for that but consider also his accomplishments in aeronautics, metal detectors, sound recording, photoelectric cells, solar heating, and even air conditioning produced by directing fans across ice harvested from Lake Bras d’Or and stored in the basement of his estate.

On this visit, we stayed in town. I was conducting a digital photography workshop and I set myself the assignment of finding as many possible ways to capture images of the oversized fiddle that stands outside the cruise terminal. The fiddle is the symbol of the Nova Scotia ceilidh, a foot-tapping barn dance.

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All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.

14-15 October 2013: Sydney, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, PEI

Time Travel in the Canadian Maritimes

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

To me, one of the appeals of Sydney, Nova Scotia is that it allows me to time travel back to a time I once knew: the 1950s.

It is one of the only places in North America where I could direct you to a cobbler to have your shoes resoled.Or a seamstress or tailor.[whohit]-SYDNEY-CHARLOTTE-2-[/whohit]

Or old Doc Archibald with his office in an old Victorian behind a white picket fence.

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Sydney, Nova Scotia. The colors of autumn in a place frozen in time. Photo by Corey Sandler

From 1784 to 1820, Sydney was the capital of the British colony of Cape Breton Island. The colony was merged with neighboring Nova Scotia when the British decided to develop the abundant coal fields surrounding Sydney Harbor.

By the early twentieth century Sydney was home to one of the world’s largest steel plants, fed by the coal mines of the Dominion Coal Company. By the late 1960s both coal and steel industries were failing, and were taken over by federal and provincial governments. That lasted until late in 2001 when they could not be sustained any further.

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The cruise terminal in Sydney with Silver Whisper at the dock and a super-sized fiddle along the water. Sydney is one of the centers of Ceilidh, the Celtic-based barn dance centered around that instrument…in a hand-sized version. Photo by Corey Sandler

With apologies to some of my Anglophone Canadian friends, when I speak of this region I use French pronunciations for places like Bras d’Or (the Golden Arm) and Louisbourg.

I do this knowing that for the locals, the same places are often called LEWIS-BURGH and something close to BRASS DOOR.

See my Blog entry of 3 October 2013 for a recent visit to Sydney and Louisbourg as well as some details about Baddeck and Alexander Graham Bell.

Queen Charlotte, the Orphan Anne, and Prince Edward Island

When you think of Stratford-upon-Avon, you think of a certain poet and playwright by the name of William Shakespeare.

We are talking apples and oranges …or jellyfish and lobsters here… but in certain circles around the world…in some of the most unlikely places…Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island is not known for Queen Charlotte, not remembered for the Charlottetown Conference of 1864 that led the way to Canadian Confederation, and not thought of at all for almost anything else…except for the work of a relatively minor author named Lucy Maud Montgomery and a series of novels that begin in 1908 with “Anne of Green Gables.”

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More colors, in a house near the waterfront of Charlottetown, PEI. Photo by Corey Sandler

Anne of Green Gables began as a Canadian bestseller, became an American success, and went on to become an international phenomenon.

For reasons no one hasfully figured out, you are quite likely to find a tour group from Japan…looking for Anne. I think it has to do with the fact that Anne is a girl who is for some about as un-Japanese as possible: feisty, independent, and decked with freckles and braided red hair. They love her in Japan, and come to PEI by the planeload.

I last wrote about Charlottetown in a Blog entry on 2 October 2013.

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A study in angles and colors in Charlotteown. Photo by Corey Sandler

Charlottetown is the capital of Canada’s least-populated province, Prince Edward Island. The city is the country’s smallest provincial capital, with a population of about 35,000. (Canada’s three territories: Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories have smaller populations, but they are not provinces.)

The town was named in honor of Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III from 1744 to 1818.

Like Sydney, it is a place where time seems frozen.

I spent the day walking Charlottetown with a group of guests as we conducted a photo safari, hunting the colors of Prince Edward Island.

All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would to purchase a copy of a photo, please contact me.

 

 

13 October 2013: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Up from the Ashes

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Halifax has had a tumultuous history. The British built a great citadel here as part of its claim to New England, and it still stands guard over the city.

Every day at 12pm they fire the noon gun; no matter how many times we have visited, it still startles.

But there are echoes of other events: the arrival of Loyalists who fled the upstart American colonies during the revolution. The departure of raiding parties from here to burn Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812. The both-sides-against-the-middle trade with the South and North during the American Civil War.

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Ducks on the Pond at the Victorian Garden. Photo by Corey Sandler

Then came the Halifax Explosion near the end of World War I, a time when the harbor was filled with convoys gathering to cross over the Europe. And the convoys were back during World War II when this place was one of the most important links in the resupply chain for the United Kingdom and later Russia.

Today, the city shines with some handsome buildings–many of them with mirrored glass reflecting the harbor and the old Victorians and Georgians.

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Around town in Halifax on a beautiful fall day. Photos by Corey Sandler

And the superlative weather still follows us. Shh…don’t tell anyone that it’s not supposed to be like this in mid-October.

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Silver Whisper reflected in the windows of a building as we departed near sunset. Photo by Corey Sandler

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.

 

4 October 2013: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax: Beauty and History in the Mirror

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Much of the history of the Maritimes of Canada can be summed up in one place: Halifax.

Native peoples. Early European explorers. French and English military clashes.

And in Halifax, one of the largest and best protected ports in the world: a great and terrible harbor.

Halifax is Canada’s front door, a place where more than a million immigrants landed to populate the mostly empty nation.

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Halifax: Canada’s Front Door. Photos by Corey Sandler

During peacetime it grew as a great trading port very close to the Great Circle Route—the shortest distance between Europe and North America.

And it grew—and suffered—during wartime as navies clashed for control in Colonial times, the War of 1812, and the American Civil War.

Then it became even more critical as its superb harbor was used as a place for convoys to gather before crossing the Atlantic during World War I and II.

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Halifax Old and New. Photos by Corey Sandler

THE GREAT HARBOR

The harbor runs in a northwest-southeast direction.

What is now a huge harbor is actually a drowned river valley.

It was carved by a massive glacier.

Then, after the ice age, the sea level rose to fill it in.

Closer to the open ocean is the Northwest Arm. It is not wide or deep enough for major ships, but instead is mostly used by pleasure boats.

Deep into the harbor is The Narrows, where the two sides come close together. Today a bridge passes overhead.

And then past the Narrows is the large Bedford Basin.

THE TERRIBLE HARBOR

It was at the Narrows where the largest manmade explosion before the atomic bomb occurred:

The Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917.

During World War I, the French munitions ship Mont-Blanc, packed with a witches brew of munitions and chemicals collided with the Norwegian war relief ship Imo at the Narrows.

The explosion destroyed a major portion of waterfront Halifax as well as Dartmouth across the harbor.

It killed about two thousand people and injured nine thousand more.

Halifax was devastated, and there are still some places where you can feel the century-old echoes: the Hydrostone District above the narrows is filled with homes all built after the explosion.

Down along the waterfront, Halifax has done a marvelous job of reclaiming the harbor as a civic jewel. Tourists stroll along the boardwalk, and locals visit the museums and restaurants.

And most of the modern construction along the water uses mirrored glass. The water is reflected everywhere you turn, the mirrors seeming to double the size of the huge harbor.

All photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.

3 October 2013: Sydney, Nova Scotia

3 October 2013: Sydney, Nova Scotia

The Fortress of Louisbourg, Resplendent in the sun

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Sydney, Nova Scotia once had a thriving economy based around fishing, coal mining, and steel mills.[whohit]-LOUISBOURG-[/whohit]

All three industries are all but gone now.

Things got pretty grim, and I’m not just talking about the weather, which can be extremely awful: cold, windy, and snowy. And even worse in winter…

It’s not always gray and grim.

Twenty miles to the south of Sydney is Louisbourg, a massive French fortification on a particularly lonely piece of coastline.

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Louisbourg. Photos by Corey Sandler

The times we have visited—even in summer—it has often been shrouded in fog and mist, sometimes nearly wintry.

But not today: it’s a bit scary, the weather we’ve had lately. Blue skies and sun. What will winter hold in store?

The location of the fortress on the southernmost point of the Atlantic coast of Cape Breton Island was chosen because it was easy to defend against British ships attempting to attack Quebec City.

The fort was also built to protect France’s hold on one of the richest fish deposits in the world, the Grand Banks.

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A Lady of the House at work, and as reflected in a mirror at Louisbourg. Photos by Corey Sandler

The original fortress, constructed mainly between 1720 and 1740, was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications constructed in North America.

The fortifications took the original French builders twenty-five years to complete.

The fort itself cost France thirty million livres, which prompted King Louis XV to joke that he should be able to see the peaks of the buildings from his Palace in Versailles.

Two and a half miles of wall surrounded the entire fort.

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Louisbourg. Photos by Corey Sandler

On the western side of the fort, the walls were thirty feet high, and thirty-six feet across.

For the French, it was the second most important stronghold and commercial city in New France. Only Quebec was more important to France.

It was captured by British forces and colonists in 1745.

And then in 1760 British engineers systematically destroyed Louisbourg to prevent its future use by anyone.

And the fortress and the town were more or less left untouched for two centuries.

In the 1960s, the Canadian government paid hundreds of millions of dollars for the partial reconstruction of the fortress as a living history museum, in the process providing some temporary jobs for unemployed coal miners and struggling fishermen in the area.

The result is spectacular, all the more so on our out-of-season weather.

All photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.