Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halifax, Nova Scotia

In 1749, a young British sea captain by the name of Cornwallis, landed upon the shores of the French occupied and settled area we now call Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia means New Scotland. Cornwallis absolutely detested this cold and forbidding area, and his management skills being poor, pissed off his command, and many returned to Britain with complaints about him.  He succeeded in driving the French out, and also started one of the first germ warfares known to exist in the world.  He came across a settlement where smallpox had run rampant, and he ordered his men to gather smallpox infested blankets, seal them, and then he transported them to the local Indian tribes and the smallpox spread like wildfire, killing off huge populations of native Indian tribes in the area, as the Indians had no immune protection.  Gee, what a fun guy.

He returned to England and today, a statue stands in the downtown area of this city, showing this super nice guy facing towards Britain.  There is some talk of removing his statue altogether, he is so vilified at the moment.

Halifax is a large city, there are about 400,000 residents, making up nearly half of all of the Nova Scotia province.  In the city proper, the economy depends on ship building, tourism and universities.  In the rural areas, the economy relies on an eclectic mix of agriculture (apples, wild blueberries, Christmas trees, and maple syrup), fishing (mostly lobster) and tourism.  

On our tour today, we visited the beautiful and picturesque Peggy's Cove.  A working lighthouse is there, along with a sweet little fishing village.  The cove is made up of glacial rock, and the ruggedness of the cove makes for some outstanding photography. 

Just around the bend stands a somber memorial to the Swiss Air flight that crashed in the ocean nearby in 1998, where all souls perished.  Our tour guide offered up the standard reason for why the plane crashed, fire in cockpit, bad decisions on the part of the pilot to attempt to correct the problem, but he also hinted at diamond conspiracies, and flammable items in the overhead compartment in coach class.  The diamonds were never recovered, even though over 90% of the plane and it's contents, including $100,000 in U.S. cash was......


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