I got a chance to visit Halifax and Stellarton (as a part of Business Trip) in May 2019.
Some facts about Halifax:
1) Rescue place of Titanic Survivors
2) Most of the Titanic Victims are also buried here (150 people were buried in 3 cemeteries)
3) Place where second largest man-made explosion took place (Halifax Explosion in Dec6, 1917)
4) Largest exporter of Lobsters
5) One of the largest and deepest Natural Harbour in the world
Now since Winter was slowly moving out, many seasonal services had started. One such service was the ‘West jet’ Airlines which took me from Dublin Ireland to Halifax Canada (Direct Flight – 6 Hours onwards Journey and 5.15 Hours Return).
Halifax Stanfield Airport is technologically advanced and have the following:
1) Automatic Passport Control (APC)*
2) Self Service Check-in with Baggage Drop*
*in both places, you will have some staff to assist you (if any help is required)
After reaching Halifax Airport, if your target is to reach Down Town Halifax, you have 2 options:
1) MetroX Bus 320 (Travel Time – 1 Hour)
The charge is around 3.5 CAD (adults & Students) and 2.75 CAD (Senior & Child). It’s worth to note that the drivers in such bus doesn’t do any currency transactions, which means you should have the exact amount readily available with you before boarding the bus. The frequency of the bus is 1 hour.
2) Rent a Car (Travel Time – 30 Minutes)
If you want to stay near Halifax Airport, there are a couple of hotels like ‘Holiday inn’, ‘Hilton’ and so on. I believe both are run by the same management and is constructed within the same campus. They also provide Airport Free shuttle in a frequency of around 20-30Mins. I would suggest you take this free service as it will easily save you a straight 20 CAD (Taxi Charge). This free shuttle stops at the extreme right of the Halifax Airport (Around 200 Metres to the right after exiting from the Airport)
Places that I had visited:
1) Down Town Halifax: Down Town Halifax is very beautiful. Some places that I explored are:
This is a 19th-century fort with a great view of downtown Halifax.
The place is quite historic and has a terrific collection of military artifacts.
A large part of the living history is the tradition of the noon gun. Every day except for Christmas day the noon gun, which is pointed out across downtown and towards the waterfront, is shot off. The tradition has been in place for 148 years.
b) Harbour Walk (Waterfront)
The Halifax Walkway is a must for everyone. It is an easy promenade for anyone to do. It has many places to visit and diverse restaurants to eat and enjoy the area. There is an abundance of things to do and explore. Pier 21, Farmer’s Market, Maritime Museums, souvenir shops, Breweries, pubs.
c) Sea Bridge
The Sea Bridge is 520 feet of floating dock on the Halifax waterfront that will be open seasonally as often as possible but may close for weather, sea state or construction.
d) Historic properties (Market Mall)
Today, Historic Properties is a balance between historic and contemporary. The spirit of Halifax is present within the site and modern restaurants, boutiques, and services offer unique local goods that can’t be found elsewhere in the city.
e) Fairview lawn Cemetery:
This is the final and noteworthy resting place for many of the victims of the Titanic. The cemetery was well cared for and the Titanic victim burials were well marked. Adequate parking is also available inside the cemetery.
Tour Packages that I had taken while in Halifax:
a) Harbour Hopper Tour
This is one of the most rated tour in Halifax.
On this 1-hour Harbour Hopper tour, you’ll travel on both land and water aboard a nifty, renovated amphibious Vietnam War vehicle. The unconventional method of transportation gives you an overview of some of Halifax’s key landmarks: First, drive by St Paul’s Cathedral, Citadel Hill and Halifax Public Gardens, then splash into Halifax Harbour for panoramic views of the waterfront. We get a chance to hear a lot of information about Halifax from this one tour.
You can buy the ticket online or though their counters in Waterfront area. The ticket price was around 46 CAD. The tour starts in front of the ‘water Front area’ (near their Ticket counter)
This is a Must-see tour in Halifax and travelling in an Amphibious vehicle will be a great experience.
b) Peggy’s Cove
I did not find any Public transport to Peggy’s cove. I booked a tour with Gray Line (Ambassatours) Mini Bus service from Down Town Halifax to Peggy’s cove.
The tour starts in front of the Maritime Museum. The charge was around 41 CAD.
Around 45 Minutes from downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the tiny fishing village called Peggys Cove. The population here might be between 50-100 but a lot of tourists reach here across the year (at times highly overcrowded). There is also a Light house here in this cove (perhaps one of the most photographed light houses in the world).
The village of Peggys Cove is said to have been named for the lone survivor of a ship wreck long ago off the coast — a woman or young girl (no one can quite agree on which) who was nicknamed Peggy by the locals who saved her from the sea.
If you visit Halifax, this is a Must-See place.
It is a popular destination for photographers and is a place more difficult to get a bad shot than a good one.
it is also home to the tragic crash of Swiss Air Flight 111. Two memorials have been erected near Peggy’s cove, one at Bayswater Beach Provincial Park and the other at The Whalesback, about half a kilometer from Peggy’s Point. The two memorials form a triangle with the crash site.
Peggy’s Cove lent itself to many tragedies. The tragic village tales moved William Edward deGarthe, a Finnish artist who immigrated to Canada in 1926 and settled permanently in Peggy’s Cove in 1955. Until his death in 1983, he dedicated his painting and sculpting to the stories of Peggy’s Cove’s residents. His masterpiece, a 30-metre engraving of fishermen, their wives and children under the wings of a guardian angel, remains outside his home at the entrance to Peggy’s Cove. His wife donated their home to the Nova Scotia government after his death, which became the deGarthe Gallery, a museum dedicated to his work.
You can also get your passport stamped (free of cost from here)
While taking photos of the lighthouse, I noticed that despite signs to warn people to stay off the black rocks, some tourists were venturing almost too close to the water’s edge. Visitors are swept off the rocks each year, with several incidents resulting in drowning. So please stick to the lighter coloured rocks.
c) Trip to Stellarton (New Glasgow).
I used the service of ‘Maritime Bus’ to travel from Halifax Airport to Stellarton (Bus stop name is New Glasgow). You can book here –> https://maritimebus.betterez.com/cart/570e4206d12bb17e0b0015fe/reservation/570e4206d12bb17e0b001600
The travel time is around 1.40 Hours.
It’s a small town. Sobeys (Retail Giant in Canada) started their operations in Stellarton.
I did not find much attractions here. The only reason why I visited this place was to attend some Business meetings with a customer.
There are some taxi companies operating here with a very less Fleet size. You could use the below number to book your taxi.
Some facts about the taxis here:
1) They don’t take Cards. So all payments have to be done in cash Only
2) If you need to get a bill/Receipt; you will only get a hand written version (No printed bills)
3) The taxis here are very untidy (Both Interior and Exterior) For your Groceries, you can look for a Sobeys store or the Walmart (near Highland square mall)
Other day trips that you could explore:
My search for an Indian restaurant finally took me to the ‘Scotia Square’ mall food court. Happened to meet ‘Mr. John Nakka’, owner of a family run restaurant ‘A taste of India’. I had tried different food items from here and all were really good.I would certainly recommend this place to all my fellow Travellers (especially Indians). I felt that the rate is also economical.
Website : http://www.atasteofindia.net/
You should also try some Lobsters or any sea food from a local restaurant here.
In case if you would like to store your baggage within the Airport, there is a cloak room facility here within the security office. They charge around 5CAD for a bigger bag (throughout the day). It is located in the -1 floor of the airport
Take Home Some Lobsters from the Airport:
Clearwater Sea Foods (Shop within the Halifax Airport) offers a wide variety of seafood products and specializes in live and cooked lobster. All products are packed for travel and if you’re in a hurry or on a layover, you can have your order packed up and the items will be brought right to you post security check. The shop is open from 5 Am-8PM.