Bear with me here. I wouldn’t say that I disliked Halifax, but I can’t say that I loved it either. Most of my travel draws a zigzag through sprawling urban areas but I can enjoy smaller city life too. Perhaps it was because we had driven through Cape Breton Highlands Park for the first part of our vacation, Halifax felt underwhelming after the beautiful vistas we’d seen.
Or maybe we were just tired. It was at a point in the week where I had run out of space due to all the video I had taken, and I couldn’t back any of the footage up to my 512 GB iPad Pro because — genius move — I had a beta of iOS 13 installed and it wouldn’t recognize any of my SD cards. I was well aware of the perils of running beta software on a trip, but I did it anyway. A few days of being unable to back up footage was torture though, so I definitely would not do that again.
What I would do again is visit the Halifax Central Library. It’s an incredible public library that’s all at once an architectural marvel and giant, private reading nook. We spent an hour or two just taking the place in and because Leona was totally in her element. (Books? Check. Cozy seat? Check.)
We wandered over to the Citadel next, which sits strategically on the top of a hill in Halifax. We paid our admission fee and walked past the long-suffering guard who had to stand on duty until the clock struck something past something. I stood politely beside the guard for a picture and tried to give a lot more space than other people I saw, but I still managed to get this great side eye.
Many parts of the Citadel have been preserved as a historical site, complete with an incredible war museum and barracks. I found it difficult to photograph the outer areas due to the number of people, but the inner exhibits felt like walking into a still life painting: bits of chalk, old style toothbrushes, and some very uncomfortable looking army backpacks.
After the Citadel we meandered down to the waterfront for a stroll and a meal. We weren’t planning on a grand dinner because we were going out for drinks, but we realized we very close to The Bicycle Thief, which was a place my parents had recommended. It was a pricey but tasty meal, and the restaurant acknowledges the cold sea breeze by providing you with multiple blankets if you sit outdoors.
Our last stop of the day was a dessert place called The Middle Spoon, where we sat at the bar and whispered, “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” This illicited a small nod from the bartender after which…nothing happened.
We had come to The Middle Spoon because Leona had gotten onto the list for Noble, one of Halifax’s secret bars. She’d done her due diligence and written down the secret password of the week, but once we gave it to the bartender, we really weren’t sure was going to happen next.
It took a few minutes but we were eventually asked to follow a server down the stairs, around a corner, through a long hallway, and then through the unremarkable door to Noble. The lighting was dim and moody, there was a secret door hidden in the bookcase, and the drinks packed a punch. I didn’t get many shots because I wanted to just stay in the moment, but when we were all done, we weren’t allowed to leave the way we came. We were escorted to a side door which led straight onto the street, so as not to rouse any suspicion for regular diners at The Middle Spoon.
On our way home we walked right past a mural of Kate Beaton art, which felt like a very fitting ending to an evening in Halifax.
[Aaaand Part 6 is out. That’s the last one in the series.]