Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Halifax & Nova Scotia - Staff trip by Bolanle

Day 1:
The flights with Air Canada were very comfortable.
Arrived at Halifax Airport and collected our car, drove to downtown Halifax (Delta Barrington Hotel) via the Toll Bridge and took us about 25mins to get into town due to some roadworks. Costs 0.75cents to cross the toll.
Delta barrington Hotel- right in the centre of town- loads of restaurants and the shopping centre right opposite. The hotel is quite old but lovely, rooms are spacious. Free internet access in all the rooms and a business centre available, the gym and pool is very small but does the job and as its open from 6am-11pm

Day 2:
Delta Barrington Hotel is very central as we were walking distance from city hall, World Trade & Convention Centre, Clock Tower, Citadel- natural historic site where you can see the changing of the guards every hour.
Had a quick glance at the Public Gardens- a bit like the Botanical gardens in Montreal from what we could see on the bus and of course the ever so famous Titanic Cemetery where 328 people from the Titanic disaster were buried.
Springarden road for the main shopping district
Brewery Institute- educating customers on how to taste beer, how to choose beer with what they are eating etc- it is quite exciting and would recommend for beer drinkers.

Day 3:
45 minutes drive to Prospects for some kayaking with Eastcoast Outfitters - quite a nice place to go to on the way to Peggys Cove. From here, another 20mins to Peggy’s Cove taking the lighthouse route. Continued our journey through to Oak Island Resort & Spa. If this was a straight journey from Halifax to Oak Island, then the journey would have probably taken about an hour and 15mins or so.
Oak Island Resort & Spa- lovely place, spacious but they could do a lot better with it- the décor are quite dated and unfortunately, everything that goes on, you can more or less hear it in the room- I could hear the people upstairs walking in their room. The Spa facilities looked great- wanted to stay for a treatment but didn’t have time unfortunately, other than that though- the Resort was great, good food, views, activities are available on resort- tennis, mini golf, outdoor/indoor pool, boat/sailing activities and children’s playground. Free parking and internet

Day 4:
Continued on the coast through Mahone bay for a city tour of Lunenburg with Eric Croft- this is actually quite an interesting tour to take- its very informative, saw the bluenose ship- you can take a day trip on that whilst you’re there before continuing on to Digby on Highway 8. Stopped off at Maitland Bridge where we branched off to Kejimkujik National Park for an afternoon of canoeing- again a recommended trip to go on and all this can be done leisurely in a day before finishing off at Digby- the drive from Kejimkujik to Digby is a lovely one with a great view of the Bay of Fundy. Great place to stop over for lunch is M&W Restaurant at Maitland Bridge just a minute from Kejimkujik National Park.
Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa- beautiful from the outside and also inside, but the rooms are quite small, headboards not attached to the beds so it keeps banging on the wall when you move whilst on the bed- was quite annoying. Restaurant was lovely and the views are great.

Day 5:
Half an hour drive from digby Pines to Petit passage Whale Watch ( which takes you along the Bay of Fundy which I was told was lovely but no sign of whales.
On to Annapolis Royal- scenic town which overlooks Annapolis River with over 150 heritage buildings- known for its ‘weird’ (they call it unique) shops, galleries and artist studios. On to Highway 1 to wolfville- took us about an hour and a half from Annapolis Royal. Wolfville is actually quite a busy place and those who don’t know that it is a university town will be surprised at how busy the place is compared to other places they may have visited before Wolfville. Stayed at the Blomidon Inn- beautiful place- only has 28rooms and is a family business. All the rooms are very different and unique in its own way- although the place and décor are dated, they have refurbished the place with new fitted bathrooms, 4poster beds etc- would definitely recommend it as a stopping destination.

Day 6:
Blomidon Provicial park- 30minutes drive from Wolfville and is a great place for hiking, after that, went on to Grand Pré National Historic Site- where a stone church has been built as a memorial to the Acadians who were forcefully exiled from their homes and farms by the British and this I would DEFINITELY recommend to anyone travelling through that way just to stop over for an hour and its only $8 to enter and its definitely worth it for any age group- it really is very educational but at the same time interesting.
5minutes away from here is Grand Pré Wines- Wine Tasting- for those wine lovers- a nice place to go and have lunch and take the wine tour.
6hours from Grand Pré to Pictou- took the coastal routes and it was long- too windy and not much of a view so it was a long tiresome drive, I would advise anyone taking this route to take the Motorway there so you can enjoy what Pictou has to offer- because of the long journey- we didn’t get to really explore the lodge and the area.

Pictou lodge- beautiful place surrounded by the lake- very colourful too. The check in is somewhere in between the gift shop and the restaurant and is kind of lost in between that but makes it quite exciting. All rooms (or motels as they call it) are cabin style and very spacious. All rates include bike and canoe rentals- unguided.

Day 7:
2hours drive to Urbania for the Tidal Bore Rafting- it is very easy to get lost for the Tidal Bore as it is called the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore Park and there is a place called Shubenacadie- it is very easy to mis-judge how long this place takes to get to, but it is about an hours drive from Halifax and 2hours from Pictou travelling on the highway.
Tidal Bore Rafting- they have 2 time slots for the tides 10am and 1600hrs- if you miss that, then you’ll be watching from the viewing bridge- they have 2hour and 4hour rafting and the 4hours includes the mud slide- no experience is necessary and a change of clothes is DEFINITELY required. They can also arrange for a BBQ lunch to be included in the package if you have a group and don’t want to travel anywhere else for lunch as it is difficult to find somewhere else to stop off for lunch in that area.

Inn on the Lake off Highway 102 or Highway 118- not far from the airport- nice cozy place to stay if you don’t want to stay downtown and you have an early flight in the morning or you got in late- its only about 10minute from the airport but not too close to be disturbed by the noise from the aircraft.

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