Hey there Campers;
We have another gorgeous day. Bright and sunny and could even be hot today. We have planned to spend most of the day at the Halifax Citadel. Now you may want to ask what is the Citadel. We it is the fort that was built to protect Halifax from being invaded by who??? Well us Americans of course!!
The sentry on the gate can neither talk, laugh or do anything while on duty. When not on duty they are allowed to relax.
Halifax was founded in 1749. The fort was built 4 times. The last time was with stone. Halifax has served as the headquarters for the North American Station of the Royal Navy, with the Citadel as the port's main landward defense. The current fort was started in 1828 and finished in 1856. The hold idea of the new fort was to stop a overland assault on the city and the dock. Halifax was never attacked.
Now according to their legend they were not attacked because of the strength of this fort and no enemy ever dared attack. Now all ya'll know if America really wanted to attack the fort that smack talk would not have stopped them. How many other wars have we been in that they said we had no chance.
The War of 18122 was fought over maritime rights. The British had been fighting a war with France since 1793. They keep pushing on American rights and restricting its trade. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison tried to handle this is with diplomacy. But they were not successful. By 1812 American people wanted free trade and sailors rights. So congress jumped in an declared war. Hmmmm. Sounds like the Congress of today. Unfortunately America was not prepared to fight a war. Several defeats later America was still fighting and would not give up. When the war finally ended there was a rocky relationship for over 50 years. But it got made in the 19th & 20th century.
We started in the Sentry/Guard room. Sentry were on for 24 hour shifts. Each shift was 2 hours on 2 hours off. One day a week. They were in full combat gear with flumes. The sentry hated the shifts.
He talked about the uniforms. Full combat gear was red doublet, McKenzie tartan kilt, white crisscross holder of bullets and back packs. Flume head dress. It is made of ostrich feathers. It looks top heavy but not. Sporran is the purse. It would carry pictures of loved ones. You need to know the tartan color in battle so you would know who was a friend and who was a Frenchman. Backpack carried everything a solider would need. This included all utensil and cleaning gear. The regular hats and sporran had the stags head. This was the McKenzie symbol.
The fort is made like a star. With an inter bailey. It could be flooded with water to protect the people inside. The Musket Gallery was design for soldiers to be able to lock themselves in for up to 2 weeks if attacked. It ran around the fort.
At noon every day except Christmas the cannon goes off. These good looking guys are the artillery unit.
Later in the day we were serenaded by the drum and bagpipe unit.
So you know I had to do my Nita Balousek thing. I stopped and spoke with the young people. These are 2 of the newest drummers. This was there 2nd performance. They are both local high school girls. You have to be the best to perform at the Citadel.
I got a chance to speak with Graham the bagpiper. I asked him how he started playing. He informed me that 10 years ago his brother, the head bagpiper with the red sash, went to a parade and saw bagpipers. He told him parents he wanted to play. He got his wish and is very good. Graham followed his footstep. He has played for 8 years. He just graduated from high school. He is on his way to college and will major in History and criminal justice. I asked him why history. He stated "you must know about the past to move forward". This kid is 17. Wow. How profound! I would say his head is on straight.
The head major drummer told us about their colors and going into battle. The drummers and bagpipers are the ones who set the pace for war. They protected themselves with a knife in battle since they could not carry a gun will drumming. Good that will do when you are looking down a guns barrel.
We went to view the Military Museum.
Canada's military had the same problem as America when it came black soldiers. Black solider had to fight the system to be able to help defend the country.
We met Jessica Wiebe. She if is a 26 year old former Army Reservist from Manitoba. She is a wonderful artist. She had the privilege of have a show in the museum. Her art was her way of expressing herself from what she saw during her tour of duty. She is currently in design school in Halifax. She said any one can see her designs on her website. jessicalynnwiebe.com
We headed back across the bridge and decided to get dinner. As we were coming down the street we see a group of ducks. They were in the street like they owned it. Theny just started across the street like they owned it. I feel a Uncle Barry V story coming out of me.
We looked in the GPS and came up with the Garden View Chinese restaurant. We had very nice waitress - Shari. She took very good care of us as Veggies.
After dinner Ice Cream Man inquired about where he could find homemade ice cream. Ice Cream Man Strikes again.
At the restaurant I heard the waitress talking about Costco. Of course my ears perked up. They told me how to get there. Did I hear angels singing??? This felt like home.
Question of the Day
By what name does Halifax natives call themselves? Hint: We are Americans
Well, until the next time Campers......
Lo & Bren