, , , , , ,

I travelled to Bedford a suburb of Halifax to retrieve my 7 oriental prayer rugs at the cleaners. They need special cleaning and this is the only location in the Maritimes, East of Montreal. When I left Charlottetown on Tuesday morning, we were having our first wet snow storm of the Winter, a non event except that there was fog and slush all over and getting sprayed by long haul trucks on the highway happened every couple of minutes. The road to the bridge to cross to the mainland was not busy, never is and then once on the mainland I was in an area called Mouse Alley, on either side of the road is swampy ground and woodland, where Mouse roam, so you have to have your eyes open until you reach the roundabout on the highway about 26km from the bridge exit.

Yes I stopped for a donut and a coffee at Tim’s, that is the only outlet on the highway. I know my friend in Phoenix will be happy, I believe he is a share holder.

Then you make a left and on your way East towards Amherst, Truro and Halifax. The wet snow persisted until Truro when it became sunny, as if I had crossed a curtain. Truro is about 45 minutes from Halifax. I did not drive fast not knowing how slippery the road would be. After 3 hours of driving and stopping twice for coffee and stretch I arrived at the shop and picked up my rugs and continued to the hotel in downtown Halifax just below the old Citadel. The city of Halifax is a sea port and an important strategic naval base for the Royal Canadian Navy. The citadel well above the city dominates and the city has a lot of history attached to it, going back to 1749 by Edward Cornwallis, who previously in his military career played an important role in suppressing the Jacobite rising of 1745. After fighting with the victorious British soldiers at the Battle of Culloden, he led a regiment of 320 men north for the pacification (wholesale massacre) and clearing of the Scottish Highlands. He chose the location of Halifax (Chebucto) because it is an ice free natural sea port all year round. He will be for many years governor of Nova Scotia and will finish his career as Governor of Gibraltar. First named Chebucto, it was renamed Halifax in honour of George Dunk, Earl of Halifax and Chief Lord of Trade and Plantations, who masterminded its settlement.

The capital has many good restaurants, lots of historical places to visit, beautiful scenic area and has an international airport. The weather for my visit was cold but sunny. It is a pleasant change from PEI, more cosmopolitan and has a more big city feel.

Each time I am in Halifax I love to have dinner with friends in one of the many restaurants, this time it was at a new Italian restaurant called aMano in Bishop’s Landing. The food was very good, great atmosphere, good wine list.

The clock tower of the Citadel built in 1800 on the orders of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and father of Victoria, the fortress itself is hidden behind the hill. This is Winter in Halifax, breezy cold but no snow.

The drive back was under sunny sky and pleasant and it always appear shorter though it is not. I did stop in Masstown and at the Buttery near Amherst, it is a big grocery store on the highway serving the area and their produce is outstanding quality, everyone raves about it. They also have a shop of wines produce in Nova Scotia, and great deli and meat counter, offering freshly made quiche and meat pies. The Buttery across the street is all about fresh bread and an enormous selection of cheeses, impressive selection. So it is a good place to stop if you want to relax from the drive.

Got home to learn that King Constantine II of Greece had died, he was a nephew of Prince Philip and cousin to the late Queen Elizabeth. He was forced from office by the coup in 1967 of the Colonels who instituted a dictatorship. His son Prince Paul is now the new pretender to the Kingdom of Greece and the Greek Government will not give him a State Funeral but will offer all the usual niceties associated with the death of a former head of State. His wife the Queen Anne-Marie is the sister of Queen Margaret of Denmark. Constantine’s sister is Queen Dowager Sophia of Spain. He was also godfather to Prince William. He will be buried in the Royal Cemetery of Tatoi near Athens.

In Bulgaria, King Simeon II another cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II, won a second court victory to have his properties restored to him after a 14 year trial, the Supreme Court in Sofia declared in 2018 that the hunting lodge at Tsarska Bistritsa was his property and had been illegally confiscated by the Communist in 1946. Today the Royal Palace at Vrana just outside the capital Sofia was also returned to him and his family. Simeon was forced as a child into exile with this family in the communist takeover of 1946. They lived in Egypt and then Spain. Returning to Bulgaria in 2001 and then he was elected Prime Minister and governed until 2005.

Today in Charlottetown we had what I call Moose Weather, it snowed, it rained, it was cold and now it is warm at 10C. Slush all over, very unpleasant and high winds which now are drying the streets and sidewalk. It is suppose to rain tomorrow, again no snow, it all melted. Many now are waking up to the fact that this is what Climate change looks like, humans are funny it takes death and disaster to make people wake up to reality.

We are schedule to have the Canada Winter Games in February however the way things are going with no snow, will they cancel? The activities are outdoors, only the artificial ice surface will be ready as for the rest, who knows.

Another very strange thing happened this morning, we got a message from Amazon about an impending delivery of a package at 09:30am. So we waited and by 11:20am no package but a new notice that they could not deliver given no one was at home. We were at home and we were waiting. Suddenly a friend of ours who lives on Prince street about 2 blocks away from us, sends us a message to say he has a package for us from Amazon? He did not understand how he got our package. We do not understand either, how can a package clearly marked for us end up on someone else doorstep at random? Lucky us this is a friend of ours who got our package. I would say Amazon goofed on this one. Tried to call Amazon all day, they take no calls, you cannot complain.

Tonight I got a notice from Post Canada formerly known as the Royal Mail, that a package has arrived and can I go and pick it up at the Post Office. I know this package is from my sister in NYC.