The Citadel & The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
First thing Monday morning our group of nine from the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) boarded an Ambassatours bus for a brief tour of Halifax. Skies were blue and the air was crisp as Hap shared a short history of the city with us and made a stop at The Citadel. We arrived just in time for the changing of the guard. So, the soldiers aren’t soldiers, they’re actors, but the ceremony is impressive and The Citadel offers some great views of Halifax and the harbor. We wound back down through the colorful streets, learned more about the often sad history of Halifax (The Halifax Explosion) and wound up at The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
I had never heard of tidal bore rafting before my visit to Nova Scotia. The Bay of Fundy records some of the world’s highest tides and we stopped for lunch and rafting at Tidal Bore Rafting Park and Cottages. More than a billion tons of water come in and out of the Bay of Funday in about a six hour period. When the water comes into the narrow Schubenacadie River, the tide rises about an inch a minute and turbulent waters result. We had a wonderful lunch at the Sandbar Restaurant: mussels, poutine (french fries with curds and gravy), chowder, sandwiches and mouthwatering homemade pies. We got our ten minute warning and four of us decided to brave the elements and we donned our foul weather gear and headed down to the water’s edge.
The Train Station at Tatamagouche
In 1987, Jimmy and his wife began renovating the station for use as a bed and breakfast, finally opening the doors in 1989. Business was slow to start, so they supplemented their income by operating farmers markets and flea markets. in 1990 the Tourism Commission presented them with the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. In 1991, the Governor General of Canada came to stay. The three bedrooms they began with weren’t enough for the people that were starting to get wind of what was happening in Tatamagouche, so they added two bedrooms downstairs. In 1994 the first two cabooses were delivered and renovations began. As they were nearly completed, the building inspector came by and asked if they had a permit. The changes he proposed included placing the cabooses on a foundation and adding pitched roofs. In other words, they would no longer be train cars. Jimmy appealed the decision and wound up getting the “Train Station & Caboose Act” passed. Jimmy ran for municipal office, was elected and is now that building inspector’s boss. The first cars were open for guests in 1995 and they began added additional cars every year or two. They purchased a dining car in 2001 and began serving dinner. We ate there and the food was fabulous, accompanied by our first tastes of Nova Scotian wines.
Jimmy was born an entrepreneur. After he started his photography business, he got into antiques. By the time he was 21 he was shipping containers of antiques from England and had four antique stores. He says he’ll never get rich running The Train Station, but his passion for it is evident from the moment you meet him. It shows in every detail. A visit to Nova Scotia would clearly be incomplete without a visit to The Train Station in Tatamagouche. If you’d like to see more photos, visit me on flickr.