This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A challenge (updated)

I missed a number of things late last week--a storm report, the Lt Governor's visit to Rensselaer, Little Indiana's TV appearance (I saw the entire video on-line but cannot find the link now)--and I was unable to do anything interesting with the Tootsie Roll Drive that benefited CDC Resources. The reason none of this appeared on this blog is that I was out of town. While I was gone, I took a lot of pictures, naturally. Below are a few. The first four are from the trip getting there, and the rest are from the destination. Your challenge--figure out where I was. If you knew about this trip beforehand, you are disqualified from the challenge. If you get an answer, explain the reasoning behind it.

I will update with some commentary.

Hopefully I will get caught up in the next few days with what is happening in Rensselaer.

And now, the challenge

Part 1: Getting there

 Being there.

Update: Comments on pictures

Picture 1. I flew Porter Air, which is a small regional airline serving mostly eastern Canada. Their hub is the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which is too small to handle large jets. The airline flies Bombardier Q400 aircraft, a small prop commuter plane that seats about 70 passengers. The picture above shows the plane about to land at Toronto. I thought some people who really know their planes might be able to tell the kind of plane from just the landing gear.

Picture 2. Every time we landed, the plane was refueled. This was the fueling stop at Ottawa, which was to be a short stay with continuing passengers staying in the plane, but on landing the plane had mechanical difficulties. After waiting about 20 minutes, we were told that our plane could not continue, and we got off at Ottawa to wait for another aircraft.

Picture 3. I was really impressed that RoadRunner 1117 could identify this canoe. I think the plaque said it was one of two birch bark canoes made the way that the Indians made them. One was given to Prime Minister Trudeau and the other is the one on display in the Ottawa airport.

Picture 4. Porter Air is small, but it gives really good passenger service. At both Toronto and Ottawa it has passenger lounges in which it provides free coffee, juice, soft drinks, almonds, and cookies to its passengers. This computer was in the Ottawa lounge and I could not resist taking a picture of a Macintosh computer running Windows. If you want to run Windows, there are cheaper ways of doing it than buying Apple hardware.

I felt out of place in the airports--I did not have an electronic device that connected to the Internet, but most everyone else did.

Because our flight was delayed, we got into Halifax just before midnight. We were planning to take the city bus to the hotel, but decided instead to go with a taxi, which was much more expensive. The Halifax airport is about twenty miles away from Halifax, out in the middle of a scrubby forest. Porter gave us $12 each in food vouchers because of the delay, so that partially offset the extra cost of the taxi ride.

Picture 5. A ferry connects downtown Halifax with downtown Dartmouth, across the bay. The odd thing about the ferry is that it has no front or back. The two ends are identical so the ferry does not have to turn around as it goes back and forth across the bay.

Picture 6. Halifax exists because of its large, ice-free harbor. During both the first and second world wars, it was the main staging area to assemble convoys to Europe. However, except for this large container ship, I did not see any seagoing ships coming or going while I was there.

In the first world war, a minor collision between two ships, one filled with explosives, led to an explosion that the Halifax people said was the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb. See

Picture 7. The area along the harbor is a major tourist area and Halifax depends a great deal on tourism. The funny tugboat was one of several boats that gave harbor tours.

There were a number of street performers out and about and some of them were truly pathetic. One guy was playing kazoo. An old woman had a CD player playing music, to which she was keeping beat by tapping sticks together.

Picture 8. The Harbour Hopper seemed to be the most popular of the harbor tours. It was both boat and bus--it could drive on land or water. In the picture below, the vehicle has just entered the water adjacent to the Canadian naval port.

Picture 9. I toured the harbor the cheap way, from the ferry. It cost only $1.50 for a senior, and with a transfer the return trip was free. Dartmouth did not impress me--it seemed not  to have much. But maybe I caught it on a bad day. There was a bustling farmers/craft market in the building next to the ferry on the Dartmouth side.

The picture shows the skyline of Halifax from the ferry.

Picture 10. A large sculpture of a wave attracted children despite the warning.

Picture 11. I found a place to get to the water but the only interesting thing I saw was this jellyfish.

Picture 12. This clock, built in 1803, is at the base of the citadel, the fortress that guarded the harbor from enemy attack and is now a tourist destination. The clock still works and is frequently shown in pictures illustrating Halifax.

By the way, Halifax is on Atlantic Time, two hours ahead of Central Time. They are still in spring--their blackberries had not yet blossomed.


Sean Cawby said...

Halifax Nova Scotia!! Quick Google search for Harbour Hopper gave ya away, lol.

Phil said...

Haha, I did the same thing Sean. Maybe I should have looked at the comments.

RoadRunner1117 said...

I didn't look at the comments until my research was complete. I couldn't place the first photo with the plane landing gear, so I don't know where you took off from; however, I downloaded your photo of the canoe, and did a Google Image Search with the uploaded photo and found a similar photo of Trudeau's Canoe at Ottawa Airport. I did the same thing with your Halifax Town Clock photo to figure out you were in Halifax. Then I did an image search for "Halifax Boardwalk" to discover that your other photos were at the Halifax Boardwalk. I guess it would have been easier to search for "Harbour Hopper"! :)

Anonymous said...

Halifax used to be one of my favorite cities, with a fun nighttime scene and the best fiddlers anywhere. And, of course, Theodore Tugboat, which is well worth the ride. But I haven't been back in 10 years, since just before Hurricane Juan hit. Juan devastated the Public Gardens and knocked down tens of thousands of trees in Point Pleasant Park. Wonder what it looks like today.