I like walking tours. I feel that I learn/see/experience a place better when I am more immersed and not just passing by in a bus. So when I spotted another walking tour option that mentioned a UNESCO site for our Halifax stop, I jumped right on it.
I had not realized that to get to our walking tour, we would need to take a two-hour bus ride 😦 The end result was that we did not see any of Halifax, other than brief glimpses through the bus window as we drove through. One such moment was passing by Fairview Cemetery where over 100 of the casualties from the Titanic are buried.
This waterfront town has been called the “Fishing Capitol of the World”. Established in 1753, it is the oldest colonial settlement outside of Halifax.
“Old Town Lunenburg is one of only two urban communities in North America designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Considered to be the best surviving planned British colonial town in North America” ~ NovaScotia.com
By the time we actually arrived in Lunenburg, I think most people were simply anxious to get off the bus and explore on their own as only a few of the 40ish passengers even stayed with our guide. The walking section of the tour lasted about 15 minutes.
The end result was that we had a couple of hours to wander around this well-preserved town on our own. This harbor specialized in ship building, fishing fleets, and home for the occasional pirate. It is also home port for the famous, Bluenose II schooner.
The Bluenose II is a “replica of her famous mother, the original Bluenose schooner that was launched in 1921 and raced undefeated in international competition for 17 years” ~ NovaScotia.com
One can not help but by charmed by the flagrant colors of the buildings, waterfront reflections, and historical church architecture.
Another bit of trivia we learned is what they call a “Bump” on a house. This cantilevered addition was often built above the entry door expanding the square footage on the upper floor, but not increasing the initial building footprint which was what the local taxation was based upon.
The St. John’s Anglican Church was hard to miss. Being founded in 1753 and crafted in the Carpenter Gothic style, it is the second oldest Protestant church in Canada. It is both a Provincial Heritage Property and a National Historic Site.
Sadly, this church was burned to the ground in 2001 and has been lovingly and accurately restored. A couple of points I found quite interesting include the stars behind the altar and the Vinegar Bible.
The 700 gold stars appear to be randomly placed in the chancel ceiling. However, Dr David Turner, Professor and Astronomer at Saint Mary’s University discovered that was not the case. It turns out that the placement depicts what would have been the Lunenburg sky back on December 24th, 1 BCE – the FIRST CHRISTMAS.
The beautiful King James “Vinegar Bible” was first printed in 1717. It got its name due to a printing error where it was supposed to state, “The Parable of the Vineyard”, but instead, is labeled “The Parable of the Vinegar”. I believe this is one of only seven copies known to still be in existence.
We continued to walk the town and soak up the local ambiance.
*** UPDATE: I am so sad and frustrated. One of our readers kindly sent me a comment identifying this as a Magnolia tree based on the leaf. I did a bit of research and found that the Caerhays Belle Magnolia seed seems to be a pretty good match. However, I hit something (still don’t know what I did), and the comment got marked as spam and disappeared. I can’t find it to properly say thank you and give credit to the right person. My sincere appreciation for your help and an even bigger “I’m sorry”.
***A most sincere thank you to Simple Things Adventures for coming forward and letting us know that they were the mystery person to identify the Magnolia seed for us.
Another highlight of Lunenburg was the beautiful harbor.
Back on the bus, we headed back toward Halifax with a brief stop scheduled in Mahone Bay. We had just missed seeing their annual Scarecrow Festival, but evidence was still in plain view for us to see some examples of local works of art.
The town’s setting, right on stunning Mahone Bay, made you want to have much more than 30 minutes here. Certainly one of the drawbacks to cruising, when you are rushed from place to place and can’t explore to your heart’s content. Some days one just has to give in and be thankful for what you do get to see.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the opportunity to visit and explore another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seeing these beautiful old harbor towns, soaking up the colors, capturing a reflection, plus learning about the Parable of the Vinegar made for a winning day. And it was perfect weather…