More friendly faces, even in the city! Or what passes for a city in these parts.
We found Halifax to be delightful, on a manageable scale with everything close at hand. Once settled on a mooring ball at the head of the Northwest Arm, we spent several days and nights exploring, from the tourist attractions like the Maritime Museum and the Citadel to Pleasant Point Park, the public gardens, and Dartmouth waterfront.
We even took in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, which everyone told us should not be missed. The word Tattoo is derived from Dutch doe den tap toe (translated to turn off the taps). In 17th century Dutch villages when British soldiers were required back at their barracks, a drummer would march through the streets playing the drumbeat doe den tap toe.
Now, the Tattoo is an annual show involving “Pipes! Drums! Bands! Dancers! Acrobats! Gymnasts!” as its online billing proclaims. “The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is proud to welcome artists from Canada, Germany, Kenya, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States!”
The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is unique from any other Tattoo in the world in that it is more theatrical in nature with a mixture of both military and civilian performers. It takes place in Halifax’s main hockey arena, creating a “theatre in the round” feel. The show is heavily costumed and intensively rehearsed with technical staff, choreographers, assistant directors, wardrobe staff and designers as part of the production team—setting it apart from Tattoos in the traditional sense.
Our final full day before flying back to Colorado for a midsummer break as July 1, a.k.a. Canada Day. We were amazed by the Canadian spirit on display downtown as we strolled the Halifax waterfront boardwalk under a bright, warm sky. Young & old, and everyone in between, turned out adorned in red and white, with many maple leafs on display. We witnessed a procession by our yachting compatriots as they paid tribute to the royal Canadian navy. Later, there was a brilliant fireworks display matching many I have seen on the 4th of July.