I think maybe I forgot to say anything about the second part of our east coast vacation.  The second half of our time on Cape Breton was pretty similar to the first, except we got out to do some whale watching, which was pretty exciting, if just because pilot whales (of which we saw many) are technically known as “pothead whales” which you have to admit is pretty funny (you also have to admit that pilot whales are adorable because it is just a fact).  After that, we headed off to Halifax, which was just as lovely as I’d been led to believe.  We visited the Citadel, and the cemetery where some of the Titanic victims are buried, and I finally got to eat something that wasn’t made from fish, or stuffed with fish, or served with a fish sauce or fish on the side.  We had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant called Il Mercato, where I ate freshly made ravioli that I’m afraid has ruined me for all future ravioli, although it was worth it, because it may have been the best thing I’ve eaten in a very long time. 

The one thing about Halifax that was a bit underwhelming was the busker festival that was going on while we were there.  After we left Il Mercato, pleasantly full of ravioli (have I mentioned the ravioli?) we wandered through a rather large garden in which a rather buxom woman in a rather tiny outfit was eating fire, and thought to ourselves, huh.  We’ll have to make sure to find some more buskers to watch.  The next day (our last in Halifax) we spent wandering around the waterfront, and stumbled across two different buskers over the course of the afternoon, neither of whom ate fire or really actually did anything at all, which was … odd.  And also boring.

The one guy did a handstand on a chair, which was interesting only insofar as it was something I probably couldn’t do myself (but by that token, he could have also just whipped out a whiteboard and started solving quadratic equations, although there was exciting music playing during his performance and I think most people prefer to perform Feats of Mathematics in absolute silence) and then proceeded to spend, and I am not exaggerating here, twenty minutes rearranging the crowd (you guys move over there, can everyone please move in a bit, you kids over there won’t be able to see, can we all squeeze in a bit more, everyone on the left side should move about a foot to the right, etc.).  It may well have been more than twenty minutes, but we left at that point to go find something more interesting to do, wondering if maybe it was because he was British, and perhaps British busking is more orderly than North American busking.

Shortly thereafter we wandered past a second busker, who it seemed would soon be doing something amazing atop a giant pole, but once again we left after twenty minutes of the busker shouting uninteresting thingsat the crowd and never actually getting down to any actual action.  I was also frustrated at this point because there were a number of people in the crowd breaking the first rule of tallness etiquette (i.e. stand in the back so the rest of us who aren’t so vertically blessed have some hope of seeing whatever it is we’re there to see; for your reference, the second and third rules are to occasionally bump your heads comically on low ceilings or doorways, and to make significantly more money statistically speaking than shorter people) and I couldn’t see anything anyway.  So we sat on a bench and drank freshly squeezed lemonade in that melancholy way that you do when it’s the last day of vacation and you have to do SOMETHING to kill a few hours before your flight leaves, but there’s no point in doing anything particularly great because you won’t really enjoy it anyway.

All in all, I give Halifax five stars (it lost two stars as a result of the buskers, but gained them back due to the ravioli) and if at this point you still haven’t read quite enough of me blathering on about the east coast, feel free to check out my guest post on the East Coast By Choice blog, which at very least features a cute little photo Mike took in Peggy’s Cove.