I have never really seen an Atlantic storm in person before this week. When I landed on Tuesday night, Halifax was deep into it. As my cab drove me to the hotel, he slipped and slided so I reassured him; “Seriously, it is already late. I do not need to get there fast. Take your time” just as a car whipped by at 120 KM/hr only to go sliding down into the ditch a few minutes later (Reminds me of the saying “Go slower to go faster”).

The next day I looked out the window as the day progressed and commented “Well, if I cannot see the bridge, then I am stuck”. An hour later …. No bridge (It was crystal clear an hour before this picture).

Halifax Bridge Snow

It was amazing to watch the storm drive into the city. Another example, watching the hotel across the street slowly disappear as captured by my phone …..

Halifax Blizzard 

Halifax Blizzard 2

I had heard about it. Now I understand it.

ALBA NUADH (Nova Scotia) IOMALRTEAN NA GALDHLIG (Ministry of Gaelic Affairs)

Imagine my surprise while in Halifax when I walked into the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to see the below – the Office of Gaelic Affairs. One of the things that I love about Canada, immigrant history remains strong – in this case Scottish (oops – corrected from Irish). The Gaelic language is spoken frequently (didn’t know that) and remains a strong part of the culture.

Ministry of Gaelic Affairs Nova Scotia

I was also told a funny Gaelic story. When the G8 was held out there, an ad was put in the paper for a bilingual taxi driver to shuttle dignitaries and staff. When they hired the guy, someone tried to speak French to him. He didn’t speak a word. They hauled him in and said ‘Right here on your application you said you were bilingual’. ‘Yes’ he responded, ‘I also speak Gaelic’.

Another funny story.  While I was in Halifax I was told about the European tourist who mistook Sydney, Nova Scotia with Sydney, Australia. Via:

Joannes Rutten should fire his travel agent. Or pay closer attention. The 71-year-old Dutch tourist and his 14-year-old grandson Nick thought they were flying from Amsterdam to Sydney, Australia. Through a mix-up, they ended up flying to Sydney, Nova Scotia in Canada.

Air Canada arranged hotel rooms in Sydney, NS for the pair, until they could arrange flight back to Amsterdam where they could sort out their flights.

It turns out Rutten said they didn’t know there was another Sydney. He’s not alone. Other tourists have ended up in the wrong Sydney before.

The weather was bad (very Irish – rain and wind), but the sunset was spectacular as we caught a quick flight over to St. John. And yes, that is a prop. Luckily it was not a Dash 8 that we flew in on (which is about as smooth as a roller coaster ride).

Flying to St John NB