Saturday, July 14, 2012

In Training

On a recent train trip to Halifax there were panoramic views to behold.

In the train yard, pulling out of Moncton:


Boxy.  Linear.  Gritty.  Unkempt.  
Like some men I've known.
(not really!  I just threw that in to see if you're paying attention)


The Tantramar Marsh, tidal saltwater mudpit 
and wild fowl habitat,
between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.


The marshland is an east coast watery version of the prairies with its flatness and big skies.


This is where they grow school buses, 
as yellow as dandelions.


And here are messengers of the future, waving their arms in their own mysterious semaphore.

Next stop:  Halifax.

26 comments:

  1. I love the Maritimes and have been on the train which brought me home to Montreal. It was a memorable trip.

    I had to laugh over "Boxy. Linear. Gritty. Unkempt. Like some men I've known." You mustn't forget "One-track mind." ;)

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    1. Hilary,
      I love the train trip from Moncton to Montreal, sleeping in a little room, peering out the window most of the night; brushing my teeth at the tiny sink in the early morning as we rattle over the bridge with commuters sending surprised glances my way. Too bad it's so expensive that it's not usually an option. The ride to Halifax is just the right length of time (4 hours), and all in daylight. I once took the train from Montreal to Vancouver, sitting up all the way, and vowed to never do that again!

      ("One track mind"! ha! So true! My turn to have to laugh.)

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  2. Ah, the "box" cars :) And, I learned something new! I thought Nova Scotia was an Island, and was wondering how you took a train from New Brunswick to Halifax. So got out the map to freshen my geography... Well I'll be... You *can* take a train! :) We were in Halifax back in 1991, doing some genealogy research, as I have ancestors on both sides of the family from Nova Scotia (Digby and Shubenacadie.) No riding the rails though... Just the Ferry across the Bay of Fundy from Digby to St. John - now *that* was a ride - seasick or what - and I was "boxed" in! :)

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    1. Mystic,
      Ah, your Maritime roots are showing! Aside from thinking NS is an island, that is. But it's mostly surrounded by water. We went through Shubenacadie (I love that name) on the train. Digby's famous for its very large scallops. I've only been in that region once; went whale watching...in the fog. Don't feel bad about thinking I had to cross a bridge from NB to NS; when I first moved to the east coast, my west coast family asked me if there was a bridge from Quebec to New Brunswick. The Maritimes are a well-kept secret, even from the rest of Canada.

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  3. Yes, you sent me to the map, too! (Where exactly is Halifax I wondered? That name has always sounded magical to me, and can't wait to see your images from there.) Love the skies in these photos--and the line of yellow busses nearly hidden in the grasses is great. We're getting those scary arm-waving things on Sicilian hills, too. (I do not like them in person, tho I do love your spooky photo of them!)

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    1. jann,
      Those arm-wavers are cropping up in unexpected places. I rather like them; though I was once dragged along to visit to a "wind farm" on a nearby "mountain" (looks like a hill to me, but I'm from BC) and was kept captive there for more hours than I like to recall. To me, you've seen one windmill, you've seen them all. Was happy to pass by this batch at good speed on a train. That is so cool that you actually took the time to look up where Halifax is. I visited my friends there last year, too, and was enchanted by the brightly coloured houses and doors in many of the neighbourhoods. Will include a link back to them in future posts.

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  4. Some really nice words here to go with the images. I like the idea of growing school buses. There is something particularly eerie about a large wind farm, to stand there in the wilderness and hear nothing but these. Almost like being on another planet.Or indeed, somewhere that messages ARE being received from the future!

    Lovely post.

    Our aged next door neighbour had been sent to Halifax at age 11 as part of an orphanage resettlement scheme, sometime in the 1920s. He's dead now but he had a terrible childhood, yet retained a love of Halifax. So I learned quite a lot about it from his stories and photos, and he went back regularly to visit good friends.

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    1. Jenny,
      I'm so pleased that you like the words that go with the images! To tell you the truth, it was very late when I posted it all, after having spent too much time fidgeting in Photoshop with one of the pictures, so I just pretty much wrote what came off the top of my head. Will have to use that "method" more often! I agree with your feeling about the eeriness of wind farms.

      I think there is a long history of children being sent to Canada in the war time for their own safety, as well as war brides coming over. Most seem to have passed through Halifax. Indeed, many thousands of immigrants came through that port from all over the world, rather like Ellis Island in NY. There is a museum, Pier 21, that has been built in Halifax to describe that experience, on the very site that these people passed through. I haven't visited it. There are also many gravesites of people who perished in the Titanic disaster as many Haligonians were involved in the attempted rescue of the passengers. A fascinating and lively city. I noticed in all the shops and restaurants how friendly the people are. No wonder your friend had such fond memories and strong connections there.

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  5. You're a fabulous travel writer.. Do you submit to any magazines?

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    1. Gwen,
      Who me??? Thanks. As I said to Jenny in my previous long-winded reply, I was pretty much just writing what popped into my mind as I was really tired and wanted to get to bed! The filters were off, I guess. I always thought that my travels were far too mundane to consider sending off to a travel magazine. In fact, such an idea has never crossed my mind.

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  6. You have such a knack... for finding marshes, sloughs, and other water-based treasures and for your ability to write so eloquently. Did I mention the great photos?

    You tell the story with humor and I will think of you the next time I pass a yard of school busses!

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Genie,
      I can't help but wonder how often you might pass a yard of school buses!
      Being a bi-coastal woman, it seems inevitable that I will be drawn to waterways. Also being an Aquarian might have some influence (though actually, that is an air sign). I'm happy that you enjoy my words. I try to keep things light around here, and am pleased when others catch my sense of humour (Oh!--that makes it sound like something contagious!)

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  7. An environment, I'd love to try and see whether I would fit in. Thank you for this journey. Please have a wonderful new week.

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    1. Robert,
      After all your travels, and living in a country so foreign to your homeland, I imagine you'd be able to fit in most anywhere! I think you'd love the big spaces and easy access to Nature here; as well as the four very distinct seasons, of the Canadian Maritimes. Also, it's a pretty laid-back sort of pace of life; the people are friendly, and housing not outrageously priced (as yet). Tempted? After life in big cities, though, it might be a little bland.

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  8. I loved these photos, beautiful x

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    1. Lulu,
      Perhaps you could use the mudpit to further inspire your chocolate cake baking endeavours? Lovely to see you again. I imagine it's those wide-open, people free spaces that you appreciate here. Great scenery flashing by on the train. Glad you liked it.

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  9. Ah, a mudpit ! Just what I've been looking for to jump in...

    So if this is where they grow yellow school buses, I wonder where they grow the ones like Ken Kesey had ??? I'd really like to see that place...

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    1. Owen,
      Oh yes, I guess that would appeal to your toady ways.

      Fields that grow electric Kool-Aid acid buses...hmmmmm...that might involve
      "cellophane flowers of yellow and green, towering over your head"

      (Okay, BrO, name that tune!)

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  10. Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes and she's gone,,,
    Probably to Digby to get some of those scallops,,, my mother came from Digby, my father met her there during the war and brought her home to Ontario,,,M

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    1. Michael,
      An extra serving of Digby scallops for you for recognizing where the quote came from. I wonder if you still have relatives in Digby, and if you ever get back for visits? It's a lovely area. I find that Nova Scotia, in general, is a beautiful province.

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  11. Great pictures, but the commentary is even better.

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    1. Gillian,
      Glad you enjoyed it! "Try to keep it short and not-too-sweet" is my motto.

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  12. the combination of those skies and marshlands make for some great scenic shots....is the Buskers festival still going in Halifax??

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    1. Catherine,
      Yes, the Busker Festival still plays itself out and about in Halifax, though it's years since I've experienced it. I happened to catch a bit of the jazz festival this visit, though, which was great fun as well. More to come on that "note".

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  13. Wonderful and amazing, I love with these delicious heaven. Greetings.

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    1. Leovi,
      The skies were putting on a fine display that day, keeping pace with the train.

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