When we first decided to make a journey to Nova Scotia and began talking with people who had already traveled there, everybody mentioned two places we must see, Peggy’s Cove and the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. As can be seen from all my earlier photos we have already seen a lot of lighthouses and thought this would be similar. It is located in a particularly barren rocky environment and the winds are so fierce that the trees are stunted and scraggly, similar to the tundra. We rounded a curve and there was the lighthouse atop a huge granite outcrop with waves crashing onto the rocks. The colors were really amazing.
We made the trip into Halifax so I could do some genealogy research. Pier 21 was the port of entry for all Canadian immigrants from 1917 until 1971, similar to Ellis Island in the United States, and it was the point of entry for all of my family. My grandparents immigrated from Denmark in 1929 and tried their hand at farming in the harsh climate of northern Saskatchewan only to be beset by the Depression shortly after they arrived. My father was born in Canada but survival was so difficult for new immigrants that the entire family returned to Denmark, only to encounter WWII a few years later. Eventually after the war they returned again. My mother, also Danish, came over in the 1950’s.
We knew when we got to Pier 21 we would only be able to access records up until 1934, so I wouldn’t be able to find my parents records or my grandparents second arrival, but hopefully I would be able to find out more about their first arrival. A very nice historian met us in the research center and within 20 minutes we found them and the ship they arrived on. It was quite a moving experience and listening to the other stories being told around us brought tears to my eyes.
We had allocated up to 2 days to do our research but since we were able to get it done so quickly, we were left with lots of time to explore Halifax and even make a second trip out to Peggy’s Cove (it had been very windy and cool when we were there the first time). We walked along the Halifax harbor, stumbled upon a LGBT parade that was just about to get underway, went up to the Citadel, came out on the other side and re-encountered the LGBT parade that was working its way toward us. It was joyful and very large, we went into the botanical gardens to look around and the parade was still ongoing. We got quite a kick out of it-you just never know how your day is going to go.