Tuesday, October 2
Today was, quite possibly, the day that I was most looking forward to on our entire trip. After reading John U. Bacon‘s excellent book, The Great Halifax Explosion, I was looking forward to seeing Halifax. Plus, I had an excursion booked that I was really looking forward to.
We got up, ate breakfast, and got ready to go. The weather was in the low to mid 50’s, and somewhat overcast, but not raining.
The excursion I had booked (independently, not booked through DCL) was a Segway tour. I had had a chance to do the World Showcase Segway tour at Epcot back when that existed, and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a fun experience for a cruise excursion. Someone on a message board mentioned that they had done a tour with Segway Nova Scotia on a previous cruise to Halifax and that they had really enjoyed it.
After signing off the ship, we made our way to the tour company office, which was a nice 2-3 block walk from the terminal. Our tour was supposed to start at 10, we got there around 9:40, and found the office locked up, nobody there. So we walked around for a little bit – the entire area is a (tourist) shopping area. We found a little shop with some ornaments and picked some up for family members.
Time successfully killed, we wandered back to the Segway place, right as an employee rolled up on a Segway and unlocked the office. We got started on filling out some paperwork (always the paperwork), and watched a short instructional video.
From there, we had a little training session, starting with how to get onto the Segway (just step up, stand still, don’t lean forward or back), to “ok, now move forward about 10 feet, and back”, to a small loop they had setup to practice turning (and also navigating a very small … maybe 1 foot of elevation change … hill), and a miniature obstacle course – steer between the cones, forward, try it backward, and then go over this bump.
Instruction complete, it was time to get started. Tracy and I were the only ones in the morning tour group, along with our tour guide Scotty. We were doing the city tour, which is exactly what it sounds like – a tour of the city. We got to stop and walk around the Public Gardens for a few minutes, and we also rode up to the top of Citadel Hill, in time to see the changing of the guard ceremony and the noon firing of the cannon.
After the changing of the guard ceremony, we headed back to the tour office, because our tour was over.
But wait, there’s more!
I had booked us for 2 tours back to back, which got us a discount, and a few more hours on a Segway. For our second tour, we would be doing the Dartmouth Trail ride, which included a trip over the Macdonald bridge to see the harbor from the other side of the water. The 2nd tour group was a bit larger, there were (I think) 6 other folks, along with our tour guide, Caley. Because there were more people, we all got a audio headset, so we could hear Caley, without needing to be right next to her.
This tour was also great. Not only did we get to cross a large bridge (twice, once going, and once coming back), but once we were on the Dartmouth Trail, we got to ride at full speed (about 12 mph), and got to see more scenery.
Although 4 1/2 hours on a Segway is a little fatiguing on the legs/feet, we both really enjoyed the experience. Tracy said that she was worried it’d be hard to balance, and hard to navigate turns, but after riding for just a few minutes, she was really comfortable on the Segways (well, both of us were, but I had already ridden before, and on an older model which was a little more difficult to steer, but still not bad). Segway Nova Scotia was a great tour operator, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do business with them again.
Once we got back to the ship, it was Pirate night. However, it was too windy to do the fireworks, so those were postponed until the next night.