Heads turn… people stare… and you hear, “That looks like fun”, and it is!
Bluenose Sidecar Tours is a great way to see Halifax and experience the sights and smells of this amazing city. Vicki and Kevin, owners of Bluenose Sidecar tours, were inspired by a trip to Barcelona where they first saw the sidecars. Being motorcycle enthusiasts, they combined their love of Halifax with their enthusiasm for riding and now share riding enjoyment with tourists sightseeing in Halifax.
The name Bluenose originated from a potato which became a nickname for Nova Scotians. It is also the name of the famous Canadian fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia built in 1921. A celebrated racing ship and hard-working fishing vessel, Bluenose became a provincial icon for Nova Scotia and an important Canadian symbol in the 1930s.
Our Bluenose tour began at the cruise ship terminal where we were quickly educated about the bikes, helmets and comfortable seat in each sidecar – off we went. Radio controls allowed tour participants to be in contact with each other and to hear our guides clearly. Each sidecar holds one passenger, but could fit two small children. We had never ridden in a motorcycle sidecar before and loved the experience. The day was beautiful and the scenery spectacular. We headed out of Halifax proper toward the tiny village of Peggy’s Cove, site of one of the most famous lighthouses in the world.
Our first stop along the way was at the White Sails Bakery and Deli, serving the best Sugar Pie in all of Halifax. Originally from Montreal, Jacques & Carolyn purchased the bakery in 2010, bringing their secrets of smoking meats. Some of Halifax’s best delicacies are served here including Poutine (French Canadian version of cheese fries). This storybook setting is a great place to grab a break or a meal.
Onward we went headed to the cove, with another stop at the home of celebrated Photographer, Ivan Fraser,residing in his family’s 105 year old home. Ivan tells us the two versions of the story of Peggy’s Cove. The first, a romantic tail of a schooner wreck with the only survivor being a young girl named Peggy.
She was taken in by a local family and later married a cove resident. The second version was much simpler; Peggy’s cove is situated at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay and thus shortened to Peggy. Ivan has written numerous stories about Peggy’s Cove and this photograph taken at the end of Hurricane Josephine in 1996 appears to depict an image of a young girl inside the wave – Peggy perhaps? Ivan is both informative and entertaining, this has been a stop well worth making.
Upon our arrival at the cove we stop for a photo opportunity in the beautiful village, but the attraction is the lighthouse itself; situated on pure white rocks, it stands proudly as the beacon to the ocean. Once containing the post office, it now sits empty and closed to the public for climbing. The bagpipe music adds to this majestic scene as waves of the water splash along the rocks. A trip to Halifax must include Polly’s Cove, it is a very special place.
As we leave the Cove, Vick and Kevin inform us about other special sites in Halifax, such as the site of the SS Atlantic, another White Star Line Ship, struck a rock and sank slowly in April 1873, Swissair 111 plane crash September 2, 1998, the Titanic sinking (1911). Halifax Nova Scottia became the final resting place for many of those who perished and the 1917 shipyard explosion which was said to be the first and largest man made explosion. The French Ship, SS MONT BLANC, loaded with a cocktail of explosives and volatile material arrived too late to be let through the anti submarine nets. The ship had to wait until the next day to enter the harbor. The next morning the IMO headed for the sea just as the Mont Blanc entered the harbor and collided in the bottleneck known as the Narrows. Some of the Benzol drums broke loose spilled on the deck and caught fire. The Mont Blanc drifted toward pier 6 and blew up leveling the immediate area and 325 acres, 1600 people were killed.
A quick trip to the Citadel, with the most breathtaking view of the city/harbor left us wanting for more. A step back in time to the fort that protected the harbor is a tour in itself and should be added to your list of must see stops.
As we approached our drop off point, we concluded with a promise from Vicki and Kevin to show us the rest of the Halifax by sidecar on another visit. What a great way to travel this was, and certainly amongst our most unique tours. Bluenose tours operate in all sorts of weather, they have blankets and heat if the weather is cool.
If you are headed to Halifax don’t miss the chance to tour with Bluenose Sidecars www.bluenosesidecardtours.com and tell them Wicked sent you. Pricing of tours depend on the tour destination and length of time.