"This picture is not just a picture of a beautiful place and interesting trip, but also a memory of a significant day."
September 8th 2022. A day to remember.
It was a beautiful warm sunny day in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was the last stop on our cruise of Canada and New England. Part of our tour that day included a trip out along winding roads (where the movie Speed was filmed!) to a small, famous local location called Peggy's Cove.
When the bus pulled in, we passed small wooden shops and cafes sat amongst rocks and a rugged shoreline. The guide eagerly explained the plans to us (not least the time to be back on the bus) and off we headed to see how many shops we could visit, photos we could take and coffees we could squeeze in during the just-under-one-hour we had to spend there. Doing all these things at once is something every experienced cruiser needs to get good at.
Off we trudged, heading for the hats, t-shirts and jewellery options on offer. This landmark location attracted many tourists on that sunny day, with people wandering amongst the rocks and gazing at the vibrant red and white lighthouse (Canadian colours?), taking breaks on the coloured chairs scattered around for weary visitors. It seemed unlikely to me that I'd get any winning shots, but at every opportunity I snapped photo opportunities of the coast, fishing boats and wooden houses, hoping for the best.
It came to that point in time where we knew we needed to pick up our pace and get back to the bus meeting point. Just as I was heading quickly up to the bus, I looked around and spotted this perspective of the lighthouse and wooden chairs - what a perfect rule-of-thirds/colour tone opportunity this might be! A very quick setting adjustment, a snap of the shutter as I held the camera up above my head and away I ran to the bus.
It was only when I uploaded my photos back at home that I realised this was in fact one of the best shots of the trip! And in fact, it now has pride of place on my kitchen wall.
Now, the story doesn't end there. This picture came to have more significance as the day wore on. We continued our journey back towards the city of Halifax, where we spent a bit more time exploring. After a nice lunch and wander in the city park, we made our way on the bus to visit the cemetery where over 300 of the Titanic survivors were laid to rest.
As we travelled, I noticed quite a number of Canadian flags at half mast. At that time, there had been a shooting in Canada. I simply assumed that's what it was for; I was wrong. Then came the news, shouted down the bus: "The Queen's died!"
We were the only Brits on the tour. And it really in that moment felt like the loss of a relative. And it really did feel like the wrong place to be at such a time. Americans told us they were sorry for us. The Canadian guide was shocked and clearly upset. As we continued our journey, we started to see billboards with pictures of the Queen on them and the dates '1926 - 2022.'
We then visited the Titanic victims and heard their stories. Listening, reflecting, pondering over the tragedies of then and that very day. The Titanic story is one that always captivates me and it was very moving to have that chance to be there. The news about the Queen was like a dark cloud hanging over us; like a black backdrop to the playing out of the Titanic story in front of us. Yet, the sun still shone above and it was so warm, I took off my jacket.
So, this picture is not just a picture of a beautiful place and interesting trip, but also a memory of a significant day. Despite that news, it was a great day and the calmness and warmth of this picture is certainly the way I shall remember it.
This pic is now in my gallery for you to take a closer look at 😊