I planted a seed for Sunday’s adventure on Georges Island with a hint of what to expect when visiting the island. I did this for a couple of reasons. I want local folks to get excited about this off-limits part of our community, and, to get people thinking about the future of the island and how it could become an amazing public space.
Another quick trip across the harbour, I was back on the rocky beach of Georges Island.
Parks Canada opened much more of the island to visitors on Sunday, compared to the concert on Tall Ships Day 3. This makes perfect sense, if only to preserve the site and limit the amount of garbage to clean up. Visitors were invited to go on a short tour through the site’s fortifications and tunnels. My tour was led by a history student, who knew a lot about the island’s history, and was up for our many questions.
The tour through the tunnels was a fascinating look inside the workings for the fortress. From the near-pitch darkness of the powder room to the snail-covered walls, our flashlight-lit walk reveals some of the secrets of the island.
We learned that a lot of the things that were “left behind” on Georges Island have been moved over to The Citadel, except these guns, which are simply too large to move.
Back outside, I can report (either happily or sadly, depending on your tolerance) that I finally met one of the infamous Georges Island snakes. She/he was completely non-threatening.
After the guided tour, we were left to wander freely. The island is small, but there’s no shortage of interesting places to see. As I wandered, I envisioned my best case scenario for the island: open for public use in the summer on weekends, like Governors Island in New York. It would be quite wonderful to pack a picnic lunch and a blanket, and set up for the day on the lawn, with a book, some friends, and a jazzy ensemble in the background.
Of the many things I like about the island is the fields of yellow and purple wildflowers that have overtaken everything.
On the way on and off the island, the disintegrating powder storage area and submarine mining establishment are worth a visit, if only because their futures seem very uncertain.
And, with that, I boarded a boat and headed back to Halifax. À bientôt, Georges Island!
The opinion presented within this post is my own, and I would like to thank the Waterfront Development Corporation Limited for inviting me to participate in Tall Ships 2012 and providing a media pass for the event. Any time I receive a discount or complimentary service in my capacity as a travel blogger, I disclose it.