Yesterday the kind folks putting me up this week all had work or class, so I was left to wander around downtown Halifax and discover fun things for myself. Unfortunately, it seems that all the big attractions (there's a few museums and galleries in town I still want to see) don't open on Mondays, so my exploration mostly consisted of drifting around, gazing through store windows.
The weather was great though, so I used a bit of Starbucks wifi to look up outdoor activities in the area, and decided to take a few buses out of the city and around the Northwest Arm inlet to see some sights.
Eventually, I made my way out to a place called The York Redoubt. Don't know what a redoubt is? neither did I, but a map said that this one's a National Historic Site of Canada, so I figured it must be cool. It's basically a defensive military fort, in this case, situated up on top of a bluff with a nice panoramic view overlooking Halifax and the Nova Scotian mouth of the Atlantic. There's lots of big canons lying around the fort, and trails to tread between big sunken bunkers.
It's the last stop on the bus out there, and I was the only passenger by that point. I chatted with the driver, and arranged a special pick-up with him, because he doesn't like to stop too long at night (apparently there's "lots of strange people with creatures").
There was a dog-walker getting into her car as I walked through the lot, and at the sight of me shouted "I hope you brought your instrument!". Apparently she changed her mind about leaving just then, and she and her black shepherd lab walked me over a hill to the entrance of a dark bunker; stone steps leading down into the hill, strange sounds and smells echoing out.
I climbed in and found three bearded guys at the bottom of the tunnel. They'd lit the otherwise pitch-black room with about a dozen tealights, and were grooving on acoustic guitars and a cajon. They introduced themselves as Jeremy, Bernie and Mizel and invited me to jam with them on a song they'd written under the name Elephants In Trouble. It could have been the surreality of listening to them play in an eighteenth-century underground bunker 45 minutes out of Halifax, but I got really lost in their stuff.
They've only got one song on Soundcloud, but here's a snippet of something I shot in that military basement: