Wednesday, September 10, 2008

York ReDoubt...No Doubt #1

As often as we can, my husband and I organize "family days". We like to create adventures wherever we go. Since we haven't been to York ReDoubt, we knew this would be cool place to check out.

So we pried the kids off the computer and followed the well marked signs along Purcell's Cove road to York ReDoubt National Historic Site (which was about 15 minutes from the Armdale Rotary).

Once there, we quickly paired off to explore the rooms of the fort on our own. By the way, this is THE perfect place to play tag or hide and seek!

Built in 1793 by the Duke of Kent to defend Halifax from invasion from the French, the walls of the fort are rock solid. To get to the other side of the fort, you can walk through a long tunnel to get to the other side. York ReDoubt is part of the Halifax defense complex comprised of Citadel Hill, Prince of Wales Tower, Fort McNab and George's Island. I'm told that, back in the day, they all communicated to each other using an elaborate flag system.

After going through a tunnel that takes you to the ocean side of the fort, we discovered many hiking trails. As we walked along, we noticed a cruise ship leaving the harbour, a bunch of blackberry bushes that were bursting with berries too early to pick (darn!) Along the way by daughter collected burrs that, unbeknownst to me, were secretly placed all over my back.

One trail led us to York Shore Battery, an abandoned WWII Command Centre where you can still explore around the rooms and all but climb onto the grass roofs. There is also an informative display panel explaining the role the facility had during its operation. One of them was keeping a watchful eye on German U-Boats that floated just outside the Halifax harbour. A giant underwater gate ran from here to McNab’s Island that kept the U-Boats out and our ships (and city) safe from attack.

The walk back to the car was another adventure. A shortcut to connect onto the path to the tunnel, ended up being a steep crazy climb. We happened to arrive at the tunnel entrance just in time, because the park attendant was about to lock up for the night. I am glad we took the shortcut.

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