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Posts Tagged ‘Lunenburg’

It was hard to leave the Lunenburg area, so we eked out one more night at an RV park right in Lunenburg itself.  You’d never know we were in the town, (and close to the filming of Moby Dick)  given the view and the visiting deer.

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Out my bedroom window

Out my bedroom window

But after five nights, it was time to move on to Halifax.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has exhibits on both the Halifax Explosion and the Titanic (bodies were recovered and buried in cemeteries here).

I got interested in the history of the Halifax explosion after reading Anita Shreve’s novel, “Wedding in December”.  So then I read Laura MacDonald’s non-fiction account “Curse of the Narrows”.  Two ships , one carrying tons of explosives, collided in the Halifax Harbor in 1917 , set off a fire,and then an explosion,  that killed at least 2000 and injured 10,000 more, leaving Halifax in ruins.  It was the most powerful man-made explosion ever, prior to the atomic bomb, and caused a tsunami in the basin – as if the fire and shock waves from  the blast weren’t enough.  So many people, standing at their windows, watching the ship on fire after the collision, were blinded or killed by the shattering glass when the explosion went off.  The chaos that followed, the search for dead and wounded in the blinding blizzard that arrived the next day, and the sheer magnitude of the medical and relief efforts were  mind-boggling.

We also visited Pier 21 – Canada’s Ellis Island, which has been transformed into an immigration museum, rode up to Citadel Hill and around the downtown on the free and friendly bus, “Fred”,  and toured Alexander Keith’s Brewery, before having a delicious dinner and heading back across the bridge to Shubie Park Campground.

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Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

To say Lunenburg is a colorful little port is an understatement.  It’s a candy store for the eye.  Oh, please don’t let me say William Hurt is too…oops!  Yes, they’re filming Moby Dick here (with William Hurt, Ethan Hawke, Donald Sutherland and Gillian Anderson), but that’s not why we came. We had no idea they were filming here – we came to see a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site town (only two in North America, the other one is Quebec City) and were here for two days before we discovered the film crews.  Which was good because it gave us time to visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and enjoy the town without distraction.

Lunenburg Harbor

Lunenburg Harbor

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

The museum is great – I didn’t know my favorite fish (to eat), halibut, was a bottom-feeding flat fish, but I’ve seen one in person now.  I’m still going to eat it.  We had a long, great talk with a scallop fisherman.

So okay,  back to William Hurt.  I fell in love with him in “Kiss of the Spiderwoman”. Would it help if I said Dick did too?  Probably not.  Let’s just say we were both surprised and happy to see him in person.  And even more surprised to see him in these circumstances, sitting alone on a small chest, in costume,  on the side of the street.  No make-up artists hovering, no production people around, he was just sitting there, almost on the curb. Definitely not a prima donna – or whatever the masculine version of that is. We walked within feet of him before we realized who he was.  He raised his eyes, lowered them. Respecting his privacy, we walked right past him, like he was just any other person on the street.  Saw him again the next day, this time he had one of his legs wrapped in green tape, so as to make it disappear for the peg leg… aren’t movies wonderful?!

We also walked to one of the sets they built at the foundry in Lunenburg to re-create a Nantucket wharf.  They were dis-assembling it while we watched.  Look for it in the movie, though.

Lunenburg Set for Moby Dick - representing Nantucket

Lunenburg Set for Moby Dick - representing Nantucket

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