June 4, 2015
Three days before the start of the rally we have arrived in Halifax – Nova Scotia.
After weeks of preparations it all came together on Wednesday morning at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Charlie and Mickey drove us to the airport where we met our rally competition Anty and Sonja.
Unlike Grace and myself they turned up with small and neatly packed luggage to fit their small MG-BGT V8. We brought two big suitcases so there might be a chance we will have to hire a support SUV to follow us with the luggage…
This airport rendezvous was a new experience for Anty and myself because unlike the previous rallies where we kissed our spouses goodbye at the airport we found that when we cleared customs and security, Grace and Sonja were still there.That was the moment we realized that this time they would come with us to check out what we have been up to all these other rallies..
The KLM flight to Toronto was comfortable and uneventful. At Toronto airport our rally friends Emile and Marian Ensink joined us. They had flown in a day early to see Toronto and now joined us on the last leg of the trip on the West Jet flight to Halifax.
A taxi took us through the Halifax ‘rush hour’ (two cars and a bus) to the Marriott Hotel at the harbour front. This will be the rally headquarters until the start on Sunday.
Halifax is a very Scottish looking seaport not very pretty but interesting.At the hotel we were met by our other new rally friends Tom van den Berg en Femke Schepers. They had flown in two days ago via Frankfurt and could tell us about the sights of Halifax. Despite the 5-hour time difference and the 12-hour trip we felt quite fit and decided to have a beer and fish and chips with our rally friends in he Pub next door to the hotel. At this stage you will think that this rally is a Dutch event but rest assured from the 45 crews entered there are five Dutch teams, four of which were now together in the pub.
An early Wednesday night with reasonably good sleep brought us to Thursday where in the morning after a late breakfast Tom van den Berg had arranged a boat ride to see the Whales. It was certainly a nice trip out to sea with a guide who gave us lots of information about the history of Halifax and its relationship with the sea. Did you know for instance that in 1917 the entire harbour front of Halifax was blown away when a ammunition ship crashed into another ship in the harbour, caught fire and exploded, flattening the entire downtown side of Halifax and killing thousands of people. Did you know that survivors and bodies of the sunken Titanic were brought to Halifax where many of the dead were buried? What we did not know on this boat trip was that the whales that we came to see had their annual day off. So we did not see any whales but the trip was nice and the fresh seas breeze cleared our jetlagged brains pretty good.
The weather is cold but clear and it promises to become a bit friendlier towards the weekend. Tomorrow at nine the shipping agent will collect us from the hotel to take us to our cars.
More of that tomorrow.