If you aren't too interested in Canada's seafaring history when you arrive in Halifax, you certainly will be before you leave. This is, after all, one place where the past is ever present. In 1749, this city boasted the great harbor that brought Colonel Edward Cornwallis to establish Canada's first English settlement. For the next hundred years, it remained British North

America's most important naval and military base.

At citadel Hill visitors catch a glimpse of those times - as well as a panoramic harbor view. The present star-shaped fortress on this hilltop site was started in 1828 and took nearly 30 years to complete. In summer, tours are conducted on the site; the Army Museum traces Atlantic Canada's military heritage and the multi-media presentation is so stirring it alone is worth your visit.

Stationed in Halifax for six years from 1794, Edward, Duke of Kent left his stamp on the city. Nowhere is this more prominent than the Old Town Clock at the foot of Citadel Hill commissioned by the royal duke. It remains a constant reminder of his obsession with punctuality.

How the clock survived the 1917 blast flattening most of the city is anyone's guess. Until Hiroshima, this had the dubious distinction of being the world's largest man-made explosion . One December morning an ammunitions ship exploded, destroying buildings over two square miles (five square km.) A harbour cruise will take you past the site. If time is limited a better idea is to pop into the waterfront's Museum of the Atlantic to watch videos on this and other maritime tragedies - including the sinking of the Titanic.

This 740 word story ends with suggestions for using Halifax as a base while exploring Nova Scotia's South Shore.