NFLD Day 1

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September 18th 2015
Published: September 20th 2015
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Off a Newfoundland adventure. We have booked flights to St. John's and back, have a rental car waiting at the airport, and have booked our first night's accommodations. The rest is to be made up as we go along.

Smooth, uneventful flight direct from Ottawa to St. John's. On the plane, Vi and I end up sitting with two men–one in his mid thirties and the other probably a decade older–who are heading back to Newfoundland after a stint working in Fort McMurray. They have already been traveling 9 hours and are on their final leg. The younger fellow, sitting beside Vi, has a few tips and suggestions for us. The older fellow, though friendly, is frankly hard to understand in the noisy environment of a plane.

At the St. John's airport, we confirm our car rental at the booth. The agent upgrades us to a Mazda 5 without extra charge. He explains that because of airport construction, the rental lot is a fair hike away and gives us directions, ending with "you can't miss it." That's the kiss of death, of course. I end up leaving Violet behind to wander among dozens of cars in a remote lot, pushing on my remote in hopes of a response. Ah, a flash of lights! I've found the car.

The weather is very cool, only about 8°C, and overcast with a low ceiling. We're very glad we packed jackets in our carry-ons.

It's about a 15 minute drive to the St. John's waterfront. Our hotel overlooks the harbour. It's constructed on a hill so steep that you enter the parking garage at level 1 on one side of the hotel and exit the garage at level 5 on the other side. The street is called Hill of Chips, apparently because in the distant past a saw mill used to pile its wood chips up the cliff.

Our room is a standard hotel room but our window looks right onto the harbour. There's a boat being loaded with piping, presumably for the oil rigs. One pipe at a time is hoisted by a crane from the truck to the ship.

We elect to eat in the hotel's restaurant, which has some good reviews. We are seated by the window and watch the final loading of the same ship, after which it sets sail. In a few hundred meters, it is lost in the mist. We order cod tongues and mussels to start. The battered and deep-fried cod tongues are creamy and flavourful. I order fish and chips for my main meal and it's absolutely terrific.

We've decided to see what we need to see in St. John's before moving on and so we have extended our hotel stay by two more nights.


20th September 2015

Enjoy our former home
Open up the phone book and check out the number of Blackmores in the phonebook -- pages and pages of them. They immigrated from Devon to Bonavista Bay, then from around the bay to the town -- and a prolific lot they were. The museum in St. John's is well worth seeing. But I am sure you have an excellent guidebook with you. Unfortunately the St. John's Ghost Walk is done for the season and I don't think the stories at the Newman Wine Vaults are happening.

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