Blogs from St John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, North America


North America » Canada » Newfoundland & Labrador » St John's September 18th 2022

We had to backtrack somewhat on our way to the Irish Loop and Portugal Cove South because the “highway” we wanted to take was gravel. Only about 40 kilometres but we had a rental car and didn’t want to take any chances. However, taking the TCH had one benefit. It took us past Salmonier Nature Park which started as an environmental education centre but has become a tourist destination. A two-kilometre boardwalk took us through some very interesting exhibits including many animals that had been injured and were recuperating in a setting as natural as could be made. There even was a section dedicated to animals that were now extinct like the Great Auk. It was a setting totally different from what we had been used to. This park is in the interior of The Rock ... read more
Remnants of the past
Salmonier Nature Park

North America » Canada » Newfoundland & Labrador » St John's September 9th 2022

Observations on bus touring We had never taken a tour of this type preferring to make our own arrangements (I have a great travel planner). We took this one on the recommendation of friends who had taken the trip pre-COVID. I was nervous about travelling with a bunch of “old people”. Yes, I saw the irony in that statement. The people on the tour turned out to be great. We now have lots of new friends (foreshadowing). The tour guides had a great system of assigning us to different seats every day so no one got the coveted front seats for more than half a day. There were twice daily draws to see who would be the King and Queen for the next half day. Patti had arranged for “door prizes” and the drawing of the ... read more
St. John's harbour
Harbour defences at Cape Spear
Cape Spear

North America » Canada » Newfoundland & Labrador » St John's September 8th 2022

As we gathered for breakfast on Day 10, many of the conversations were around the fact that this was the last time we would leave suitcases outside our rooms for loading onto the bus. Our last hotel is in St. John’s, the terminus of this great bus tour. Still almost 200 km to go. Bay Bulls boat trip When you leave Clarenville you start down the isthmus that joins the Avalon Peninsula to the rest of The Rock. Traffic is starting to build. Fortunately, we are soon back on the side roads towards Witless Bay and Bay Bulls. There we joined a couple of other bus tours on a fair-sized boat to visit the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. Most people (including Dianne and me) rushed to the upper deck where we hoped to get better viewing. ... read more
Land ho!
Interesting structures
Rocky cliffs

Newfoundland gives one a sense of calmness and serenity. The easternmost Canadian province has soft winding roads with one stunning vista after another. Even though we had studied what we might find once we arrived, we were surprised by the number of lakes, streams and rivers. We’d call it "the land of 10,000 lakes" but Minnesota already has taken that name. Acres of trees landscape your drive, so many in fact that we decided to look up the abundant varieties in these dense green forested areas. They include many birch trees along with black spruce, white spruce, junipers, white pine and balsam firs. Seems the white pines were heavily harvested for use as sawlogs and ship masts at the turn of the 20th century. This and an infestation wreaked havoc with the species, but they are ... read more
Terra Nova River
We love puffins!
Long Point Lighthouse

North America » Canada » Newfoundland & Labrador » St John's September 7th 2019

First of all I made a mistake on the last blog. I said we were going to Avalon where Ann of Green Gables was written. That was wrong. The Green Gables house is on Prince Edward Island, which we will be going to later. What is in Avalon is the Colony of Avalon. It is an archeological dig of the village of Avalon from the 1700's. We are awaiting Dorian. It has already hit Halifax and Nova Scotia and is producing a lot of damage. We were supposed to fly tomorrow from Gander to Halifax in the afternoon. We called the airlines and our flight has been cancelled. We suggested that they rebook us from St. John's instead. They said sure, but we couldn't fly until Monday afternoon. So we had to add an extra night ... read more
Gun barrel
Cape Spear Lighthouse
Colony of Avalon remains of a storehouse

North America » Canada » Newfoundland & Labrador » St John's September 5th 2019

So we had 2 travel days. From Deer Lake to Gander, and from Gander to St. John's. That's about 400 miles. So guess who is coming to dinner? That's right, its Dorian. That damn hurricane is supposed to hit Halifax on Saturday and Newfoundland on Sunday. Guess who is supposed to fly from Newfoundland to Halifax on Sunday afternoon? We are waiting for Air Canada to tell us that we can rearrange our flight. If not, we have to drive back to Gander Sunday morning in the hurricane. They say 75 mile an hour winds and up to 4 inches of rain. We are trying to delay our flight by one day and fly from St. John's. That would be a lot easier. We got to St. John's this afternoon. After checking in to our hotel, ... read more
The Citadel on Signal Hill
Lunch on the road
Giant lobster and I

August 30, 2019 – St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador – Weather: 63°F/17°C am, partly cloudy, sun tried to peek out in pm, wind 19.5 mph, humidity 93° Today we were expected to enter the harbour of St. John’s at 8:00 am and be tied up alongside the pier by 10:00. That didn’t happen! As we approached the harbour and not long after picking up the local Pilot the ship began to veer away from the harbour entrance. Shortly thereafter the Captain came on the PA system to announce that due to present weather conditions and those expected to exist when we are scheduled to leave this evening that our stop in St. John’s was cancelled. The Pilot and the HAL’s Fleet Operations office concurred with the Captain’s decision. A tropical depression, Aaron, was approaching from the ... read more
2_A little clear at the lighthouse
3_Ship emerging from harbour
4_Canadian Coast Guard vessel

We’ve fallen into a bit of a routine, not needing to set alarms, in part because we’re travelling west, occasionally getting an extra 30 or 60-minutes to live, as Linda reminds us during her Showtime emcee responsibilities; or, also because our tours are starting later in the morning (or even early afternoon as it did yesterday). Sharon had forgotten one of the “Cardinal Rules” of cruising, namely “Late to Port, Early to Mass!” It was already past the 8AM start time when she realized that she’d be missing out on one of Father Roman’s Blessings of the Day. In the Lido is was a sight to see this massive cruise ship snake through the narrow S-turn channel into the St. John bay and marina, and once clear of the channel markers to do a reverse rotation ... read more
Cabot Tower on signal hill
Some of the colorful housing in St. Johns
View of Rotterdam from Signal Hill

Max and I will always have fond memories of this amazing province with their rich history, loyalty to family history, friendliness, native foods, arts/music to name a few. The geography is breathtaking and introduced to some ‘obscured’ locations and experiences. How many times will you be involved in the cheese making process, milk a goat, hike every day and be spoiled by local music and food. Atlas Obscura did a tremendous job and our group of 12 was a perfect combination. We truly will miss our travel mates and hope we may meet again. Try something ‘obscure’ in your life, we did! Until we meet again and thank you for traveling with us from afar. ... read more

We have been kept so busy with tons of activities. Yesterday we went to Cod Sounds school of cookery in St John’s where we watched a demo of Brie cheese making by a local homesteader. Headed to Harbor Grace, where the airstrip Amelia Earhart took off from and other small museums. Dinner in Carbonear at Felicity’s mom’s house and local musicians entertained us. Great fun! Overnight stay in a quaint BnB. Rain all day on Thurs-Headed to Portuguese Cove to catch the ferry to Bell Island for 3 days at the Wabana Inn. After an amazing 3 course meal, a local artist came to the Wabana Inn to teach us to make a copper wire pendant. ... read more
cheese making demo & tasting
Harbour Grace- pirate tombstone

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