Good intentions are there…we get up at 4:30 a.m. only to see it is pouring outside. We wish Canada Happy Birthday, from our warm bed lol.
(Ha! This photo was taken the day before obviously..)
We visit The Rooms later in the afternoon. Again, a must for anyone visiting St John’s. The newest permanent exhibition: Remember Them as We Do is very moving. It pays tribute to the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians at War and at Home 1914-1949.
Tonight we think of our family celebrating Jim and Jeanine’s 50th wedding anniversary. Wish we could be there… Happy anniversary Jim and Jeanine. Wish you all a fun celebration!
We have supper at Oliver’s. Again, no reservation, no supper (except at the poutinerie next door maybe…)
Tomorrow, we fly to Ontario. Cannot believe it is our last day in this beautiful province. Where else is everyone so friendly and welcoming! We have enjoyed every minute of our stay. We will be back :
-To drive to l’Anse aux Meadows and see the Viking Village.
-To tour the Burin Peninsula. The communities of Colinet, Grand le Pierre, Brunette Island, Point Enrage, Beau Bois, Port au Bois, Presque, Jacques Fontaine, and Saint Annes certainly reveal some French influence.
-To travel the Irish Loop on the Avalon Peninsula. Because it is over 300 km, we would have needed another 2 days in St John’s.
To explore Signal Hill where Mr Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless message in 1901, we have to walk up and up and up…Surely the streets of St John’s (and most coastal towns of Newfoundland) can be compared to San Francisco’s…
But the view is well worth it.
Signal Hill was also visited by Jean Cabot 1497. The Cabot tower was built in his honour.
Tonight, we attend a dinner theatre by The Spirit of Newfoundland Productions. Where once they stood is a dramatic and comedic tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Beaumont Hamel during WW1. What an exceptional performance!
The plan is to be on Signal Hill tomorrow at 6 a.m. We intend to be the first Canadians to wish Canada a 150th anniversary….
As mentioned, Bonnie’s home in St John’s at 4 Bannerman St. (not Rd) is perfect.
We walk to the harbour and to Water Street. Jelly bean letter boxes? Cute.
Of course a visit to St-John’s is not complete without a visit to Quidi Vidi, the historic fishing village.
We walk around the lake by the same name and have lunch at the Mallard Cottage, an 18th Century Irish-Newfoundland style cottage, one-of-a-kind venue. Fantastic atmosphere and food. Luckily, all this walking is keeping us fit ha!
We have supper at Raymond’s, one of the highlight of the stay here of course. Then off to George St where all the bars are. (Bourbon street in New Orleans? Not quite but close). At our age, we decide to go <home> for a final drink instead. lol
We leave Fisher’s Loft (room 13) thinking we have to come back. We stop at the Terra Nova information centre. So many trails to explore in that provincial park as well. But, it is raining hard so we drive on.
In Swift Current, (population 300) we discover Vernon’s Antique Toy Shop. Wow! All original classic cars in pristine condition. Quite impressive to say the least. Vernon welcomes us and obviously has a lot to share with Roger. They will meet again at the Toronto fall auction.
When we get to our <Jellybean home> it is still pouring. The address is 4 Bannerman St., not to be confused with Bannerman Rd. It takes a while to find it. Many one ways:) but it is the perfect place, clean and cozy!
Only later do we get a chance to take a walk in St John’s. We are happy there will be no driving. We can walk everywhere. But how on earth do people drive in St John’s during winter? Where do they park their cars?
This is our last day in Port Rexton and area. We decide to go back to Bonavista in the morning for an eco-tour with Tuckamore discoveries. Jon and his student Catherine are fun and energetic. So very knowledgeable! Jon covers a lot of interesting subject matter (from plants to bogs to wildlife). Imagine picking the bakeapple berry. Each plant produces one and only berry. With Jon’s powerful binoculars, we get to observe several colonies of puffins up close. These small seabirds have coloured beaks during the breeding season. They are so clumsy when they come to land but they do spend most of their life at sea. Like the Canada geese, we learn they mate for life.
Thanks Jon for this wonderful picture 🙂
Then off we go to the Port Rexton brewery. Take your pick : Baycation blonde, Robust porter, Sweater weather, Chasing sun, Horse chops, Nar’ bitter, Garderner’s gose, etc. Which ones did we try again??
What perfect weather! We decide to walk the 5km Fox trail. Breathtaking views!
In Elliston, we visit the Puffin Viewing Site. With binoculars, we see them in and out of their burrows. So cute.
Elliston is also the capital of root cellars in the world.
The Home From The Sea Interpretation Centre in Elliston is a must to understand the incredibly difficult life of Seal hunters at the beginning of the century.
The Café in Bonavista next to Walham’s Gate Pub is the best and so inexpensive!
In Bonavista, we also tour the Mathew, a full scale replica of Jean Cabot’s vessel when he discovered America in 1497.
And then Trinity!
In Cape Bonavista the lighthouse is one of the few remaining in the world where you can climb the stone tower and see the same seal oil-fueled lights used in the 19th century. The guides are super informative. Great experience.
Vamps : Wool socks
Trigger : Mittens with extra finger
Bonavista social club : Recommended place to eat although we did not get the opportunity to do so.
We decide to walk the Sherwink 5.5 km coastal trail. This trail was selected by travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the top 35 walks in North America and Europe. What views of Port Rexton and Trinity.
We chose Port Rexton as our next destination because of its proximity to Bonavista, Elliston and Trinity. The drive there is quite interesting.
We stop at the airport in Gander to see the murals and to get some insight on the setting for the play Come from Away. Unfortunately, they do not permit us to go on the international side of the airport. Joe is away and apparently he is the only tour guide. We do learn that 36 gates are not being used at this airport!
We had no idea what to expect but Fisher’s Loft is very cozy and the view is spectacular.
Good thing we reserved the restaurant for tonight. We are told they are sold out. The fog is setting in. It would not be fun to have to drive.
The dinner is fantastic: Cod with mashed potatoes and vegetables ++
We are so happy to have come to Twilllingate. After all, it is the iceberg capital of the world. But it is most special because of the colorful homes, the small town atmosphere, the museum and the lighthouse in the village of Crow Head just a few kilometers away.
The trails are again numerous. We spend the day walking, visiting and of course eating…cod tongues and moose soup for lunch.
Tonight we attend a dinner theatre. Like La cuisine a Meme on PEI, or Oh Canada Eh in Niagara Falls, the performers are the servers. Not professional theatre but a lot of laughs and fun. The couples we are sitting with are Diane and Raymond from St Boniface Manitoba and Suzanne and Carl from Perth, ON. Like us they are touring Newfoundland. Diane and Raymond went to Fogo Island without reservations. Braver than we are. They loved it and ended up staying in a small trailer for the night. Apparently the boat to Fogo Island is not very dependable. You have to be prepared.
They had also booked the ferry to St-Pierre et Miquelon but that ferry is being repaired and so, they had to change their itinerary.
(We are told the ferry was built in Romania two years ago and has not been reliable…)
Auk Island Winery is unique because its wines are made from Newfoundland berries. Very good!
We leave Rocky Harbour and drive to Hwy 1. We see a very different aspect of Rocky Harbour and Gros Morne… The sun is shining!
The drive to Twillingate is quite long. Lots of construction and…pot holes like at home. The only difference is that in Newfoundland, they warn you ha!
In Grand Forks, we stop at a Walmart to pick up a few items. What a shock. The place is so busy, loud and stressful compared to our quiet stay in Rocky Harbour. Thank God we are headed for Twillingate.. Again, one main street and a peaceful setting. As soon as we arrive, we see icebergs and a lot of ice in the harbour. Apparently, 2 days before, the boats could not even leave the harbour because of it. This had not been seen in over 100 years at this time of year. Everyone is relieved and happy to start the tours and to be able to fish.
For supper, what else: a 2 lb lobster. The dip for the bread is balsamic vinegar, olive oil and molasses. Yum! Desert? Sticky Caramel Pudding! (Anchor Inn Hotel)
The entertainment at the hotel’s pub is excellent. The guitarist,plays well into the night.
Weather is great …but we have not seen a moose yet!