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Old 01-11-2004, 04:49 PM   #1
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Well, I have returned from my adventure in the most Eastern Province of Canada, Newfoundland.

The flight from Toronto to St.Johns was rather uneventful, no food on the plane, no movies, and no good conversation, but for 140$ return, what should I have expected?

Landing in St.Johns brought a feeling of nostalgia, I had been here 20 years ago, but remembered really nothing. The new airport was small and easily navagatable, and my bags were ready in about 10 min.

As I said in another post, I decided to rent a car while I was there, which initially turned out to be a pain in the ass, the cost between about 6 companies varied by between 450$ and 650$, one offering more options than the last or cheaper insurance, or more km, ( miles to my American friends), finally I negotiated a full size car with full insurance and unlimited km, for 430$, I was sold on that deal. The moral of this story, ALWAYS NEGOTIATE!

I finally made my way into the city of St.Johns. The first thing that I noticed was the colors of the homes, greens, and yellows and blues, each one seemed to have a different shade, which I thought looked really cool. The style and architecture was very unique for this area of Newfoundland, and most likely Canada.

The Downtown area is only 15 min or less from the airport, and consists of 2 major commercial streets, Duckworth, and Water St. Shops, stores and restaurants line each side of these to streets, and for a change from a lot of other North American cities, most of these stores were “mom and pop” type places, the big corporations I guess have not invaded the St.Johns city center. Now there are your regular, fast food chains ( Burger King, Subway, Quiznos) but I was ok with that.

The Bed and Breakfast I [picked was a short walk ( about 10min) from the down town area, and after some more negotiating I got a room for 70$ a night. Which by budget standards is a bit expensive, but with no youth hostels in Newfoundland, my options were few and far between.

After dropping off my bags I wondered about this interesting city, just to get my bearings straight. And get something to eat. In my efforts to find some grub, I found a very cool street of pubs, clubs and bars called George St. What ever you fancy in tunes, this street had it, tradition pubs with Newfi folk music, to sports bars to dance clubs, what ever…I knew I would not be leaving here anytime soon.

O’Reilly’s was were my ass landed on a stool for the rest of the evening, sitting at the bar, sipping a Caffreys enjoying the company of the staff and some other folks who happened to come through the door. By the end of the night I had had one too many and staggered back to my room.

Waking up around 11am and feeling well rested from the previous nights activities, I stepped out of the B&B and saw where my next destination was, Signal Hill. This hill over looks St.Johns and Cabot Tower sits atop. This is where the first Trans Atlantic wireless signal was received back in 1901. The drive up to the tower was gave me a great view of the city, and from where I parked my car the view was wicked looking over the Atlantic Ocean. I went into the tower and was met by an older gentleman who manned the tower for tourists. He told me about the history of the tower and the Signal Hill. It was pretty amazing to think back over 100yrs ago was the birth of what we know today as wireless technology. The man took me to the top of the tower and pointed to a structure in the distance telling me it was an abandoned WW2 gun post, and the most eastern point of North America, called Cape Spear. I knew then where my next destination would be. I thanked him for the information and jumped in the car and off I went.

The 20 min drive to Cape Spear took me a through the city center and to the other side of the harbor, along curvy roads and past secluded homes,. I found a spot to park and the first thing I saw were the crashing waves against the cliffs of Cape Spear. The waves were so big, prob the biggest I have seen before anywhere. The weather was cold and a bitter wind was strong. I walked around the path until I came to the old gunners base that was built here by the Americans and Canadians to protect this “strategic” area.
It was abandoned, literally! Some info post were around, but the structure it self was exposed to the elements, there was no open information office or staff on the site. After my little history lesson I walk 50 meters or so to the most Eastern point in North America, it might sound kinda cheesy but hey I thought it was cool. I stayed in this area foor a couple of hours dispite the cold, just to enjoy the view, but eventually I became an ice cube.

The rest of this day I pretty much spend just walking around downtown, checking out shops, and checking out the ships in the harbor. I turned in early this night, as my day kind of made me beat.

TO BE CONTINUED….
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:35 AM   #2
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Wow, CD, scenery and history...sounds like its right up my alley! I've always been a sucker for the "waves crashing against the shore" landscapes.

Funny thing about St. Johns. One time, my parents were going to St. John, Nova Scotia, for one of my dad's business trips, and ended up in Newfoundland by accident. Their travel agent mixed the two up! I think they had to end up staying the night because there was no more service between the two that day...

Have fun, and keep us posted...

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Old 01-12-2004, 06:41 PM   #3
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sounds nice! One day I want to head to the maritimes as well. Ever been to PEI?
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Old 01-12-2004, 09:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
sounds like its right up my alley!
WWM, thats so funny bro, when I got there I thought of you right away!!! Serious, one of the first things I thought about this place was, WWM would love this!!!

Dio, I was in PEI whne I wa very young, do not remember
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Old 01-13-2004, 04:42 AM   #5
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CD, can't wait to read the sequel!!!!

I was in PEI about 10 years ago...Being a huge fan of L.M. Montgomery I talked my entire family into this trip. Enchanting scenery, a few nice places to visit around the Island...It's nice if you want to spent a week, there even are pretty nice beaches with the typical red sand...Local art is easy to find as well (but expect a lot of Anne dolls and cows...). People were very nice to us french...In a week, if you have a car, you can visit the entire island...If I was to go back there, I would rent a bike instead if the weather was nice.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:35 AM   #6
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To continue my story....

That next morning I left for Marystown, to vist family, which foir the most part was pretty normal family stuff, saw the house my Dad was born in, saw my Dads old highchool, did some off roading on my cousins ATV..rather un eventful, i did get to see where Mcdonalds makes their McFish Fillets...


Spending 2 days with family was good, I had not seen them in 20yrs. It was a nice reunion. While in Marystown, I did get to do a lot of off roading through the back trail on an ATV, which was pretty sweet.

On my way back there was a small incident, but I will post that in the story section of the site

I has an opertunity I could not pass up on the way home, I went to Dildo Newfoundland, yep I said it right, Dildo!!! Yes I only went because if the name, but it was fun just the same. Only about 80km from St.Johns and 15km off the Trans Canada Highway. There is not much there, a fish processing plant some fishing boats, and a post office, that’s really about it, the population was maybe 1000 or so people.

Arriving back in St.Johns I went and checked out the Johnson Geo Centre which was a cheap sight to see, nd it was interesting to learn of the history behind the creation of Newfoundland and the world. I also had a fantasitic time catching a St.Johns Maple Leafs game...these guys are the farm team for my Toronto Maple Leafs!! It was a crash and Bang game for 18$
I read in the paper that day of a small production that was going to be on in the evening, so I decided to check it out. It was called An Evening of Burlesque, and it was great, 3 hours of Dance, Comedy, Songs, Literary readings and Drama. I was so glad I went. If your ever in town, check the LSPU theater for some other shows that might be on. It was time to call in a night after that, as I was leaving the next day.

All in all I would say my time in NEwfoundland was great, I would recommend it for other trav'las, not only for the history and great natural views, but for the hospitality, I was treated great everywhere I went, and have met people who I will keep in touch with for years to come.
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Old 01-13-2004, 10:27 AM   #7
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CD, sounds like a wonderfully peaceful journey. Great story telling.
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Old 01-13-2004, 07:20 PM   #8
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DIDLO, NF haaaaa haaaaa those silly newfies. Yeah Newfoundland has such funny town names.

MOC- your a L.M Montgomery fan as well. aaaaah I was raised on the whole Anne series. It's good stuff.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:12 PM   #9
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Glad you had a good time CD, makes me want to go there even more...

Moc, did you go to the squeaking sands? I think thats what they were called..anyway, strange place.
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:25 AM   #10
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Sqeaking sands?

Okay, I can picture it now...laying out with my towel on the sand. Suddenly, a squeak comes from underneath the towel, and people look at me questioningly. "It's the sand...honest! I didn't do it..."

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Old 01-14-2004, 11:24 AM   #11
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LOL, well you're pretty close. My cousin was telling me about it after she went to PEI, said they were walking up to the shore-line and they started to hear what sounded like seals or something, and there was alot of it. Then they saw this sign 'squeaking sands' and stopped walking. The sound stopped too. It was like whenever pressure was put on the sand it squeaked...I think that might have been the place that was cat infested too..."heeere kitty kitty..holy sh*t!"
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Old 01-15-2004, 04:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diorama@Jan 14 2004, 03:20 AM
MOC- your a L.M Montgomery fan as well. aaaaah I was raised on the whole Anne series. It's good stuff.*
you know what's cute, i think all young girls love l.m.m.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:43 AM   #13
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Thanks for the review, CD!

Glad you had a great time there, and catching up with family as well! Must have been a nice little reunion after 20 yrs, and a big surprise for them .
I love the spectacle of crashing waves too! Even better, and relaxing, to hear them crash up close!

PEI...what is this ?
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:29 PM   #14
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^ Prince Edward Island

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Old 03-25-2004, 08:41 PM   #15
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will be there in august before my europe trip... going to a good old fashion newfie wedding... should be interesting
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Old 03-29-2004, 01:35 PM   #16
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nice to hear you had a good time in our fair province. next time you come check out cape spear, middle cove, the rooms (new provincial art gallery opening in june), bell island, cape st. mary's (huge ecological reserve) and salmon cove sands (white sand beach about an hour outside st. john's). the best time to come here in in the summer when you can see whales and icebergs and camp right on the side of the road. it's something we do every summer. just drive along, find a nice spot by the ocean and pitch a tent.
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