Monday, August 7, 2023

St. John's: Salmonier Nature Park and as far East as one can go!!!

Salmonier Nature Park makes for a pleasant excursion along a well-maintained boardwalk to view wildlife indigenous to the region. The animals live in expansive, fenced, enclosures.


The easternmost point in all of the Americas was the site of a military outpost during WWII. Imagining living and working under isolated conditions, in mercurial weather, makes one appreciate the service of the soldiers who guarded the coast. 


The Cape Spear Lighthouse is a worthwhile tour, and a great opportunity to appreciate the isolation endured by a lighthouse keeper and his family.

                            Hiking the East Coast trails was a beautiful, if again foggy, experience.

                                My traveling companions and I at a marker for the furthest eastern spot.


St. John's: Whales, Puffins, and a Fine Museum

 Bay Bulls is a picturesque little community where we enjoyed some great scenery and another terrific whale watching excursion. 

                    The bird life, particularly the immense Puffin population, was equally fascinating. 

The Rooms is an excellent museum with a collection of contemporary art and informative cultural and historical exhibits.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

St. John's: Cabot Tower, Whale Watching, and Quidi Vidi!!!

 Located on the highest point of Signal Hill, Cabot Tower was erected, beginning in 1898, to celebrate both the landing of John Cabot in Newfoundland and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is a great area for hiking, even on one of the often-foggy days.


                  We enjoyed an excellent whale watching excursion, departing from St. John's rugged harbor.



                                                        Majestic whales were abundant. 

The village of Quidi Vidi was charming. Perhaps any small town with its own brewery would be!!

A visit to the Johnson GEO center was truly informative and helpful in understanding the geology and topography of the area.



Saturday, August 5, 2023

St. John's, Newfoundland: The Historic Downtown

 St. John's is a lively, fun, city. Founded in the 1600's, with a population today of roughly 100,000 people, it is the provincial capitol of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

                               Narrow lanes, steep hills, and plenty of steps--and worth every one!

To become an honorary Newfoundlander, you must participate in a Screechers ceremony, which involves learning to a bit of the local dialect, kissing--yes, kissing--a dead cod, and drinking a shot of rum. Maybe two.


                          Some streets are pedestrian only and wildly popular during the summer months. 

Plenty of restaurants, with outdoor seating, during the summer. As one might expect, the seafood is spectacular.

                                                     A memorial to those who perished in war.


A statute in memory of Terry Fox, who in 1980 ran east-to-west across Canada to raise money for cancer awareness. The young man had already lost a let to cancer!

                                 A successful civic campaign resulted in many brightly colored homes. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Ottawa and Shania Twain

 Shania Twain was headlining the Ottawa Bluesfest Concert the night we were in town, and we were fortunate to attend the show. The son of one of our group's members made T-shirts for us which were a huge--and unexpected--hit, based on her song "That Don't Impress Me Much."



                                       All the young fans wanted their photos taken with us.

Somehow, a photo was shown to Shania Twain and she displayed it on the huge video monitors on both sides of the stage!

She described us as great fans, who understood the humor in her songs: "These guys get it!"

Ottawa Redux!

 The post from October, 2019, chronicles our first visit to Canada's capitol city, and the second time around was just as fun. 

A canal walking tour is great, culminating in a view of the locks connecting the Rideau Canal with the Ottawa River. The locks, in use since 1832, are still operated by hand!!

                                                One of the best bagel places anywhere, period!

                                                         The striking Museum of Civilization

                          The view back toward the Parliament Buildings from the museum grounds.