Sunday, September 10, 2017

Around St. John's Newfoundland

 St John's Newfoundland, is the capital of Canada's eastern most province - Newfoundland and Labrador. It is the largest city in Newfoundland and also North America's eastern most city. The town was named after John the Baptist. John Cabot sailed into its harbor in 1497. Its is the oldest city in North America. 

 The city's history includes roles in the Seven Year's war, The French and Indian war, American Revolution and The War of 1812.  It was at Signal Hill where Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal. 

Signal Hill over looks the Atlantic and St John's harbor. The British built strategic fortifications in the 17th century. Cabot Tower was built in 1897 to commemorate the city's 400th anniversary and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. 


The city of St John's is a colorful hilly town, often fogged in and sometimes gets compared with San Francisco. The Basilica of St. John the Baptist sits perched on the city's highest ridge and faces towards the entrance of the harbor. 

Soon after the European discovery of North America, St Johns became a major fishing port. Though the fishing industry has subsided St Johns is still a major port for the oil and natural gas sectors. Its ranked as a major World Energy city, serving as a base for  ExxonMobil, Chevron, Husky and many other energy companies. There are four major offshore oil developments here.

Colorful homes dot the hillside upon entering St John's harbor. 

Quidi Vidi is a historical fishing village and a neighborhood of modern day St John's. Its features artisan shops, restaurants and a brew pub. The Lobster rolls are delicious. 

St John's is one of the best places in the world to observe icebergs. They are visible from many points in the city and arrive every spring from the glaciers of western Greenland via iceberg alley. 

St Johns's is famous for its lively Celtic music, pubs and food. Its often said that St John's has more pubs percapita than anywhere else in North America. Common dishes are comprised from ingredients that may include lobster, cod, scallops, salmon, turkey and curry. 

St John's George street features 2 blocks of Irish pubs making for a very fun pub crawl.. Every night is Saturday night.  

The classic St john's Fish and Chips dinner which features battered deep fried cod, fresh cut fries, stuffing, coleslaw and turkey gravy. 

The Turkey Mess is another classic dinner, which features French Fries layered with sauteed onions and pieces of sauteed sliced hot dogs. On top is sprinkled roasted turkey, crumbled stuffing and poured gravy.

The people of St John's and Newfoundlander's alike have a tremendous sense of humor about themselves. In fact many jokes in Canada often feature the team "Newfy'" somewhere in the punchline. 

Street buskers abound in St John's. Celtic and Maritime music are everywhere.

St Johns's Jellybean Row houses. Appropriately named for the many colorful row homes throughout the city. Legend has it the houses were painted in such colorful themes so as fishermen could find there way home in the fog, though most of the fishermen are gone - pub crawlers utilize this strategy today. 

The National War Museum at King's Beach on Water Street where in 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for England. The term "National" refers to this monument being built by the Dominion of Newfoundland when it was still an independent nation and prior to its joining Canada in 1948.

Water street is the oldest street in North America. Today there are many cafes, artisan shops and pubs featuring fresh seafood dishes with Live Irish music. 

St John's Newfoundland makes for a great getaway. Its clean and safe plus the locals are very hospitable. The seafood is both fresh and delicious and there are a number of worth while attractions locally which may include whale watching or touring the small fishing villages along the Avalon Peninsula. Be prepared for the changing weather and the many diverse English accents with some not comprehensible even to native English speakers. As it is said there are more English language dialects in Newfoundland than any where else in the world. 

Getting There: St John's is serviced from central Canada via direct flights from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. There are also direct flights from London and Dublin; and in season from major airports in the North East US. 

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