Day 32-33 St. John’s, Newfoundland   Leave a comment

We had a grand tour by bus of St. John’s, Newfoundland, with a tour guide who is a “Newfie.” Lucille is of Irish decent with a very thick accent and told us of many customs and gave us some insight on “Newfie talk.”

As we drove through the city, we were in awe of the beautifully decorated row houses, known as Jellybean Street. The house below, right was used for a TV production.

Many of them had unique painted mailboxes.

The houses below were built in the 1800s and known as the four sister’s because they were built by a man and he gave each of his daughters a house.

We visited Signal Hill (just 365 miles to where the Titanic sunk; 2,320 miles to London; 2,044 miles to Dublin; and 2,473 miles to Paris) first thing hoping to hit it before the fog came rolling in, but we were too late.

It wouldn’t have mattered a whole lot as the tower is closed for visitors. But Bill and I visited it 4 years ago, so I’m posting photos from then. The Cabot Tower’s cornerstone was laid on June 23, 1897 to mark the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s N. American Landfall and the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign. The building was completed in 1900.

Our guide told us that MANY years ago, if you were found guilty of something bad, you would be put on this hill to show the town they mean business and put in a barrel and rolled down the hill into the bottomless pond. And it was said you went to hell.

We were able to get some beautiful photos of St. John’s. Below right was the U.S. base during World War II.

We dined at Red Rock Grill for an excellent buffet lunch.

We toured the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. In front of the altar is a sculpture which is one of three in the world.

To the side are imported statues of Lady Fatima and the three children she appeared to.

We visited the convent. The nuns are all retired now and the convent is more or less a convalescent home for them. The parlor is used for entertaining visitors or “wakes.”

The paintings on the wall were done by the nuns, but never signed as they didn’t wish to be recognized for their beautiful works.

In the corner was a music box built in the 1800s. They don’t play it anymore, but they did have a digital recording of the sound and the sound was unbelieveable. The sound is produced by a metal disc with holes in it and the wooden box magnifies the sound.

The convent displays a beautiful sculpture of the Virgin Mary entitled “The Veiled Virgin” by Giovanni Strazza. The marble statue was imported from Rome on Dec. 4, 1856.

There are similar marble busts depicting veiled women in Canada, the United States, Ireland and England. None, however, are as meticulously crafted as the Newfoundland Veiled Virgin by Strazza: the facial features and the braids in the hair are clearly visible through the stone veil.

We stopped at Cape Spear Lighthouse, the most eastern point of North America. So now, Bill and I have been to the most Eastern Point, Western Point and Southern Point.

The lighthouse has been restored to its original appearance and refurnished to reflect a lightkeeper’s residence of 1839. It is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland.

We visited Petty Harbor, a quaint fishing community.

We ended our tour at the Lt. Governor’s House.

Before leaving us, Lucille demonstrated the Ugly Stick that Bill and I made to pass around to the guests while in Newfoundland.

“Hot Lips” was first passed to Lee and Beth for rescuing Terry and Pat’s dog from the ferry kennel.

On our free day, we were able to see the International Tattoo. They marched in and down the field.

Then it was back on the field for a terrific show.

We also stopped in the town of Quidi Vidi.

and visited The Quidi Vidi Brewery for their 2 p.m. full tour and tasting.

They are famous for their Iceberg beer. Several years ago, the brewery ran out of the blue bottles for their iceberg beer (they have a deposit on the bottles and people were not bringing them back, they were collecting them!). So they doubled the deposit for them. But now they have found a company to keep up with their demand.

Our guide was quite informative about the area. When the fire happened back in the 1800s the town was built back up as quickly as possible so there was not a lot of thought about the “lay of the land” and the streets show it. There are intersections going every which direction, streets change names in the middle of the street for no reason, and if you stop at a 4 way stop, invariably, everyone will say, you go, no you go, no you go……. And if you ever wonder why people drive down the middle of the road, it’s because originally they English wanted them to drive on the left side, but Newfies wanted to drive on the right side, so they drive down the middle (also to avoid potholes). LOVE IT OVER HERE.


Posted July 22, 2015 by carolnbill in Travel

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