No Newfie Jokes, Please
Or else! Returning you to the end of our voyage, we stopped in Saint John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, which is a lovely little spot and historically important, not only for its Viking heritage.
It’s a wonderfully sheltered harbor, colorful and peaceful, and it’s not that long since the first cruise ships started putting in here.
The town put on a heart-warming welcome for us, greeting our ship with a little band playing traditional Newfie music, as well as several people with their Newfoundland and Labrador dogs. I think even the mayor came to welcome the ship, although we didn’t see him. We were very happy to see the Newfie dogs, though, as they are one of the most huggable breeds ever and we were really missing animals by the end of the trip.
St. John’s is famous for its “jellybean” row houses, which make the streets cheerful and gay,
a good thing since they get a lot of very severe winter weather and a little cheer and gaiety must help to keep morale high.
St. John’s is rightfully proud of being the spot where, high atop Signal Hill, Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901. It was only the letter S, dot dot dot, in the Morse code he must have strained to hear, but those were the dots that changed the world as we know it, and he received a Nobel prize in physics for his invention.
The view down from Signal Hill is pretty spiffy too.
The town also has a lovely monument to peace, and a stunning museum called The Rooms, where we were lucky enough to see the gut-wrenching David Blackwood exhibit. Look him up here, if, like us, you’ve never heard of him before. He captures the history of Newfoundland in an absolutely unforgettable way.
St. John’s also has a district composed almost entirely of Irish pubs, of which I can recommend O’Reilly’s for quite decent food and good live music, but there are also a variety of ethnic foods, including Canadian. Newfoundland only joined Canada in 1949, so if you’re not a native Newfie, you’re still considered to be “from away.” Their cuisine has a couple of unique facets, including Screech, the local rum with a fearsome reputation that I found to be quite drinkable, and seal flipper pie, that even I, a person who ate rotten shark in Iceland, shunned like the devil.
Overall we found Newfoundland to be beautiful, friendly, and welcoming, and even though we’re from away, I hope to go back.