St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

 

St. Johns, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador and the province’s largest city, is not only the furthest-east city in North America, it is also the oldest.  First discovered in 1497 by John Cabot, it was later claimed as the first permanent settlement in North America for the British Empire by Sir Humphrey Gilbert.  As you might imagine, St. Johns has had a long and significant history:  the Vikings are sure to have been in this area in the 1000s; and 900 years later, in 1901, Marconi received the first radio signals from across the ocean at Signal Hill; in 1919 Alcock & Crown departed from St. John’s on the first successful transatlantic flight by a team of aviators; and in 1927 Charles Lindberg’s last North American landmark sighting on his famous solo flight across the Atlantic was of Cabot Tower on Signal Hill.

St. John’s is noted for its pubs, food, and music scene.  An entire book, The Overcast’s Guide to Beers of Newfoundland, (The Definitive Guide to Beer on the Rock), Breakwater Books, 2018, has been written about the breweries and beers of this island.

We began our day late—not leaving the ship until after lunch—and walked around sampling the shopping, food and drink along the way.  Water Street is the main shopping street.  The shops are quite charming, usually several rooms of merchandise, and no two shops seem to have the same wares (quite an unusual and refreshing experience.)  George Street is the main street for pubs.  The rest of the city hugs the harbor and runs uphill for several blocks.  It is very compact but requires long staircases to get from one street to another!

The pictures will tell the story:

1 (640x355)
The sail-in to St. John’s Harbor is quite lovely. It’s a shame the ship’s windows are so dirty–but I hope you get a sense of this rugged terrain.
This is quite a busy harbor.
This is quite a busy harbor.
It's a working port.
It’s a working port.
That ship docked in front of us is a supply ship for the oil patforms.
That ship docked in front of us is a supply ship for the oil patforms.
5 (640x352)
This is Harbourside Park. Those statues are of a Labrador Retriever and a Newfoundland. The breeds are native to this province.
6 (640x360)
Nobody knows the origins of the Newfoundland. He may be descended from the Tibetan Mastiff or the Norse Black Bear Dog or others. But it is known that he arrived with the fishermen. The breed is known for strength, endurance and intelligence.
7 (640x360)
The Labrador Retriever is descended from the Newfoundland. Mated with English Setters and Pointers for gaming, they are also a gentle, loyal, family dog comfortable in the water, on small boats and in the home.
8 (640x347)
Everywhere we went in Newfoundland, someone would bring their Newfoundland dog by for a pet and a visit. This puppy is just to precious for words!
9 (640x422)
This photo, taken from the ship, shows the layering of the city. The Courthouse (forefront) is on Water Street. Above it is the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist; above that the Basillica of St. John and to the left, The Rooms Museum.
St John's Court House
St John’s Court House
Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Basillica of St John the Baptist
Basillica of St John the Baptist
13 (640x358)
The Rooms is a cultural space where archives, artifacts and art come together to show the nature of this province. It is an experience.
Gower Street United Church
Gower Street United Church
Taking the stairway up to George Street.
Taking the stairway up to George Street.
16 (640x357)
Coming down the courthouse staircase from Duckworth Street to George Street. That’s Clift’s Baird’s Cove Street going down to the water.
17 (640x356)
We sailed into St. John’s Harbour through “The Narrows”, that you see directly ahead. You are looking at Signal Hill on the Left. and Cahill Point with Fort Amherst on the right.
This is Cabot Tower, atop Signal Hill.
This is Cabot Tower, atop Signal Hill.
A shop entrance on George Street.
A shop entrance on George Street.
20 (360x640)
The book of Newfoundland beers! A wealth of information, history, and statistics. The industry began in the early 1800s but in 1962, the independents were bought up by the large national breweries. Only the brews from 3 St. John’s breweries survived .
We sampled our first local beer at The Newfoudland Pub & Eatery.
We sampled our first local beer at The Newfoudland Pub & Eatery.
22 (640x360)
Black Horse, originally brewed by Bennet Brewing is now owned by Molson. It is still (and only) brewed in St. John’s. We enjoyed our drinks with a spicy plate of nachos! And the Pinot Grigio was good, also!
Later, we stopped at Erin's Pub on George Street.
Later, we stopped at Erin’s Pub on George Street.
Live entertainment is provided by by Kevin Joyce.
Live entertainment is provided by by Kevin Joyce.
25 (640x360)
The bar at Erin’s Pub on George Street stocked not only the the 6 surviving traditional brands of St. John’s along with an international asortment, but also the new kid on the block: Iceberg beer, brewed by the microbrewery, Quidi Vidi Brewing.
26 (640x360)
Quidi Vidi opened in 1996. Its most distinctive offering is Iceberg beer. This is made with the purest, softest water in the world–iceberg water! Harvesters go out and, by means of mechanical jaws, bore holes into the icebergs to grab center chunks.
27 (640x274)
After a truly enjoyable and enlightening afternoon libation, we walked back to MS Rotterdam and awaited the the beautiful sail-away while having dinner. Very nice port.

 

 

Our next port is our last port.  We will visit Halifax Nova Scotia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s