Newfoundland – Day 2, St. John’s

We all got a wonderful sleep. Woke up at dawn. Our plan today was to explore the city. However, the tourism operators were all closed for the season. This would become a regular occurrence this week.

Early morning walk. Raisin is chewing and taste testing the grass of Newfoundland. Woke up at 4 but, thankfully, there is a 24 hour restaurant. The Celtic Hearth served up a great Fisherman Breakfast at 5:30 am. Already I love this city.

Our first stop was The Doghouse – a pet supply story. A big, friendly Irish Wolfhound greeted us. I expected a big Celt to come up from the back. The owner welcomed us and gave treats to Eve and Raisin.

How could we resist buying a couple of Newfoundland dog cookies. This photo will be the only evidence left.

Time to explore Water St. It’s the oldest street in the oldest city in Canada. The steps going up lead to George Street – the entertainment district. This monument is dedicated to the musical heritage that St. John’s has contributed.

This is across from the statue. I’ve booked a reservation for Monday so will find out more about the building and the brewery.

According to this, in 1911, King George turned on a electrical switch in London that travelled across the ocean and helped to set this cornerstone. Another first for St. John’s.

We are on Duckworth street looking down on Water St, That is Harbourside Park below. It is easy to do the North South routes. Going west takes us up the hills. We will try one in a few days.

There is a great musical, mummers tradition in Newfoundland. Mummers are neighbours dressing up, in disguise, going from house to house playing music and singing songs. A little dedication to the mummer on a construction wall. I later bought a Mummers tea towel as a sovenir.

Here is the Bank of British North America building. opened in 1850 when Britain was investing heavily in the city. Closed as a bank in 1985 and is now the College of the North Atlantic Textile Studies.

The back of the Supreme Court building. Will check out the front and history when we come around to that side.

Love these little laneways that go down to the docks. There is a Screech store down one that was closed but I will return.

A mural depicting the history of St. John’s below the Jellybean Houses. When you get up close you can see it is deteriorating.

More of the mural and a Jellybean condo in the back. The condo walls in behind are painted in sections to compliment the houses.

Water Street – Sunday morning. Not much happening. Our hotel is close to Water Street so will be checking out the music scene. The tourism offices may be closed for the season but the music lives on.

Pugs were ready for a nap so I drove out to Quidi Vidi village. It is on Quidi Vidi Lake and there is a trail that goes around the lake. I’ll be taking to pugs there but wanted to check it out first.

There is an artist gallery in the village called the Plantation. There was a main exhibit of artist Sheila Tandy Coultas. She gets her inspiration from the lost culture of the Beothuk indigenous peoples. This is called Caribou Fences.

There was also an crafts section on the second floor. I bought a t-shirt and a ceramic shot glass. Support the local economy. I had a reservation for The Mallard Cottage restaurant in Quidi Vidi. It was built between 1820’s and 40’s.

The house is typical of the style built by the immigrants of southeast Ireland. They maintain a herb garden in the summer. The have a wood supply for the smoker. The low-hipped roof, with the kitchen in the back to the left. They smoke all there own meat and fish. Voted one of the top new restaurants in Canada.

Went to the Quidi Vidi Brewery. They are sponsors of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. The festival is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary and I’ll be going to the Opening Night gala. Quidi Vidi Brewery chose 30 local women artists and displayed one of their works on a special, limited edition, brew.

After the nap we went to explore the Harbourside Park. They have 2 statues honoring the dogs of the province. The sculptor, Luben Boykov, is mentioned on one of the panels.

On ode to “Larry” a young, Newfoundland dog.

We sat and watched that big ocean freighter coming into the harbour. Lovely, sunny afternoon.

Raisin almost fell into the pug trap. These grates must be a carry over from 1760. She was behind me, as usual and was just about to step off the curb. I’m always checking back on her so managed to hoist her up just in time.

Pugs are back at the hotel napping. My first pub on George St. O’Rielly’s. The service was terrible. Waited and waited. I was going to have dinner and settle in for the music. This large group playing from 3-6 a variety of jigs and reels.

Finally went to the bar and placed an order. Fergus O’Bryne, founding member of Ryan’s Fancy plays every Sunday when he is in town. Originally from Dublin, he now calls St. John’s home. Beautiful sounding guitar (made in 1953). He tells a story before each song which is my kind of musician. And he did a Stan Rogers song, mentioning Ontario and I applauded loudly.

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