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Day: August 9, 2017

Newfoundland Part Two

Newfoundland Part Two

Newfoundland – Part 2

Jellybean Row House mailbox

One of the best parts of visiting Newfoundland is meeting the locals. They are warm, welcoming and hospitable! Newfoundland’s people are from varying backgrounds but predominantly from European origin like England and Ireland. There are also some pockets of French and Scots and some aboriginals. St. John’s has a lot of Irish heritage and throughout the province you may notice some different dialects. It’s fun to hear the accents and unique phrases and try to interpret what they are saying! You can even buy a Newfoundland slang dictionary! But no matter where they originated, Newfies are a friendly bunch, perhaps because they must rely on each other when times get tough.

Gander Airport on September 11, 2001

Their true colours were shown during the Canada’s Yellow Ribbon Operation on September 11, 2001 when civilian airlines were diverted to Canadian airports during the attack on the USA. Newfoundlanders opened their homes and hearts to help 38 planes full of 6,122 passengers and 472 crew stranded in Gander while planes were grounded when US airspace was shut down. This made such an impression that a musical production was recently made called “Come From Away”.

Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, St. John’s
St. John’s Harbour
Jellybean Row Houses

Labour in the province was at one time primarily fishing. Since the decline of the fishing industry, Newfoundland’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in Canada, and at times was double the national average. Cod fishing is now limited and the industry is now primarily shellfish. Other industry includes pulp & paper mills, hydroelectricity and iron ore mines, off-shore oil drilling and, of course, tourism.

Cape Spear Lighthouse

In addition to the incredible scenery, the arts play a large role in the experience of the province. The art and culture is well known within Canada. The comedy group CODCO including the likes of Mary Walsh, Bob Joy, Cathy Jones to name a few, became a local sensation with their Newfoundland sense of humour and inspired a whole generation of comedians and political satirists including Rick Mercer, Mark Critch and Shawn Majumder. One of Newfoundland’s esteemed songwriter’s is Ron Hynes and groups such as The Irish Descendants and Great Big Sea have recorded his songs. Celtic and folk music is a staple in the Newfoundland scene. When in St. John’s, just stop by any pub along George Street to take in the sounds of local musicians. You can also experience local groups and musicians in almost any small town pub. There are also dinner theatres throughout the province showcasing local talent. If you’d rather not go to a pub, try the Resource Centre for the Arts.

Quidi Vidi Fishing Village

There is so much to see and do that it is hard to fit everything into 10 days. Really you could go back and have an entirely different itinerary the next time! But I think we lucked out not only in weather, but also for timing of events and activities. Here’s an outline of our trip:

Our 10-day Itinerary:

For our 10 day trip we opted to leave out some of the suggested landmarks due to driving distances. L’Anse aux Meadows was one and the other was more of the Avalon Peninsula (down to Cape St. Mary’s). These both require staying overnight, but you could easily extend this itinerary to 2-weeks to include these areas. Note that at each location there are lovely hiking trails.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

  • Drive to Twillingate
  • Long Point Lighthouse, see icebergs

Day 5

  • Iceberg boat tour, eat fresh seafood
  • Drive to St. John’s

Day 6

  • Explore downtown & harbour in St. John’s on foot
  • Tour Canada C3, Water & Duckworth Streets, Terry Fox Memorial Mile 0, Jellybean Row Houses
  • Signal Hill, Ocean Sciences Centre

Day 7

Day 8

  • Whale & Puffin Tour (Gatherall’s)
  • Explore small towns along the coast (Witless Bay, Mobile, Tors Cove)
  • Cape Spear (most easterly point) see whales
  • Take in a comedy show

Day 9

  • Explore northern shore starting at Holyrood
  • Conception Bay South, Portugal Cove, Pouch Cove, Torbay

Day 10

  • Visit Cape Spear one last time
  • Fly home direct from St. John’s
Humpback Whale feeding on capelin

What to take:

In addition to the usual travel items and clothing, make sure to include:

  • Good footwear for walking and hiking
  • Rain gear
  • Binoculars
  • Good camera
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Federal park pass
Living creatures at the Ocean Sciences Centre

Things to do:

  • Deer Lake
    • Stop by the lake and see the fly fishermen in action
    • Insectarium
    • Big Falls at Sir Richard Squires Memorial Park
  • Gros Morne National Park
    • Rocky Harbour (great place to stay)
    • Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse
    • Cow Head dinner theatre
    • Western Brook Pond Tour
    • Green Garden Trail
    • The Tablelands
    • L’Anse aux Meadows (overnight trip)
  • Other Areas south of Gros Morne
    • Corner Brook
    • Channel-Port aux Basques
  • Twillingate
    • Iceberg boat tour
    • Long Point lighthouse
  • Other areas en route to St. John’s
    • Fogo Island
    • Gander
    • Grand Falls-Windsor
    • Bonavista
    • Terra Nova National Park
    • Dungeon Provincial Park
    • Sherwink Trail
  • St. John’s
    • Signal Hill & Cabot Tower
    • Johnson GEO Centre
    • Jellybean Row Houses
    • The Rooms Museum
    • Basilica Cathedral
    • Terry Fox Monument
    • Memorial University Botanical Gardens
    • Quidi Vidi Fishing Village
    • Cape Spear Lighthouse
    • Bell Island Mine Museum
    • Whale & Puffin Tour
    • Conception Bay coastal drive
    • Avalon Peninsula
    • East Coast Trail (any part)
    • Ferryland (picnic by the lighthouse)
    • Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve (overnight trip)

 

Newfoundland is indeed a very special place…

What’s your favourite part of Newfoundland?

 

See Newfoundland Part One

Visit Newfoundland’s Official Tourism Website