Friday, July 27, 2012

St. John's, Newfoundland

The ferry to Newfoundland is huge.  It holds 531 cars.  It took over 2 hours just to load.  We left North Sidney around midnight and arrived in Newfoundland the next day around 4:00 Newfy time.  It's actually 1/2 hour ahead of Atlantic time (or 1 1/2 hours ahead of Eastern time).  We had a very nice cabin with a window.  The dining room was not as luxurious as a cruise liner, but very nice for an overnight crossing.  Below is a picture of the cars and campers lined up waiting to be loaded.  We were entertained while we waited by a band playing Newfoundland music.

Cape Spear is North America’s most easterly point.  It lies just a few miles southeast of St. John’s.  The light house is surrounded by remains of World War II gun batteries.

Petty Harbor is a small fishing village just South of St. John’s.   A local fisherman came out to talk to several of us on the caravan showing us a picture of the harbor in the 1940’s.  Newfy’s love to talk  and we love to listen.

Reenactment of a battle (Royal Newfoundland Regiment)  in the late 1700’s. 

View of St. John's and coastline from Signal Hill.

Signal Hill is on the northeast side of St. John’s and gives stunning views back across the city, down the coast, and out into the Atlantic Ocean.  It served as part of a British signaling system in the 1700’s.  News of friendly or hostile ships was flagged from Cape Spear to Signal Hill, where the message was conveyed to Ft. William in town.   Cabot Tower was built in the 1800’s on top of Signal Hill. 

The Veiled Virgin is located in the convent at the Basilica Cathedral in St. John’s.   The Beautiful marble statue of the Virgin Mary was imported from Rome in 1856.  It was sculptured by the internationally acclaimed Italian sculptor, Giovanni Strazza (1818-1875) from Milan.  His work may be seen in the Vatican and also in the Cathedral at Milan.  The nuns graciously allow visitors inside the convent to see this beautiful sculpture and other art work and furnishings from the 1800’s when the convent was built.

The Lt. Governor was hosting his annual tea on the grounds of his estate.  Most of the locals were dressed up with hats and coats and ties for the men.   The Lt. Governor is in the picture below with the coat and tie on.  They had a band playing and served tea and other refreshments. 

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