Tuesday, July 2, 2013

St. John's, Part II

St. John's, Part II

The second day BF and I were in St. John's, we woke up to a brilliantly warm and sunny day.  We had our coffee at the B&B and made our plan for the day - go out and see stuff.  That's about it.

This  is the view from the Balmoral, where we stayed.

We had a little lunch at Get Stuffed on Duckworth Street, then headed toward Signal Hill, our goal of the day being to walk all the way around it.  At the bottom of the hill, is a small park dedicated to Canadian hero, Terry Fox.  It represents Mile One of his journey, where he dipped his leg in the Atlantic to start it all off.

The caption along the bottom is a quote by him: "I just wish that people would realize that anything's possible if you try; dreams are made possible if people try."

So we started up the hill.  Now something you should know about St. John's, Newfoundland is that much of it is built into the side of a very, very steep hill.  Signal Hill, a separate hill entirely, is just as steep.  Sadly, I was suffering the symptoms of a low lying but never-ending cold and my lungs were just not up to par, so this walk was tough.  But, with the patience and support of my dear fiance, and many breaks along the way, I persevered.  This is about half way up:

Oh, how far away it still seemed.  But you just have to take a look behind to see how far you've come:

That's the city down there.  With those views the hike was pretty damn rewarding, and this ain't nothin'!   :)

The highest point on Signal Hill is called Ladies Lookout.

 It was where the women used to go, years ago, to watch for the ships coming in, ships on which worked their husbands and sons.  It's straight out to the Atlantic from there.  

In fact, from there you can see Cape Spear, the most easterly point of land in North America.  That's it below, in the distance, the little point of land at the very end.

Ladies Lookout was covered in little piles of rocks that visitors had built, some in the shape of inukshuk, others just little stacks.  

We left one too:

Oh, also, this is what St. John's looks like from the very top.  Not to shabby Newfies, you've got a pretty town there!

So then we sidled up to Cabot Tower.

Signal Hill was the scene of the final battle of the Seven Years War, when the French surrendered to the English, in 1762.  For nearly two hundred years after, it lived up to its namesake as a place that people used to communicate, via a flag system, between land and sea.

Much like Halifax's Citadel Hill, Signal Hill also has a noon hour canon.


We didn't hear it while we were there, but here it is!

At this particular spot in Newfoundland, we are apparently just 9, 236 kilometres from Kabul.  As good a time as any to start walking.  

Down the hill, along the trail, oh the views!

Below, you can see some of the stairs on the trail descending from Signal Hill.

A view of the Hill, the Narrows and St. John's in the background.  What a day we got for a hike!

At the opening of the Narrows.

An old, clearly long abandoned post.

You all know how I love me some graffiti!

At the end of the trail (or the beginning for those who walk UP the trail instead of down, which admittedly is 95% of people) you come upon this little community.

You walk right through to get back to town.

Which we finally did.  WHEW!  Since we were going extra slowly and obviously stopping to take a lot of pictures and gawk at the scenery, the hike that the locals told us might take two hours, actually took us almost five.  It was soooo worth it, was a gorgeous place.

I tell you what though, in town is not to sad to look at either.  I mean look at this:

Understandably, we were famished by the time we got back.  Good thing we had reservations at:

The chefs at Bacalao strive to make almost everything in house, including smoking the tender partridge and making their own lamb sausage for the charcuterie plate.

I had the cod - when in Rome! It was served with roasted red pepper sauce, chick pea cassoulet and mussels and house-made chorizo.

BF had lamb with roasted pulled goat.  Seriously.

So after we filled our boots, we strolled (yep, more walking!) back downtown to O'Reilly's for some:

And some:

That's Con O'Brien with the guitar, a founding member of the legendary Newfoundland folk group, the Irish Descendants.  According to our awesome server, he just comes and jams with different people all the time!

We capped the night off with a slow walk back up the hill to the B&B, under the (blurry, haha) moon.  Another great day!  Thanks St. John's!

Till next time!

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