Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Newfoundland Day 1

This is the view of the harbor from our room. It was a semi-miracle that we successfully navigated our rental car from the St. John's airport to the Delta St. John's Hotel last night. Down with Google Maps. Thanks to the kind tourism people at the airport who had given us a half-faded black and white downtown St. John's map that we were able to dig out of the backpack to guide us in. But we made it. And at 2:30 St. John's time, we crashed for some sleep.

Mom was ready to go at the crack o'dawn, but since rain was in the forecast, we opted for inside activities this morning. So, we went to the Johnson Geo Center for an education in Newfoundland geology.

The rain never came, so we set out up Signal Hill for a day of hiking around Cabot Tower. The awesome Canada Park Rangers even gave us a cool GPS unit that narrated the hikes for us. Though I suspect the real reason they gave it to us is because they immediately picked up on lack of directional skills and wanted to avoid sending the the ceremonial military regiment out fto look for us after dark.

Signal Hill is defended St. John's Harbour from the 1800s to World War 2. It was also the site where Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901.

Cabot Tower was built in 1897 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland by explorer John Cabot.

Tonight, we ate at a great little spot in downtown St. John's called Velma's. I don't know if it was the lack of decent food on the airline yesterday. Or if it was the full day of physical exhaustion. Or maybe it was just that good. But it was the best salmon I've ever put it my mouth. And the cod tongues were pretty good, too.

Our next stop was Ft. Amherst. I'll post some pictures from the day.


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