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Come from far far away!

June 20, 2007
  It was a fantastic opportunity, I was elected to attend a convention in St. John’s Newfoundland that was a week long and I had the time off to spend a few extra days before we returned home.  I had never been to the province or anywhere else in the Maritimes and I was very excited about the opportunity.
 
  It all started with a very long trip from the Vancouver international airport to St John’s with a stop in Montreal for a transfer.  We had enough time to grab a bite to eat and we enjoyed a couple of delicious Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, Jeff and I discovered that our luggage did not follow us.  It would take another two days for Air Canada to deliver, and thanks to the gestures of my fellow convention mates we managed to keep our spirits up.  It was a bit cool as we went from 25 C in BC to a chilly 8 C in St John’s.
 
 We arrived in St John’s at around midnight and after our necessary business at the baggage counter we had a ride in a taxi van to our hotel.  It was like our own private tour through the oldest city in North America.  When we got our room at the Delta St. John’s we didn’t have much to unpack and since it felt early to us (only 830pm at home) we paid a visit to one of the pubs that the city is famous for.  There are more pubs per square foot in St. John’s then anywhere else on the continent.   The one we went into was packed and a great band with a fiddle was playing.  It didn’t take long to get in and dance until the place closed.  It felt to us that the party had just started.
 
  The next day was Sunday we went for a walk to the St. John’s basilica for morning mass.  It was a lovely service and the interior was beautiful with stained glass windows, a pipe organ and three choir lofts.  The choir was singing and there was a baby baptism that made the experience really special.  http://www.thebasilica.ca/  Afterwards we found our way to the grocery store and brought back a few breakfast items for the fridge in our room. 
 
   I then caught up with some friends and found out that they were planning to take an afternoon tour of the city with Legend Tours who took a group of us in a van around the area.  Their combination tour that was three hours took us to Cabot tower and Signal hill, then Quidi Vidi, Black Head Bay, Cape Spear and Petty Harbour as well as through downtown St John’s for a look at the historic sights.  http://www.legendtours.ca/
  One of the highlights was the opportunity to see icebergs off the coast that had floated down from Greenland where they come from glaciers around 1000 years in the making.  The hometown folks were excited too, as it had been a few years since their had been some in the area.  They were huge!  Bigger then a house above the water and the shapes were changing as they melted. 
  Signal Hill is mostly known for where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received by Marconi in 1901, although it was named before the historic day because it was the spot where signalmen watched for ships.  It was also an important military location.  
  Just a short walking distance from Cabot tower is the most Easterly point of North America, which we also stood on.  It would be a great place to see the sunrise, but a bit difficult for west coast people to get up and see unless they stayed out all night what with the four and a half time zone difference.
  Petty Harbour was a little fishing village a short ways out of St John’s.  It was settled in the 1600’s and had the first hydro electric plant.  It originally called "Petit" harbour, pronounced "petty" and that is said how the name came about.  Our driver said that it should have been called "Pretty Harbour" and we all agreed with him.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petty_Harbour
  That evening we decided we needed to go out for some fish and chips and we went to a restaurant called Ches’s.  I don’t know if it is just a St. John’s thing, but they really love to give out certificates there, and we got our first one at the restaurant.  Mine says "This is to certify that Susan has tasted the finest fish & chips to be found in Newfoundland on this day, June 3 / 2007, in the city of St. John’s", and is signed by the cook and waiters.  It is so sweet!  http://www.chessfishandchips.ca/home.html
  It was a great start to our trip.  I will continue with the next chapter soon. Thank you to Michaela for sharing your photos when our batteries in our camera died and Gina,  I hope you are feeling all better soon.  
   Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.  See more pictures in my online photo album at:   http://groups.msn.com/SusansDigitalPhotos
 
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