St. John’s, N.L. (2019)

“A vibrant, historic, colourful, and contemporary city – 500 years young.” – Newfoundland and Labrador. 

“I’s the b’y that builds the boat
And I’s the b’y that sails her
I’s the b’y that catches the fish[1]
And brings them home to Liza. (or Lizer)

Chorus: Hip yer partner, Sally Tibbo
Hip yer partner, Sally Brown
FogoTwillingateMoreton’s Harbour
All around the circle!”
– Wikipedia

We recently went to visit family in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. We have visited Newfoundland before and we also lived there for about three years.

We took the red eye from Calgary, a 5 hour(s) and 26 minute(s) Non-stop flight. Fortunately the plane was half empty so we could recline. No movies, music or free Wi-Fi.  You now need an app for that, if your device is compatible, which mine isn’t  ;-( There is a 4 1/2 hour time difference between Calgary and St. John’s. The weather was warm, humid and cloudy with two days of rain.

St. John’s harbor with The Rooms and The Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on the horizon.

“St. John’s is one of the oldest and most easterly cities in North America. ”
The Canadian Encyclopedia.

“AIDAvita is the second ship in AIDA Cruises’ fleet. AIDAvita was built in 2002 by the German shipyard Aker MTW in Wismar.” –Wikipedia

The Battery is a small neighbourhood within the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Battery sits on the entrance to the harbour located on the slopes of Signal Hill. Sometimes described as an outport within the city of St. John’s. The area is noted for its steep slopes, colourful houses, and its importance as a battery for the defence of St. John’s Harbour in both World Wars.

The Battery is home to Chain Rock, a land outcropping to which a large chain and anti-submarine boom were attached connecting to Fort Amherst in order to prevent the entry of German U-boats into the harbour during World War II. Chain Rock is one of two rocks located on opposite sides of the Narrows, Chain Rock on the battery side and Pancake Rock on the opposite. The space between the two rocks is 174 metres. Chain Rock and Pancake Rock were used as early as 1770.[1] A defensive chain was stretched between both rocks by means of a capstan at nightfall to prevent illegal entry of enemy ships. During World War I the chain was replaced with anti-submarine nets.” –Wikipedia


‘It’s said that in the early days, sailors – who had long been out to sea, when returning from the fishing grounds – would look up to see their homes on the hills. And, every now and then we’ve been known to have a beautiful veil of fog hanging over our city, which is not necessarily the best condition for seeing your house. So, sailors elected to paint their homes in bright colours to make them more visible, to pop and shine against the cool grey backdrop of mist.”- Newfoundland Labrador.

Signal Hill

“The Narrows, the only entrance to St. John’s Harbour, Newfoundland, is a narrow channel between the Southside and Signal hills. It has a least depth of 11 metres and at its narrowest point near Chain Rock is 61 metres wide.

The Narrows has served an important defence of the city of St. John’s from early pirates and settlers in 1655 to World War II. In 1655 vice admiral Christopher Martin erected a fort on the south side to prevent privateers and enemy vessels from entering the port.[1] In 1763 Fort Amherst was built in the same area. In the late 18th century a defensive chain was erected across the narrows from Chain Rock to Pancake Rock which could be raised in the event of enemy ships advancing into the harbour. During World War II a steel mesh was installed to prevent enemy submarines from entering the harbour.”- Wikipedia

The Cabot Tower on Signal Hill

Look up!

“Freak Lunchbox St. John’s has claimed its spot on Water Street, the oldest street in North America!”-  Freak lunch box.

Bier Markt statue turning heads in St. John’s.



A Time by Morgan Macdonald.

George Street has the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America, and is known to have bars that are open later than most others throughout Canada.” – Wikipedia

“Located in the center of historic downtown St. John’s, George Street is one of the premier entertainment districts in North America.”- George Street live.

Yellow Belly Brewery.

Green Sleeves Pub with cobbled street.

Besides spending quality time and wonderful meals with the family, we also visited Signal Hill, Quidi Vidi Village, Cape Spear Lighthouse.  We went on a few family walks to Memorial University Botanical Gardens, Manuel’s river, etc.

I don’t recommend the Manuels River exhibit-tour, but the hike was OK.

We spent time with the family at Rotary Sunshine Park, Torbay Beach and Pouch Cove. We went for some scenic drives along the coast.
I can recommend a great All-You-Can-Eat Chinese & Japanese Buffet in St. John’s at City Lights 

The flight home was fully booked, as it was just before a long weekend and we had to pay extra to sit next to each other. The flight was delayed for more than an hour due to weather.

Cape Spear Lighthouse coming soon.

St. John’s, N.L. ’11

St. John’s Walking Tour – Hiking Newfoundland

Fort Amherst – St John’s – Hiking Newfoundland

“From downtown St. John’s, to Cape Spear- explore with St. John’s’ only Hop On Hop Off! Perched on the edge of the North Atlantic,  St. John’s is known for stunning ocean fronts, its brightly coloured Jelly Bean Row houses, its unique culture, history, and more! With tons of sightseeing to do, you won’t want to miss out.” – St. John’s Hop On Hop Off

“Parking is free on meters after 6 p.m. on weekdays, all day Saturdays and Sundays, and all statutory holidays….”- St. John’s


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