St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

On our 88 mile trip to Pippy Campground at St John’s, Newfoundland, we witness some of the road damage from the previous weeks tropical storm. All in all, it was an enjoyable trip with many lakes and rocky terrain.  We kept an eye out for moose, but the only moose  horns we saw were attached to the front of a yellow VW Bug hanging on a cliff next to the highway.

After arriving at the campground, we were all assigned wooded sites.  We just barely had a clear view of the satellite for internet connection — it seemed to work best in the mornings.  We discovered that Loop 4 had WiFi and beautiful open (not in trees) sites in use by Tracks to Adventure RV Caravans.

cabot Tower on Signal HillThe next morning we boarded the bus at 8:30 a.m. for a tour of the St John’s area.  Our first stop was the Government House, residence of the lieutenant governor, and this is where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth would stay.  We tried twice to see The Veiled Virgin and the Basilica of St John the Baptist Catholic Church but were out of luck.  We toured the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (Church of England, and Episcopalian is the USA).  We then went to Signal Hill to see Cabot Tower and Signal Hill Tattoo.

Herb at Eastern most point in North AmericaBuffet lunch at "My Brothers Place" was very good. Upon leaving the restaurant, we continued to Cape Spear Lighthouses — the farthest point east on North America. We then went back to Signal Hill for everyone to tour the tower and take pictures during Newfoundland’s "Large" day – which means a day with beautiful blue skies. Petty Harbour, a small fishing village, followed with a stop for ice cream.  Some people purchased "Screech" rum (more about that in another week) and some others purchased "Iceberg Vodka" made from sweet corn and water from melted icebergs!!  Liquor prices are expensive with most of the price in taxes.  Vodka is around $35 for 1.14 liters or $45-49 for a 1.75 liter bottle we typically find in the USA for $12-20. Exchange rate is currently around $1.046 CAN for every US dollar.  We returned to the campground around 5:30 p.m.

The next day we ride-shared to the Institute for Ocean Technology, a federal agency, where testing of ship hulls and oil well platforms are done by using 1/40 scale models in large tanks. The facility consists of an Offshore Engineering Basin, 656 foot Towing Tank, 295 foot ice sheet Cold Tank, and a Cavitation Tunnel.

Veiled Virgin Mary in MarbleVeiled Virgin Mary

We then returned to the Basilica of St John the Baptist Catholic Church for a tour of the church, and see beautiful marble Veiled Virgin in their convent.  The head and veil are all one piece of marble, not a cloth veil draped over the marble — amazing!!

Johnson Geo Center

The Johnson Geo exhibit at the foot of Signal Hill was exceptional with a primary exhibit dealing with the rocks and sedimentary formations of the earth, another exhibits about oil drilling, and the best exhibit I have seen about the Titanic where they did not blame the iceberg for sinking the Titanic (you don’t blame a mountain for an airplane crash), but the more than 20 errors and omissions in the 10 years prior to the Titanic sailing that contributed the to sinking of the Titanic.


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