Newfoundland and Labrador together comprise one political entity which did not become an official Canadian province until 1949. It is on a unique time zone; thirty minutes ahead of the rest of the country. Other Canadians make jokes about Newfies, but they are proud of their separateness. When we listen to them speak with each other, we can tell they are speaking English, but we quickly lose the thread in the conversation. NL has about 500,000 residents: 20% percent of them live in St. John's; 9% in Labrador. We drove to St. John's today after the ferry arrived on time and disembarked in a quick, orderly manner. We were glad to see that our all electric coach still had a 70% charge in the batteries and the fridge was as cold as it was when we drove on.
Once again the weather was murky, but the road was good. There really is only one main road; the perfect spot for a navigationally impaired person like me. The amount of TV channels we have been getting with the satellite dish has been dwindling and our trip here seems to have done it in altogether. Here in the big city we get one channel over the air and decent internet, but once we leave here, we expect to fall off the grid altogether.
We have seen the major sights here before on a cruise and with the cloudy skies, we put a few highly rated museums on the afternoon agenda. But as we drove into town the sun burst forth from crystal clear blueness and the agenda changed big time. We quickly traveled to scenic spots and got those cameras clicking. Cape Spear National Historic Site is special for a number of reasons. It has the oldest surviving light house in NL and served as a defense battery, protecting the area from German submarines in World War II. You can see the bunkers today. Most importantly it is the easternmost point in North America.
Although St. John's is a fairly compact town, navigating is a challenge even with the GPS. Roads are interrupted by hills, streams, and lakes, and meander as if they are following the path of a drunken cow. Finding the fishing villages we could clearly see on the map was much harder than it needed to be. Quidi Vidi (kiddie viddie) whose name intrigues and mystifies me and Petty Harbor were absolutely gorgeous in the bright sunshine.