Day 32 and Day 33 - St. John's, NL

Today was another day long bus trip and did we pack the day with wonderful stops. Lucille, our tour guide, made it all go by so fast with her knowledge of the area and her fantastic sense of humor. She is showing off her bag that reads "Red Light District" from the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska.

We passed an urban wall along the highway that must have been 100 yd's long. It depicted major events that shaped the area's history.

Our first stop was at Cape Spear National Historic Site.

Bill and Susan Shallbetter stand at the most easterly point in North America which is located at Cape Spear.

A second world war coastal defense battery was located here. It never fired a shot during the war, and was not visible from the German U-Boats that patrolled the area outside the harbor.

The view looking out over the Atlantic Ocean.

A view of the current light house and buildings from below.

There were a few of these wild Irises growing along the path.

"You take the high road and I'll take the low road and..." Susan Schmidt takes a direct route to the top while Susan Barack takes the more conventional walkway.

Another view of the Atlantic shoreline.

Because of its location on the approaches to St. John's. Cape Spear was the site for the first lighthouse built by the Representative Government in Newfoundland. The original lighthouse (above), constructed in 1835 - 36. This lighthouse has been restored by Parks Canada.

The original lighthouse was replaced with a modern concrete structure in the mid-1950's, and it continues to operate today.

Our next stop was Petty Harbor, a small fishing village not far from St. John's.

A fishing boat with the tools of the trade stored on the dock beside it.

These whimsically painted chairs were inviting anyone passing by to rest a moment.

Another view of Petty Harbor.

We then drove along the coast heading back to St. John's.

The Supreme Court building of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A typical street in downtown St. John's

Our next stop was the small picturesque village of Quidi Vidi, which is located within the City of St. John's.
(Picture by Ed Rzepka)

It is located in a sheltered harbor known as the Quidi Vidi Gut.  Notice the boat arriving though the small inlet which protects the harbor from the Atlantic storms.

Another fisherman returning home.
(picture by Jim Hamp)

These small houses did not look very stable to us, but in the sheltered harbor they are protected from the fury of the open Atlantic.

We were given the option of taking pictures or going to a beer sampling at the micro brewery in town called Quidi Vidi Brewing

We sampled five of their beers with the owner describing the history and contents of each beer.

Rzepkas and the Morrells really got into the "spirit" of the event.

Driving to lunch, we passed a number of very stately old houses.

We had lunch at the Red Rock Bar & Grill.

They had prepared a delicious buffet for us.

After lunch, we visited the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The church was consecrated on September 9th, 1855.

Artisans from around the world created the many statues, carvings and windows. Much of the marble is corinthian marble from Italy.

The exquisite ceiling is dark but beautifully highlighted with 18 carat gold leaf.

The Veiled Virgin by Giovanni Strazza. The statue was brought from Rome in 1862.  It appears as if you should be able to lift the veil off her head.

Signal Hill was our next stop. It rises above the entrance to St. John's harbor and because of its strategic location, was a natural site for a signal station and fortifications protecting the city below.

Located atop Signal Hill is Cabot Tower, St. John's most visible landmark. Construction on Cabot Tower began in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's landfall in 1497. The building was declared officially open in 1900.

Looking toward the Atlantic with the entrance to St. John's tower with the lighthouse.

A closer view of the lighthouse and the old military fortifications

The view from Signal Hill with the harbor to the left and a fresh water lake to the right. The lake is the backup water supply for St. John's.

Our tour guide was able to give us the extremely rare opportunity to attend the Lieutenant Governor's Annual July Garden Party. 

It was a very festive event and we felt very privileged to be in attendance.  The Girl Guides were everywhere offering cookies, tea and lemonade to all attending.

A performance by the Signal Hill Tattoo was a special treat for us.

The performed a number of maneuvers while playing the flute and drums.

Flowers were in abundance on the grounds of the Government House.

Pat and Bob Beitler pose with the mounted RCMP officers riding these beautiful Percherons.

Barry and Terry Klein and Lucille talk with the Lieutenant Governor.

Lucille and two local beauty queens.

Here we have four characters dressed in colonial costumes. Well, let's just make that four "characters".

This is called The Rooms. It contains an art gallery, museum and archives.
Thanks to Ed Rzepka and Jim Hamp for giving me pictures for today's website.

Click here for a Google map of above pictures.

Days 30 & 31 - Day 33

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