Thursday, August 03, 2006
"New" Tour Day 13: St John's, Newfoundland
Yesterday was a civic holiday in St John's - Regatta Day aka Regretta Day. "The Royal St John's Regatta is North America's oldest continuously held annual sporting event with documented proof of 1816 boat races. There is credible contention that St. John's regattas were held even earlier than 1816, likely in the 1700's. Held on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's, Newfoundland, the Regatta is scheduled for the first Wednesday of August. If weather isn't suitable, and wind conditions are very important, the event is postponed until the next suitable day. Since Regatta Day is a civic holiday in St. John's, this means that the weather actually determines whether or not workers have the day off. "
It rained all day but the Regatta prevailed. Everything was closed so we spent the day in the Memorial University Library and managed to accomplish quite a lot. In the late afternoon we ventured out in the car and drove down to the harbour and up Signal Hill which is the city's most recognizable landmark. "Because of its strategic placement overlooking the harbour, fortifications have been placed on the hill since the mid 1600's. The final battle of the Seven Years' War in North America was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill, in which the French surrendered St. John's to the British under the command of Lt. Colonel William Amherst. Lt. Colonel Amherst renamed Signal Hill from "The Lookout", because of the flag mast signalling that took place upon it's summit. Flag communication between land and sea would take place there from the 1600's until 1960."
The 360 panoramic view, even on this overcast day, was spectacular.