Saturday, August 05, 2006

"New" Tour Day 14 & 15: St John's, Newfoundland

Saturday Aug 5

Drove out to the smart/Mercedes dealership at 673 Topsail Road. Sign on the door said they were opened Saturdays from 9:00 to 5:00. We got there at noon and the place was locked up tight - their morning newspaper was still sitting on the doorstep. Hard to conduct business when you don't keep to your posted hours. We snapped a couple of pictures with our smart out front and headed back into town. Interesting tour at the Newman Wine Vaults a Newfoundland Historic Trust property on Water Street. "According to tradition, a Newman's ship bound for London in 1679 was driven far from its planned course by pirates and foul weather. The captain of the ship sought shelter in St. John's, and as winter was closing fast upon them, it was decided to remain in the harbour until spring. The ship's cargo of wine was stored in caves, and when the ship returned to London, the flavour of the port seemed to have improved. After that discovery, Newman's sent its port to Newfoundland to mature in wine cellars there. The wine which was shipped from Newfoundland to England became very popular as a high quality wine in English pubs and amongst the aristocracy." Discovered The Sprout on Duckworth Street as they had a booth at the Folk Festival. We sampled their wares, including an excellent Curried Couscous Salad, on Friday night and knew we'd have to visit the restaurant. Had an amazing brunch there today and highly recommend it as a very veggie friendly, funky eatery. The Sprout Restaurant, 364 Duckworth Street Tel: 709 579 5485. Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am - 9::00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Friday Aug 4

Drove out of town to Cape Spear Historic Site - "The oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador is located at the most easterly point of land in Canada. It has been restored to its 1839 appearance and shows how a lightkeeper and his family might have lived in the mid-19th century." Although the weather was cool and overcast, the views were splendid and it was quite a busy spot.
Next to the Railway Coastal Museum in the beautifully restored St John's Railway station where they have a mock-up of the Newfie Bullet.
In the evening we took the bus from Memorial campus to Bannerman park where the 30th Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival was being held. There was quite an assortment of musicians on the program from the very traditional Mahers Bahars (pronounced Mars Bars) to the rockin' Jason Whelan band.

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