We arrived into Newfoundland and Labrador in the middle of the night and suffice to say, did pretty much nothing that night except have dinner and go to sleep.
I’d wanted to visit Newfoundland and Labrador, more specifically – St John’s for quite some time (I think I saw photos somewhere online once and knew I had to do it someday) and so I was understandably excited to finally be here.
To get our bearings, we started off our day with a tour of the local area (also the area is so huge so a bit of local knowledge was something we were more than grateful for).
We drove through the city and headed over to one of its most iconic spots – The Battery, a row of colourful hours stacked on the hills.
In a lot of ways, it’s kinda reminiscent of being in Norway (the colours, textures of the hills, the seaside location…etc), what I didn’t expect however was how it was perhaps more Irish than Norwegian. More on that further below…
Leaving the view at The Battery (and the fishermen filleting the fish they’d just caught), we headed off to the countryside to check our Cape Spear – the most easterly point in North America! (Which in simpler terms is I guess the point that’s the furthest right on the North American continent).
Apparently, if you’re here on the right day, you can see whales right from this very spot!
Alas, there were no whales out there today and so we carried on up to the lighthouse to take in a better view of the surrounding area, before hopping back into the car and heading for other parts of St John’s.
The vibe here is exactly how I imagined it – slower paced (outside of the city centre), colourful and absolutely beautiful!
We soon found ourselves up at Signal Hill, a great lookout point over the whole city.
It’s also a pretty great vantage point for taking in the natural beauty of the area. I think that’s one of my favourite things about Canada as a whole – how much easy access to nature Canadians have, even when you’re living in a city.
We soon made our way back down to Quidi Vidi village, another picturesque little spot we made a mental note to return to (also in part due to an amazing restaurant everyone we’d met thus far kept recommending here).
For lunch, we popped into a café next to our hotel (can’t remember the name now – it’s just down the road from the Sheraton) for poutine, calamari, steaks and eggs.
Later that afternoon, we met up with Maurice from Far East Photography, who proceeded to show us around his home, including some lovely spots we’d never have even known to visit.
It was when we met Maurice that we started getting more of a clue as to Newfoundland’s Irish ancestry. See, earlier in the day, our guide had mentioned something about the people sounding Irish and Maurice pretty much confirmed it.
In fact, when you meet a local Newfoundlander, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in Ireland. The Irish essentially moved over here ages ago and for some reason, that accent never changed. I guess the communities were separated from the rest of Canada by the sheer size of the place and so, if you ever wondered what Irish accents sounded like years ago, this is the place for it.
It’s one of the most confusing things as you kinda expect a Canadian accent that’s akin to the ones you hear on TV (i.e. very similar to the American accent) but it’s nothing like that. 😀
Anyway, so off we went exploring Pouch Cove, Flatrock and Cape St. Francis – all gorgeous areas around St John’s and such an affirmation of why I wanted to visit St John’s all those years ago.
It was the perfect opportunity to get out in nature in a part of Canada that looked nothing like the parts of Canada we’d visited so far.
Eventually, we said farewell to Maurice, thanking him profusely for showing us around his neighbourhood, before making our way into St John’s just in time for our dinner reservations at Chinched.
Let me just start by saying, Chinched does amazing food. Every single thing we had here was just so delicious and definitely one spot in town you have to go to for dinner when you do visit.
We had ceviche, salmon and pigs ears (way more delicious than it sounds), before diving into churros and a chocolate sundae for dessert!
Stuffed and so pleased to finally be in St John’s, we rolled ourselves back to The Sheraton for a good night’s sleep – eager to see even more St John’s the very next day.