June 29, 2019
I didn’t have my phone with me when we watched Aleks complete her half marathon in the gym. Here are some pictures that Mary Anne sent me of her finish.
Last evening was the second of two receptions for Oceania Club members and it was (sadly) our last of this cruise. Three of our entertainers, Amy, Cherisse and Mason, performed and were great as usual.
We had a great group perform last night – The Shamrock Tenors from Belfast. It was their second of two shows.
Today we visited our first port in 4 days! The Atlantic crossing was, as Ray said, the smoothest he has had in his 26 years at sea. Foggy, but very smooth sailing.
Our first port in Canada, St. John’s, is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland, Canada. It is our first visit to this city – we have been to Cornerbrook in Newfoundland twice before.
National Geographic Magazine named St. John’s one of the world’s top ten oceanside destinations.
Our cruise director, Ray, told us there wasn’t much to see here, and that “both Tim Horton’s will be open” but the dining room on the ship will be too (the Grand Dining Room is usually closed when we are in port.) He said most of us will probably be back by noon so that’s why they are keeping the dining room open! And “there is a dog on the pier”. Those are the highlights he mentioned.
Here is our sail in and indeed it is a beautiful place.
The architecture here is very different in style from the rest of Canada since it was one of the first British colonial capitals and is the oldest city in Canada. Then the great fire of 1892 destroyed most of the downtown core so most of the buildings date from after that. It is often compared to San Francisco due to the hilly terrain. The houses here are painted in bright colors and the city council has strict heritage regulations. Water Street is thought to be the oldest street in North America and houses many historical shops, restaurants and galleries.
We planned to walk all around the town today – it is still a bit chilly but the sun is shining brightly. We were greeted by this young man playing the guitar.
There was a dog on the pier – Molly – a Newfoundland, of course. We both had to meet and greet her. Her owner said that there are many volunteers who bring their dogs when cruise ships arrive. She gave each passenger a Newfoundland pin with the namesake dog on it.
The people here are very friendly and there are volunteers stationed near the ship and also in the churches to tell you about the city and give directions.
The picture above is from the Total Abstinence Society. They don’t look very happy, do they?
There are 6 impressive churches here and we visited two of them. The Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was first. It is beautiful – very impressive. The organ is a highlight here. And the walls are of stone almost 5 feet deep.
The second church is the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. Confusing, but this is the Catholic church. Very different design. The outside is in the foggy mist!
Here is a picture of the outside of one of the others. And a plaque that names each one.
Most of our morning was spent in the amazing cultural center called The Rooms.
To read more about The Rooms, you can click the link.
It is easily one of the most beautiful and well designed museums I have ever been in. It houses the Newfoundland Museum, the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador. There are exhibits about sailing, native Inuit people, seabirds, the fishing industry and maritime art just to name a few. The floor to ceiling windows provide a beautiful view of the city and the harbor. Here are the views.
Who knew there were Mummers here? I thought that was a Philadelphia thing!
Gander, Newfoundland, is where the planes were grounded after 9/11 and is the subject of the play we saw in NY – Come From Away.
The exhibits all have these touch screens in front of them with explanations of all of the numbered items.
There was a special exhibit called Beyond Bone by Billy Gautier who used bone, antler, and other native materials in his art. It is intricate and really amazing.
This exhibit allows you to create a tweet and it is printed out on this crazy piece of equipment.
You couldn’t photograph many of the permanent exhibits, but the animal ones were able to be photographed.
We spent several hours here. Then, we walked around the streets, shopped and had lunch in the Celtic Hearth on Water Street. Believe it or not, we had this huge nacho platter. Nothing like this on the ship!
The restaurant used to be a pharmacy.
Here are a couple of other sights from around town. Awesome candy shop.
And these two signs…
We have a sea day tomorrow, then two ports in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick before heading back to New York.