My last blog entry, boo-hoo!
I was happy to see the rain and fog come back. It gave me a chance to go underground without any guilt!!
I went to the Johnson Geo Centre and Geo Park. OMG! (Oh my geology!) How amazing! I had photographed tons of rock formations all along our trip, but I had no idea of their names! Now, I know!
FOLDED GNEISS, many periods of melting, movement and recrystallization over 2.8 billion years ago did that!
I couldn’t repeat them all for you, but they have names and dates of formation! Newfoundland should really be called Old-found-land! Impressive… the exhibits, the samples, videos, the solar system, earthquakes, volcanoes, Space, the past ice ages. They have a kids’ zone, lots of “touch, twist, turn and feel” stuff for young ones…and me. I tried them all. What can I say, I had fun!
An exhibit called ExxonMobil Oil and Gas Gallery was very informative. I appreciated the explanations on how and where it all comes from, a scale model of Hibernia, simulators, etc. At another exhibit, The Titanic Story, I learned yet again new information about the ship and all the warnings it received (and ignored) from Cape Race.
Signal Hill is 550 million years old, older than the Rocky Mountains and the dinosaurs! It is part of Avalonia, 1 of 4 ancient continents that joined in part to form the island… The centre even has geothermal heating!
Because of the rain, I wasn’t able to visit the adjoining park and its 8 walkways, 11 stone works and 10 botanicals and geological history boards, but those you can visit anytime. I hope I have time and sun to come back before I leave.
We had a chance to meet Mark Hiscock of the well-loved Shanneyganock band. Such a nice guy!
I listened to their music… loved, loved, loved! He plays a mean button accordion! And guitar, mandolin… The band has travelled all over the world and will be celebrating their 20th anniversary next year. Watch on their website their video Home Boys Home. You‘ll get a feeling of their passion!
More rain… don’t care! I have plans.
On to the Railway Coastal Museum, which is also for young and old. They have a running miniature train, puppet shows, gift shop, etc. The museum tells the great story of the Newfoundland Railway and the coastal boat services using photographs, themed exhibits, scale models, everything for the train and navigation enthusiast. Typical 1940’s scenes are re-created in a full-sized rail car, the dining service, galley, mail service, coach, and sleeper car.
I hope it still rains tomorrow. I’m not finished!
Well, of course, it had to be sunny, my luck!
I walked up to The Rooms, a museum, art gallery and the Archives. You will probably hear people say “it looks like the box the cathedral came in.” It is a large modern structure but it is inspired by the fishing rooms of the fishermen. Quite nice actually and so impressive! The exhibits are divided between art works, installations and “history” including connections, the early peoples and wildlife, the diversity of cultures living on the island, the Livyers (European settlers), the fishing grounds, etc. They have family programs, youth art workshops, school programs, a gift shop and a stunning 4th floor café where we had lunch a couple of days ago.
Next, a quick walk down to Water St. for “Tuneful Tuesdays” at the Rocket Bakery. Same lovely ambiance, this time, with live music at 12:30 pm. Perfect time to eat, savour and enjoy the lively Stan Picket and the Rocket Players, a 4-man group that played accordion, flute, fiddle and bodhran (Celtic drum).
More twacking (window shopping) on Water and Duckworth streets followed by the dessert: The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador shop at the Devon House, one of the few houses that escaped the fire in 1892. You can admire the woodwork around the door frames and the beautiful wood handrail going up to the gallery. The Council represents close to 300 members including artisans and educators throughout the province. So, it could be your one-stop shop for excellent crafts. They also print a studio and demonstration guide so that when you travel around, you can talk to the artists directly in their studios.
My last iceberg, just hanging there near The Narrows!
So this is it!
The last day of an exceptional trip!
We drove 2320 km, to think we just covered about one fifth of the island,
We saw 5 moose, 2 bald eagles, one Newfoundland dog!
Thank you’s go to Charlotte, Vanessa, Andrew, Staci, Carolyn and all the islanders we met along our way and with whom we had great conversations, including the guy who got stuck with painting his buddy’s handrail on Father’s Day, the distinguished gentleman who gave us wise travel tips on a street corner, the retired fisherman who told us about passing down his boat and gear to his son, Jim who recited a poem, the lady hanging clothes on her clothes line who gave us such bad directions that we discovered a narrow lane we would never have found even if we had tried to, and the fella who offered us tea in his house to finish the conversation… he started …and the dog who did not want me to stop playing go fetch with his rock and on and on....
Thank you Newfoundlanders!
You have every reason to be proud!