Great place for pictures Nov 27, 2010
I was on a cruise to the Maritime Provinces of Canada and we stopped in the town of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Our quide took us to a small fishing village and then to "Blow Me Down" park. This is a beautiful area for pictures of boats, hills, fauna, etc. Especially for American city folk like me. I would encourage photographers to put this on their list of places to visit.
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affordable Newfoundland Oct 06, 2008
With only five hours flying time from London, Newfoundland is very accessible for a long weekend break or a full on two week trip and very affordable it is too.
We flew into St Johns arriving at 1am (hence the cheap fare) , there were plenty of cabs about so that wasn’t a problem. An hour later we were tucked up in bed at the Battery Hotel, and in the morning we had breakfast looking out over the harbour in the capital. St John’s is a lovely city, crowded with colourful clapperboard houses, many colonial style, steep hills and at the top of a hill stands The Rooms, an enormous museum and art gallery.
There is plenty to do in the city with bars and traditional Irish pubs located on George Street, and restaurants on Water Street and Duckworth Street. Two restaurants deserve a mention: Aqua and Blue on Water. The food is top class rivalling the best anywhere in the world. Seafood is prominant on menus as are caribou steaks. There are also many indian, italian, japanese, and chinese restaurants along with traditional newfie fare.
Less than an hour’s drive out of the city is the Avalon Peninsula a 200 mile loop with flat boggy land and craggy coastal areas. It is famous for its inhabitants – the most southerly herd of caribou. It also includes Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, which houses North America’s largest Atlantic Puffin colony and thousands of other seabirds: guillimots, razorbills, black-legged kittiwakes and common murres. Several licenced tour-boat companies operate out of Bay Bulls: Obriens 709/753-4850 and Gatheralls 709/334-2887 being the main ones.
Located about 200 km southwest of St. John's, Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve also known as "the Cape" is one of Newfoundland and Labrador's major seabird colonies. During the breeding season, it is home to 24,000 Northern gannet, 20,000 black-legged kittiwake, 20,000 common murre, and 2,000 thick-billed murre. In addition, more than 100 pairs of razorbill, more than 60 pairs of black guillemot, plus double-crested and great cormorant, and Northern fulmar nest there.
Another place worth mentioning is The Beach House located in a town called Portugal Cove. There is not much to do in the town itself but it’s only half an hour from St John’s, and the accomodation here is superb. http://atthebeachhouse.ca/RoomsAndSuites/Default.aspx Every room has a sea view and if you’re lucky you may see a humpback whale in the bay. On the downside, the Atlantica restaurant housed within the complex did not live up to our expectations. The food was good but not superb and its was overpriced and the service was not up to scratch.
Also worth a visit is Quidi Vidi village with it’s old traditional fishing huts and its very own brewery.
We moved further west about 4 hours drive to East Trinity where we stayed at Skerwink Station at the foot of the Skerwink trail. http://www.newfoundlandvacationhomes.com/skerwinkphoto.htm The trail although stated as easy/moderate was actually hard going. It didnt help that we decided to hike later in the day and it was getting dark, there had also been a fair bit of rain so it was quite slippery and there are no guard rails and the drop offs are big! Quite scary if you dont have a head for heights. The accomodation was very good and Brenda who owns the property was very friendly and if youre lucky you may see moose. I didnt, much to my disappointment. There is also a nesting pair of eagles but again I wasnt in luck. From this area one can also visit Bonavista with its famous lighthouse and the town of Trinity which hosted some of the filming of The Shipping News. A couple of hours drive away is the Terra Nova national park, which is extremely beautiful. Once again the moose in the area eluded me. One can take a boat trip to see the 4 pairs of bald eagles (at last count) I did a boat excursion of Newman Sound with Oceanwatch Tours from the Marine Interpretation Centre. Call 709-533-6024 for details.
Newfoundland is an affordable area of Canada to visit. There is a lot of ground to cover with plenty to do and the Newfie people are undeniably friendly and genuine. I want to go back again in May or June to see the icebergs as they float down from Greenland.
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