Cod and Scrunchions Grand Finale
Trip Start Jul 01, 2010
58Trip End Mar 31, 2011
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Where I stayed
Pippy Park Campground
On the way to St. John’s you can take the Baccalieu Route and go through the towns of Cupid, Hearts Desire, Hearts Content, and Hearts Delight. We decided not to go that route as it was more of the same types of villages and with all the main attractions over for the summer and we needed the time for St. John’s. But we will keep it in mind for a future visit, if not just for the names alone
St. John’s is North America’s easternmost city, the place where the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic began, the receiver of the Marconi signal starting the long distance wireless communication, and of course the sheltered harbour that has had many of its own battles for ownership, provides lots of history, culture and nightlife for travellers such as us.
Signal Hill had a great visitor center that included a short video presentation explaining the history of the hill and its significance. Aime and I had to laugh at the absurdity of the French and English and the ongoing battles for its possession. The French spent a hard, cold winter sneaking through the woods, freezing and hungry to attack the English at St. John’s. They killed many, burnt homes and the fort only to move on to another fort leaving this one behind. Why go to all that trouble to just move on? And this continued for years each taking turns at winning and losing with the English the final winners. The barracks that housed 13 men in one small area and their captain who had a small quarter for himself was adjoined to the powder room. It housed all the powder for the cannons that were mounted atop Signal Hill. The design was interesting we thought, as they built the roof in such a way that if the powder blew up by accident, it would go up and the walls would hopefully not blow out towards the men in their barrack. I guess that was supposed to comfort them but I am not sure I would want their job! The view of the harbour, the narrows and the city were lovely as NL gave us a sunny day of 15C to enjoy the sights. From there we went to Cape Spear, the site of the oldest lighthouse in NL. The lighthouse keeper could signal the men at Signal Hill who in turn would signal the townspeople of any approaching ships
Water St. and George St. have tons of shops, restaurants and pubs with music and food galore. We picked up a couple of small items and spent an evening at the pub enjoying a NL cod and scrunchions dinner, beer and Irish music. Scrunchions are fried salted pork fat…tasty but probably not good for you in any quantity! The Rooms consists of the archives, a museum and an art gallery. It is located at the top of the hill of downtown and sits above the many coloured houses that make the area famous. Across the street is one of the many huge churches adorned with spectacular stained glass windows. We enjoyed our time in St. John’s and would love to visit again but during lobster season and music festival time! (although we would have had to deal with the crowds, rather than the easy, open spaces) The town of Freshwater provided us with our last FREE campsite right on the lake with picnic table and level spot to set up. This town also is the area of the last National Historic Site, Castle Hill, that we are to visit in NL. We had another lovely morning at 16C with some mist so the view had sort of a feeling that the soldiers may have had on many a day standing guard. This fort was held by the French and defended with many cannons and men from the great vantage point. As for us, we just enjoyed the view. The ferry awaits us to take us on to Nova Scotia where our first touring will be on Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail.