28 May 2005

St. John's reached

[view from our hotel window overlooking St. John's harbour]

We have reached St. John's. 10 hours it was indeed, but through some of the most beautiful country we've seen so far. This island is rugged! Uniquely, too, the Trans-Canada is not populated in this province, instead acting as a highway linking regional highways, along which the many towns of Newfoundland are situated. So we saw a great deal of completely untouched wilderness: lots of gushing rivers (it rained most of the way), lots of towering rockfaces, miles and miles of trees (some strange kind of cedre; pine; avenues of budding birch), breathtaking vistas across lakes and sea inlets, and the whole topped by gigantic banks of fog, into which the hilltops receded. It was quite low-lying, and the last 100 km through the Avalon peninsula were completely fog-bound: I could only make out the highway signs as I passed underneath them. No traffic.

[fog on the TCH]

One of the great delights of travelling through Newfoundland is the way the towns and geographical features are named. A certain amount of whimsy went into naming this province, eg. Deep Bight, Mistaken Point, Witless Bay, Heart's Desire, Heart's Content, Little Paradise . . . Here's a fuller listing. My all time favourite is Random Sound.

[A detour, by chance?]

What little we've seen of St. John's (est. 1497) is really a delight. The freshness of the seabreeze permeates even the architecture; everyone is friendly. More to report on the scene here in days to come; for the moment we are going to fall fast, fast asleep (perhaps while watching the Memorial Cup -- gad, why can't the NHL be like this? And why are Ottawa teams a joy to watch in every hockey league?)

And lo & behold, while I've been typing this the fog in St. John's harbour has lifted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the most beautiful vistas in Canada -- priceless!