Sunday, September 18, 2016

Voyage of the Vikings Cruise - Cruise Day 32 - St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Today we are visiting St. John’s, Newfoundland, which is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador.  We won’t be arriving until noon so we slept in this morning.  We were hungry when we got up so instead of going to the Neptune Lounge for our breakfast, we went up to the Lido and had a full breakfast.

There is a photo contest going on so after breakfast we looked through our pictures and found three of Val’s pictures to enter.  After a little editing we were ready to submit her photos, but when we went to the photo gallery we found it closed so we’ll have to wait for later.

Val seems to be coming down with a cold so she laid down for a while and I went out on deck to watch our arrival in St. Johns.  There is a very narrow entrance to the St. Johns harbor and it is very picturesque.

We sail into the St. John's harbor.

The day was gloomy and cold which seems to be the norm for our return trip in contrast to the first half.  We waited a while for the crowd of people getting off the ship to thin and then got off ourselves around 12:30.

Downtown St. Johns.
We walked around town for a while checking out the shops and browsing through some of them and started getting hungry for lunch.  There were several people from St. Johns on the ship this morning handing out maps and answering questions about the town so we asked where would be a good place to get fish and chips.  One of the women said her favorite place was a place called the Duke of Duckworth so following her directions we headed off to find it and have lunch.  On the way ran into LT and Cindy, our traveling companions from Isafjordur in Iceland and we decided to have lunch together.  Val and I both got fish and chips while Cindy settled for an order of chicken wings and LT sampled the local beers.  The fish and chips were OK, but a bit of a disappointment, but we had a good time talking to LT and Cindy so it was a very enjoyable lunch.  We saw many people we recognized from the ship come in while we were there so evidently there were many who asked for a recommendation.

After lunch, Val and I decided to take a taxi out to Signal Hill, which was a high point at the entrance to the harbor used  to keep watch many years ago.  Due to its strategic location, it was vital to the cities defense from the 17th century to the end of World War II.  It is now a national historical site.  Cindy and LT decided to join us, so Cindy found us a cab, negotiated with the driver and we all squeezed in and were on our way.  The view from Signal Hill was amazing and the clouds had blown out while we were eating so we were left with a sunny day and blue sky that made the view even better.  After getting our fill of the view and taking many pictures, we went back to the cab.  We had decided to hire him to take us to a couple other spots so he had waited there for us.

The view from Signal Hill

Cabot Tower
Our next stop was Qudi Vidi Village, which the Location Guide, Barbara, had talked about, but it was not what we thought it was so we didn’t stay very long.

Our last stop was on the other side of the harbor and a view of some colorful houses on the other side.  Many of the homes in St. Johns are painted in bright colors much as we saw in Greenland and Norway.  They locals call those homes “Jellybean” homes so the homes on the hillside across the harbor are the subject of many photos that you see in the shops and we wanted to take some photos of our own.  The lighting wasn’t quite like what we’d seen in the stores, but we did get some good photos before having our driver take us back into town.

Hiring the taxi proved to be a good idea as it was relatively inexpensive and the driver was a native of St. Johns who filled us in on things from a local’s perspective.  It was also nice to be able to spend another day with LT and Cindy as we have enjoyed spending time with them.

The ship doesn’t leave until 8:00 tonight, but Val and I decided we had seen enough of St. John and returned to the ship.  It was late afternoon and evidently a lot of people thought the same thing as there was a line waiting to get back on the ship.  Val still wasn’t feeling well so she read a little and napped.  I went out on deck to take some pictures and then decided to sort through our pictures to find some entries for myself in the photo contest.  With all the pictures we had taken, that was no easy task, but I did it and added them to Val’s for submission.

The St. John's Harbor entrance.
By this time, it was time to get ready for dinner so it was off to trivia in the MIX.  After trivia we were off to dinner, which has been very enjoyable on this trip not just because of the good food, but because of the people we have met at the nearby tables.  We have gotten along very well with Mary Beth and Ken, and Glen and Richard and have very much enjoyed our conversations with them.  We all agreed that it would be a good idea for the last night of our cruise to join our tables together to make it easier to talk.  Val and I usually opt for a table for two because we’re always leery of who we might be seated with, but this cruise might change our minds as we have certainly enjoyed the company of Ken, Mary Beth, Glen and Richard.

We had a beautiful sunset as we sailed out of St. John's while eating dinner.  This was taken through the dining room window, but it turned out surprisingly well.
After dinner we made our way to the photo gallery to submit our photos and then it was off to the casino to lose our money.  We called it a night after that and returned to our room.  Tomorrow is a sea day, which is a good thing for Val as she will be able to rest and maybe throw off her cold.

Not only did we have a beautiful sunset, we had a beautiful moon rise.

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