St. John's

St. John's is the capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. While it's a small city (a bit over 100,000 in city proper, 250,000 within 100km), it tends to concentrate all the more sophisticated life in Newfoundland (and Labrador, presumably). It is certainly historic, and has been called North America's oldest city, with the initial contact being John Cabot's visit in 1497, and the first permanent residence dating from 1528.

It's also (in)famous for its weather. To quote Environment Canada, "Of all the major Canadian cities, St. John's is the foggiest, snowiest, wettest, windiest, and cloudiest. It also has more days with freezing rain and wet weather than any other city." We were lucky, with above-average temperatures, and mostly quite sunny and warm.

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

On our first morning, we hiked up Signal Hill. Atop Signal Hill is Cabot Tower, where in 1901 Marconi received the first trans-atlantic wireless broadcast.

Wild blueberries growing on the granite slopes. Very tasty!
Chantal, Isabel, and Benjamin on the walk up. The morning started out foggy...
Isabel and Benjamin almost all the way up. Colorful wildflowers were everywhere.
A pair of humpback whales off the coast. (The whales were some distance away. These pictures are cropped from telephoto shots, to yield the equivalent of a roughly 1000mm lens, or 20x magnification.)
And down goes a whale on a deep dive. (We would see whales closer on a boat trip later...)
A closeup of the lighthouse on the opposite side of the Narrows which guard St. John's harbor. A bit of sun at last!
A wider view, showing some of the coastline to the south, with probably Cape Spear in the background. One can see the clouds lifting...
An overview of St. John's and its harbor. By now the inland side is free of fog..
On the way back down, showing the fog retreating out to sea.
Cannons from an old battery overlooking the Narrows.
Another part of the battery, with traversing carriages.
Another view of the battery, with the Cabot tower in the background.
Benjamin with St. John's behind.
Chantal in the garden of our Bed-and-Breakfast.
Colorful clapboard houses.
Another view of houses stepping down the steep hills leading to the harbor.
Milk Today!.
Clapboard facades, all different colors.
In the Botanical Garden; a pretty prospect.
A butterfly on Shasta Daisies.
These look like unripe blueberries, but I'm pretty sure they're something else.
Benjamin and Isabel prospecting for bugs.
Foxglove (Digitalis).
An odd medicinal herb with stalks like rhubarb, and quite a confection of a flower.

These pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 10D digital camera. Images were cropped, balanced, etc. with Adobe Photoshop Elements.