Newfoundland, East coast

Wednesday, 11/9/2016 We traveled all day and were blessedly in airports that did not have 24 hour news on televisions throughout. It was enough to have waked up at 2 AM to check the election results and see that Trump had been declared the winner. “Fuck” Dennis heard me groan from the bathroom when I saw the results. Many sombre and tearful faces on the shuttle to the airport that morning. Got in to St. John’s, Newfoundland about 10 PM their time (7:30 St. Louis time) and checked into our B&B, a lovely old 3-story home right in downtown.

Thursday, 11/10/2016 As we walked in downtown St. John’s we were stopped by a television crew who wanted to know what we thought of the election of Trump in the US, they assumed we were Canadians but we did admit to being Americans. Every Canadian we have spoken to is astounded and mystified as to how the American populace could possibly have elected Trump to the presidency (I am reminded of the H.L. Mencken quote “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” a rather cynical and mean-spirited quote that I have kept myself from using through the whole awful campaign but what the hell, now I can). We stopped in a store to buy a book on the geology of Newfoundland and a hat for Dennis, and later, after a walk up to the top of Signal Hill and back, we ate at a wonderful Pakistani restaurant recommended to us by Babs, who owned the store.

img_0605Friday, 11/11/2016.  Today was Remembrance Day in Canada. Everyone here wore a red flower to commemorate their war dead, and every single town had a ceremony. We saw young boys wearing their father’s and grandfather’s uniform hats, families converged on town for ceremonies. It is a big deal here- Newfoundland in particular lost almost a generation of men in a few key battles in WWI and WWII. A much bigger deal here than in the US. There is true reverence around the day, it is almost atmospheric. Another characteristic of the Canadians we met: they are very well-versed in their own history and in American history, and happily discourse on politics and current events in either country, putting my own scant knowledge of Canadian history and current events to shame. We drove north and on the way through some small towns we stopped at a marine research facility to visit the harp seals who live there (one of our hosts at the B&B is a biologist who studies harp seals). At the B&B our fellow guests were a chemical weapons engineer from Alberta, in town for Remembrance Day with family, and a couple from Corner Brook, on the western side of the island, who were in town visiting a relative in hospital.

 

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Saturday, 11/12/2016 Drove south to Cape Spear. Our fellow guests today were a French couple from Ile St. Pierre, a French territory, who moved there 6 months ago and were in town to shop in the big city. They spoke little English so I got to practice what I remembered of French from years ago. The woman, Nicola, was unimpressed by my photos of rocks and sea, which I find endlessy fascinating and beautiful. She says all she sees in Ile St. Pierre is rocks and sea.

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Brigus South, where we had small ceremony to commemorate our upcoming 30th wedding anniversary.

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Ferryland, where Lord Baltimore founded the colony of Avalon in 1621. Lots of graves of very young ones.

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