After a good rest overnight in St John’s, the largest city in Newfoundland, we start the day at Signal Hill overlooking the harbour. The hill has a rich history dating back to 1762 when the French surrendered to the British during the Seven Years War and more recently when Marconi received the first Trans-Atlantic telegraph transmission in 1901. The harbour also played a major role in WW2 as the last staging point for naval escorts and merchant ships making the hazardous trip across the Atlantic to Britain carrying weapons and food to sustain the war effort.
Then it’s a short drive to Cape Spear, the easternmost point of Canada where we can say that RIP, Red Car and Navy Car have achieved the goal of being driven around the world. It’s taken us 6 years but you don’t want to rush these things. Bubbles and hugs all round – all a bit emotional, especially for Dave our leader. A few minutes after we arrived at the Cape, an MGF arrives driven by John and Bev. They live in St John’s and heard about our trip from someone who met us in Louisville. How could we have made these connections and met in all corners of the world before the internet??
Today is Canada Day – in Newfoundland it’s also the day when the servicemen and women who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2 are recognised with a dawn service. Newfoundlanders’ played a major role in both wars and suffered terribly. Back in town everyone is in party mood by the afternoon and dockside George Street which claims more bars and pubs than any other street in the world is in full swing. It’s a bit of an anti-climax after lunch when we take a leisurely walk around the streets with their pretty weatherboard houses.
In the evening we enjoy Bev and John’s hospitality as they take us on a drive starting at Portugal Cove. Another pretty little village under transformation from a busy fishing port to a suburb of St John’s. After dinner we head for Bev’s parent’s home in Quidi Vidi to enjoy the Canada Day celebrations – live music coming across the lake, ducks happily swimming and then flapping off in fright when the fireworks start. An enjoyable end to a momentous day.