Friday, August 12, 2011

"The Rooms" and Cape Spear

Breakfast was served at 8:30 a.m. with Fraser and Elaine and two others: Glen, a retired policeman, and his wife Louise, from St. Alberta, Alberta.  They were at the end of their holiday in Newfoundland, and mentioned several places they found very worthwhile to visit.  We went to our room to plan our day.

I asked Elaine for her advice on our plans, as she gave such good pointers yesterday.  Her suggestion was to go right away to "The Rooms" in St. John's, then to Cape Spear, then, possibly, on to Petty Harbour and Ferryland, the site of the Avalon Colony.  So we set off at noon for "The Rooms."

"The Rooms" is a museum and art gallery housed in a marvelous modern building in St. John's.  The museum told the history of human habitation in Newfoundland, dealt with the native animals (no moose, as they are an introduced species), the fisheries, the Irish immigration, including how the English repressed them.  For example, there were laws that required anyone holding public office to take an oath of allegiance to the British monarch as the head of the church, which, of course, the Irish Catholics could never do.  In this way they were "legally" barred from holding public office.

"The Rooms" is quite new and a striking-looking building--very modern, but with a facade that pays tribute to "the rooms"--the name the fisher folk gave to the sheds where they processed the catch.

We had some lunch between 2 and 3 p.m. at the café there and it was excellent.  I had roasted red pepper soup and Jim had pea soup.  We both had the chicken cioppini, a round bun with a warm filling of chicken, cheese, greens, onions, sundried tomatoes and an aioli dressing.  So good!  I've mentioned before that we have often found the food in an art gallery or museum café imaginative and delicious and this was no exception.

We were well occupied at "The Rooms" until closing time: 5 p.m.  Seems early for a Friday evening, doesn't it?  Just before we left I was chatting with an elderly woman who came from Tallahassee, Florida.  She was there for her granddaughter's wedding.  "Seems kind of strange to me," she said.  "I'm a churchgoer myself, but to have a wedding here in the museum.  Well, I don't say anything, but don't you think it's strange?  At 6:45 tomorrow!"

We left St. John's and drove the short distance to Cape Spears, a national historic site, the point farthest east on the North American continent.  I took a 360º movie of the site on my Canon G10, but can't download any pictures tonight until the battery is recharged.

We followed the path down to the point and then took the boardwalk back to the parking lot.  There were so many wild flowers beside the boardwalk: buttercups and small irises, yarrow, clover, ferns and many kinds of wild grasses.  We were surprised to find it very calm, not windy.  Then we climbed to the old lighthouse, a kind of dumpy, square building, in the process of being restored.  There is also a newer structure that is still an operating lighthouse and looks much more like our idea of a lighthouse.

By then it was time to head "home" again.  We've enjoyed our time here so much, and there is still another loop around the Avalon Peninsula that we would like to drive, so we made arrangements with Fraser and Elaine to stay one more night.

The camera battery is still not sufficiently charged to download today's pictures, so I hope to post them tomorrow.  Good night for now!

No comments:

Post a Comment