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We have various parts of Canada, but we have not been to Newfoundland yet. Its on our list.
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Newfoundland’s Cities: For a Sense of Refreshing Society
From July 10th to August 2nd, 2018, I was lucky enough to see more of my native country: something I haven’t done properly in the past few years. During those three summer weeks, I volunteered as a host/housekeeper at the HI Skerwink Hostel, in Trinity East, Newfoundland, Canada.
Newfoundland is the first destination I discovered as a solo-traveler. In Bonavista and St. John’s, I, again, braved through many experiences for the first time: I sat fearlessly on the edge of cliffs, went puffin-and-whale watching and pool-played illegally (I am still underage in this province). All for the first time. All in Newfoundland.
What’s more, here I learned that you can absolutely feel home away from home. For never having left home before, I could have felt lost and uneasy; but, in reality, I started envisaging St. John’s as a home and I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself going back in the future. For this part of the trip, I’m introducing you to the highlight cities starting with Bonavista Peninsula and ending with the capital city of St. John’s. So, pack your BEST HIKING SHOES, a great daypack, an amazing camera and your Canadian accent! Here it is for you: Newfoundland’s Cities 101.
Bonavista: The Bigger Man
If you arrive in Bonavista in the evening, my plan for you is to go relax and watch a movie at the Garrick Theatre on Church Street. Treat yourself first to some yummy dessert at the nearby Walkham’s Gate Café. If you are more the life of the party, I suggest you either go to Walkham’s Gate Pub for a pool game or visit Shannon’s Pub for cool live music. All of these places are located on Church Street, the most famous neighborhood in the city.
In the morning, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be craving amazing espresso. The Boreal Diner opens at 12pm and has really good specialty drinks. If you’re an early bird, head over to Bonavista Bicycle Picnics Café located on your way to Mockbeggar Plantation Provincial Historic Site, where you can get a tour of the property and experience Newfoundland life during the 1930s and 1940s.
Shopping around will get you to explore beautiful operations like the Heritage Shop, Sweet Rock Ice Cream Shop, Moreish Cupcakes & Treats Shop, Mifflin’s Tea Room, Saucy Mouth Food Truck, Trailer Treasures Shop and Saltbox Specialty Market. My favorite discovery of all on Church Street was the Newfoundland Salt Company. They used to offer tours of the property, but for safety reasons, they stopped the visits. However, their products are next level and, if you show interest, they might just share their passion with you and give you a summary of how the factory functions and what their influence in Canada is like.
Desirers for whale-watching tours, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Matthew Legacy building with Discovery Sea Adventure Tours.
It’s also possible to see whales up at the Dungeon Provincial Park or Cap Bonavista and Lighthouse. Take a moment to admire the landscape and discover the cutest animals on Earth: puffins!
If you’re a hand (Newfie expression for adept) at hiking, there are a few possible trails around you can follow: Cape Shore Trail (6km), Old Days Pond Walk (1km), White Rock Trail (5km) and Lance Cove Road Trail (2km). Finally, the Klondike Trail in Elliston is where I saw the most beautiful cliffs. Ask your hostel for the Town of Bonavista Map for more information. The Hike Discovery App will also be your best friend for this trip.
Finally, one of the most notable experiences of your trip in NL will certainly be at the Bonavista Social Club in Upper Amherst Cove, a 20-minute drive outside the city. If you’re visiting by foot, the restaurant is doubtlessly worth the 13$ one-way fee to cab up to there. All that’s left for you to do is hope you won’t crave a third wood-fired pizza after the second you just had.
St. John’s: A Picturesque City of Surprises
For a Food & Beverage enthusiast like me, St. John’s is a thrilling playground to discover. The city isn’t short on restaurants, cafés and pubs: that’s for sure! First of all, it goes without saying that Water Street is your best bet if you wish to eat out. Most pubs and bars are located in the Water Market, or what they call Georges Street, close to the harbour. There, you’ll also find restaurant chains like The Keg, Mill St., or the Bier Markt. For beers, head to the Yellow Belly where the stout is very enjoyable!
… Or, listen to me and go down Duckworth Street where you’ll find very interesting outlets. For breakfast/lunch, I suggest a café like Fixed Coffee and Baking or Hungry Heart Coffee Shop (this one is not on Duckworth Street). For dinner, the Sprout is absolutely delectable. If I’d had a day more, Piatto would have deserved a visit. If you’re down to go higher up the streets of St. John’s, head over to Chinched, Zapata’s, or Bacalao. For dessert, I definitely recommend you favor Newfoundland Chocolate Company’s delicacies over any other plans you had.
NOTA BENE: I was visiting on foot for my entire trip in NL and I didn’t experience any problems whatsoever in any city or town I explored. If you’re not keen on walking, fortunately, there are more options for you in St. John’s. The public transport, for example, is reliable, encompass a cash fare of $2.25 per adult and offer ample services on its website, metrobus.com.
During the day, after your hike of the Signal Hill, wander through the streets of the Newfie capital and shop around for fun. On Duckworth Street, you’ll find Accent Newfoundland, the Heritage Shop, and Crafted Treasures that are worth the stop. Elaine’s Books is an amazing spot if you craving some cheap reads. On the other hand, The Elegant Pantry on Water Street has some really cool stuff for you to fall in love with.
After all of that, take in the beautiful British-styled architecture in the city and understand why most Newfoundlanders cherish their home over any other province or country.
Newfoundland is a Canadian province that still hasn’t been overwhelmed by tourism, but for its splendid landscape and interesting food scene, the destination won’t stay in the dark for very long. Newfoundlanders are very generous and connect easily with their humour. In return, all you need to be is open, good-humored and I promise you’ll have more than a laugh. You might just find yourself paying the utmost compliment I dies at you (your humor kills me) to your favorite local or scuffing (dancing) in several kitchen parties. If you spend just enough time in Newfoundland, you might even fall in love with the mauzy (drizzly/foggy) weather, the way the fog sets around the cliffs like nowhere else in this world and the sound of the horn ringing on not fit (bad weather) days. Finally, during your stay, you’ll appreciate a sense of liberty you’ll probably regret when you go back home. And that’s what Newfoundland does to you.
About The Author:
Hello globetrotters! I hope you enjoyed my travel guide on Newfoundland. If you haven’t satisfied your curiosity yet, I invite you to visit my blog, The World at Your Feet & Fingertips explores lifestyle, cultures, linguistics and travel. I strive to stay curious, be bolder and dream bigger! What about you?
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