The past week has been rough: I had so much fun in Newfoundland, and then I had to come back home, get back in the saddle and back to work. I will admit to feeling a bit down this past week. Newfoundland is a special place, and I feel a bit cheated now that I’ve spent 40+ years on the planet and have only now figured out that Newfoundland is really that special.
The other day I even calculated the cost of applying for a Canadian residency/work permit ($550 CDN) plus the mandatory medical exam ($560 CDN). Plus a few extra bucks for a criminal background check. That, and no guarantee of a permit after months and months of waiting.
Enough, though, of my wishful thinking…. here are about 10 photos to start with. Get ready to scroll; it should be clear by now that I’d just fail at micro-blogging!
I arrived in Newfoundland at 1:30AM local time on August 4th; I spent my first night in a dump of a hostel, not knowing it was a dump ahead of time (looked good on-line when I booked). When I arrived at the hostel, the odds of finding another bed in the city the day of the Royal St. John’s Regatta were slim: I knew that even as a newcomer. So, I prayed for no bedbugs and then fell asleep for 10 hours.
Later that day I went to the Regatta:
This jumping castle amused me:
Newfoundland 1000 years? I’m guessing this is Viking-related.
Anyway, all that was a pleasant distraction and a way to get oriented after 4 flights and a whole day of travel. The REAL reason I was in Newfoundland was to visit Port Kirwan, known as Admiral’s Cove back in the day of my grandparents: Adrian Fennelly, also headed to the Port Kirwan Come Home Year, arranged ahead of time to pick me up at the hostel in St. John’s (he’s the one who first called it a dump) and take me down the coast. Though it should be said that no-one says “down”, even when you’re going south; no matter where you’re going in Newfoundland, you’re always going “up”. So even though we were going south an hour to Port Kirwan, we were really going “up” the shore.
I should mention that I purchased a Newfoundland dictionary during my trip.
Thanks, Adrian, for the ride!
This is the view from the road right before it goes downhill into the cove where Port Kirwan is located:
And this is by and large Port Kirwan, with the little wharf off to the left:
I was present for–and properly registered to attend–the Port Kirwan Come Home Year: here are all the welcome bags for attendees, each with a brochure with the event calendar and a t-shirt:
On the opening day there was a big Mass, and here are folks outside the church; I stood a bit of a distance away:
The next day there was a regatta; which sadly was a bit forlorn looking due to what I’d call inclement weather but which the locals would likely call summer:
One of the themes of the Come Home Year was “Christmas in the Cove”: many people who used to live there, or who grew up there, can’t come “home” for Christmas but would like to, so, hence, the Christmas-in-August theme, which explains the Santa Claus at the regatta:
There were Mummers, too (which is apparently still a tradition up there) but I missed them…..because what happened, inevitably, was that I stopped attending most of the events because I got very happily wrapped up with my relatives:
That’s me with my lovely Aunt Mary, from Boston, who was born in Port Kirwan 87 years ago and was back for a bit of reunion, and her second-cousin Pat Aylward. I’m not sure what that makes me to Pat: a second cousin once removed? I don’t know. The relationship is distant, but it sure felt like we were from the same family! You can’t see it, but I’m sure we’re each holding a glass of screech:
All activities from that point forward seemed to center between Pat’s house (foreground) and the delightful rental holiday cottage (Ballygall Cottage) his daughter owns (the red one in the background, where I stayed with my Aunt Mary and Evvy); the metal Quonset hut in the middle is Pat’s licensed meat-processing facility:
Here’s a close-up of the exquisite Ballygall Cottage which is just a great vacation rental, I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of a Newfoundland holiday; between here and Pat’s home next door, we spent all hours telling stories and trying to figure out how everyone was related.
Here’s Mary and Evvy one morning behind the cottage, Pat’s cows in the background; at this stage, we’re all drinking tea…no screech…yet.
Part 2 of the Newfoundland Photo Marathon tomorrow; because this is just the beginning! Looking at all these photos makes me want to head back there…soon!