My Newfoundland Trip: A Brief Photo Survey Part I

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!

5 thoughts on “My Newfoundland Trip: A Brief Photo Survey Part I

      • How are you doing Clare;
        It has been a long time since I’ve heard from you. I sent you my snail mail address which you requested so you could send me some photos of the best place in the world. I guess that you never received it. Also I wanted to know if you received a DVD from Ed. O’Neill of the Garden Party. It has your beautiful Fiddle playing on it.If you didn’t get it I can make you a copy of the one that I got.
        Are you over NFLD yet or do you still want to go there to live.?The weather there today was not very Spring like. They had a snow storm on the weekend dumping 30cm (12in.) . of snow on the ground and with high winds that amount of snow becomes 90 cm(3ft.). They had no snow until the last week of January but February and March have sure made up for the lack of it in the two previous months Schools were closed for one day last week because of too much snow on the roads for the school buses to operate safely.
        I guess that you are still busy with your fiddle playing ,belly dancing gardening bee hives and making quilts etc. I don’t know were you ind the time for all your activities . I would love to have half your energy.
        I hope that things are going good for you and that this note finds you in good health. Take care .
        Your Newfoundland Friend
        Denis
        ps. my snail mail address

        Denis Trainor
        17080 Bonson Road South
        Pitt Meadows
        British Columbia
        V3Y1R7

      • Yes, I did get that email with your address; I’m sorry to have been so remiss in not contacting you. If it makes you feel any better I have a stack of cards I’ve been meaning to send to folks I met in Newfoundland–including my couins!!–and I haven’t yet. Don’t ask me why. Not a day goes by that I don’t have an image of the Cove come to my mind; I think it’s because it was such a special place to my grandparents, and those memories can be passed on just like genes, at least I think so.

        I’ll do my best to send you a more personal message soon. Thanks for staying in touch; I do appreciate it. And while NFLD is likely not in the cards for me this summer (I need to save a bit) I hope to go up next summer again.

        Thanks for your post. 🙂

  1. Hi Clare,

    I’m planning on on visiting Port Kirwan this upcoming summer with some cousins. Our great-grandfather was a Fennelly with relatively deep roots in the community through the Fennellys, Trainors, and Brothers families. Have any tips on what to do or see while we’re there? And we’d love to connect with relatives (no matter how distant) once we’re in town.

    Thanks,
    Chris Fenley

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