Day 10…Greenland Cruise…Newfoundland…Sea day…

Cape Spear Lighthouse.

Yesterday’s visit to St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, was an exciting look inside coastal living in northern Canada. The weather was cool but pleasant, the people friendly, and the town of roughly 114,000. It was a mix of old and new architecture, as shown in today’s photos.

A beautiful building in St. John’s is the Supreme Court.

From the ship’s brochure:

“St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, is the providence’s largest city. It was settled by the British in the 1600s. St. John’s is one of the oldest cities in the “New World.” Known for colorful row houses, it has the perfect balance of luxurious city and old-town charm. Guests can wander the streets learning the history of this fishing town, or for the more adventurous, hike up Signal Hill and enjoy the views.”

It was a lovely town filled with old-world charm, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Another view of colorful buildings in St. John’s.

Here are more facts about St. John’s, Newfoundland…

From this site:

“St. John’s, capital and largest city of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and LabradorCanada, at the eastern end of the Avalon Peninsula. It stands on the steep, western slope of an excellent landlocked harbour that opens suddenly to the Atlantic. The entrance, known as the Narrows, guarded by Signal Hill (500 feet [150 metres]) and South Side Hills (620 feet [190 metres]), is about 1,400 feet (425 metres) wide, narrowing to 600 feet (185 metres) between Pancake and Chain rocks. It was probably visited in 1497 by John Cabot on the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist and was early used as a haven for fishing vessels.

In 1583 a marker was placed on the shore by Sir Humphrey Gilbert claiming possession of Newfoundland for England, but permanent settlement was not made until the early 17th century. St. John’s prospered as a fishing port, despite frequent attacks by the French and disastrous fires in 1816–17, 1846, and 1892.

The city, one of the oldest and the most easterly in North America, now dominates the economic and cultural life of the province. It is the island of Newfoundland’s commercial and industrial centre, a major ocean port, and the base for the provincial fishing fleet; it is also the easternmost terminus for the Trans-Canada Highway and for several national airlines. Among its varied industries are shipbuilding, fish processing, brewing, tanning, and the manufacture of clothing, hardware, marine engines, paint, and furniture.

The city’s two cathedrals (both dedicated to St. John the Baptist) are the ornate basilica (1841; Roman Catholic) and the ecclesiastical-Gothic Anglican cathedral (originating in 1816 and rebuilt after the great fire of 1892). The Confederation Building (1850) replaced the Colonial Building (1860) as the provincial headquarters and houses a military and naval museum. St. John’s is the home of the Memorial University of Newfoundland (1925) and Queen’s College (1841; Anglican), and its Newfoundland Museum displays relics of the extinct Beothuck tribe (Newfoundland’s original inhabitants). Signal Hill Historic Park, once a location for signaling the approach of ships, memorializes several events, including John Cabot’s presumed landfall (commemorated by a tower [1897]); the French-English struggle for Newfoundland that ended in 1762 with the last shot fired on the hill (remnants of the fortifications, notably the Queen’s Battery, remain); and the reception atop the hill at the Cabot Tower by Guglielmo Marconi of the first transatlantic wireless message in 1901 from Europe. From the city’s Lester’s Field, the aviators Captain (later Sir) John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown took off in 1919 to make the first nonstop transatlantic flight to Clifden, Ireland.

The Quidi Vidi Battery, which once guarded the entrance to a small fishing harbour east of Signal Hill leading to a small lake, has been restored to its 1812 appearance; the annual (August) regatta, held since 1828 on the lake, is one of the oldest organized sports events in North America. Inc. 1888. Pop. (2006) 100,646; metro. area, 181,113; (2021) 110,525; metro. area, 212,579.

Scenic views of colorful buildings.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Last night, after dinner, we headed to the theatre to watch the show, a live entertainer who impersonates Neil Diamond. The performance was excellent, and we enjoyed every moment. When it was over, we headed back to our cabin for another good night’s rest. Again, Tom headed to breakfast alone while I stayed behind, got up, showered, and dressed for the day.

Robert Neary, Neil Diamond impersonator, performed at the Theatre last night. Gosh, he even looked like him.

When he returned, we put together another load of laundry since we won’t have access to laundry facilities until we get to Henderson, Nevada, where we can do laundry at Richard’s house or a laundromat near the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa, and Casino. This time, we’ll have a rental car so we can get around and do whatever we need to do; renew our driver’s licenses, pick up mail from our mailing service, and get together with Richard and some friends in Las Vegas.

Today, a sea day, we’ll chat with passengers and enjoy another delightful day aboard the ship. In another hour, we’ll head to the dining room for lunch, after which we’ll head back to Cafe al Bacio for a more relaxing time, doing exactly what we want to do.; It’s delightful.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 27, 2013:

+ Each day in Tuscany, it’s cooler than the last as fall rolls in. More of these puffy clouds surrounded us yesterday morning. With the cool weather, we kept the windows closed all day. The laundry on the drying rack required the entire day to dry. It appears Tuscany’s days of hot weather are over. For more photos, please click here.

Day 9…Greenland…Still in the Labrador Sea on our way to Newfoundland…

We are having a great time. This is us in the Rendezvous Lounge on Deck 4.

Note: Yesterday, I made an error and didn’t upload the post. Thus, we heard from several readers last night asking if we were okay. Gosh, we appreciate the concern. And yes, we are fine. In the flurry of activity aboard the ship, I simply got distracted and failed to upload the post that I am loading now. Tomorrow, we’ll catch up, but today will be an easy day for me since I’ll only upload this one post instead of doing another.

This cruise ends in four days. There will be two more sea days over the next four days until we disembark in Boston on the 30th. We don’t mind sea days. It gives us plenty of time to relax and enjoy lively conversation with other passengers. Some days, we take a nap; others, we do not. It all depends on how late we got to bed the previous night.

Last night, after dinner with Laura and Les,  a couple we met early on and another couple. We had a lovely dinner, and then Tom and I headed to the Rendezvous Bar and spent time chatting and rocking to the music. By about 11:00 pm, we decided to make it an early night. We nodded off by midnight but woke up very early this morning.

There have been several time changes, including a few 30-minute changes, which is odd. I can’t get my broken Fitbit to show the correct time. I’ll have to wait until we get to the US and buy a new device since mine broke on the last cruise, and it can’t keep recording sleep time and the correct local clock time. When the WiiFi works well, I may consider some options online, but I haven’t purchased anything yet.

This morning, as always, we’re comfortably situated in Cafe al Bacio at our favorite table for four, which somehow ends up available for us each morning after Tom has breakfast. He gets up early and heads to the Oceanview Cafe, where he orders bacon and eggs.

Afterward, he heads back to the cabin to collect the laptops and races to the coffee shop to ensure he can get our favorite table. At that point, I get up, shower, dress for the day, and do whatever little projects I may have on the agenda before departing the stateroom. Usually, by 8:30 or 9:00, I join Tom at the table. Often, passengers ask if they can “share” the table with us, and we’re always happy to do so, especially when an interesting conversation ensues.

During these conversations, I get sidetracked and stop writing the post to participate in the conversation. Often, it takes me the better part of the morning to get a post uploaded, especially with the slow loading of photos, which is much better on this ship but still a challenge at times when so many passengers are online.

We love our little routine on the ship in the same way we relish routines we establish wherever we may be living at any given time. There’s a pleasing sense of comfort in having habits in our nomadic life, unlike most people when they aren’t traveling. We never feel bored or disinterested in our routines, providing us with a great balance in our peculiar lifestyle.

It”s a pleasant feeling knowing we’ll be visiting family and friends when we get to the US in only five days. This will be the longest period (one month) we’ve stayed in Minnesota since our travels commenced almost 11 years ago (as of October 31). It will be fun to spend extra time with our kids and grandkids. During this stay, we’ll have enough time to see many of our friends while in Minnesota, which has been tough to do on shorter stays in the past.

Sorry, we don’t have much exciting news today. Tomorrow, we’ll be at a port and take photos and share experiences after returning to the ship. On these quiet sea days, there’s little to share other than to say how much fun we’re having and how much we like cruising.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 25, 2013:

In Boveglio, Tuscany, on this date, it almost looked like smoke, not clouds. But we were so high up; we were in the shadows. For more, please click here.