Sunday, November 11, 2007

Newfoundland, Part 2

After the looooong wedding day (I ended up going downtown with two of my cousins and some of the wedding party after the reception ended, and got to bed at about 5:30 a.m.), Mom and I woke up at 8:30 a.m. to start our drive back across Newfoundland. Remembering how grey and blustery St. John's looked from Signal Hill the day before (see the Newfoundland post below), the change this morning was sure to put a smile on our faces, even though the air had turned nippy.

Sunny St. John's

It was such a beautiful day, in fact, that I even got a photo of my mother sans photograph smirk.

nfld11 mom breakfast.jpg

I slept less than you would expect (and even the sleep was more of a half-awake, eyes-open, zombie state of mind - you should see the picture I took of myself. Except, you shouldn't). Our drive back across a road we had travelled only 48 hours before could have been boring, but the blue skies made everything seem fresh and vivid. We stopped to photograph this broad, shallow river full of boulders. Someone familiar with the area later told my mother that the river is like this for its entire length.

nfld12 river rocks.jpg

A lake (or pond, as it is likely to be called in Newfoundland), bog, spruce and fir, and hills, a pretty typical Newfoundland landscape, with a surprisingly intense colour palette.

nfld13 bog hills.jpg

The drive through Gros Morne was longer than I expected, with some amazing scenery and a brilliant valley rainbow (no pictures, alas!). We got in to Rocky Harbour as the sun started to set. After we dropped off our bags in our vacation cottage and stopped to turn the heat on, Mom and I walked briskly down to the waterfront to get some pictures of the sunset. I didn't get a really good picture (even this one is a bit blurry), but I did commit it to memory. It was a wonderful sunset. The air was just pulsing with the mauve and pink light, the wind was icy and bracing, and the lonely quiet of a vacation town abandoned by tourists was incredibly peaceful.

nfld14 rocky harbour sunset.jpg

The next day dawned clear and fresh, and Mom and I hit the road to explore the park by car and foot.

nfld15 gros morne morning.jpg

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Newfoundland, at last

At last is right! Mom and I arrived home from Newfoundland a month and a day ago today, and I am finally here to post about our adventures. Hopefully you don't mind seeing more photographs and less writing?

We left Halifax on a Thursday afternoon and made good time to Sydney. There were plenty of bugs on the window to really spice up the photo opportunities, but I decided to post this image of the highway anyways. It's about 20 minutes outside Antigonish, and one of my favourite parts of the highway.

Highway to Antigonish

I have already told you about the snoring, camouflage-bedecked passengers on the ferry. We arrived in Port aux Basques at about 6:30 a.m., and started the looooong drive across the province. It was a dark blustery morning, and we hit pockets of rain the whole way across the province. This was the view of the Table Mountains as we headed through them:

table mountains

Quite atmospheric. The thing about being part of the ferry traffic is that you are in company with many of these cars and trucks and tractor trailers for the rest of the way across the island. You may stop at the Grand Falls-Windsor Tim Hortons, and the other van may stop in Gander, but maybe you will see them again somewhere out of Clarenville. It's a lot of pass, be passed, pass again, look, dead moose! Pass, pass, get passed... you get the idea.

The morning of the wedding I met my friend Caroline for brunch (finishing up her MA in Nfld, but I met her at Dal), and walked up to Signal Hill. I liked the look of this stone building, because it reminded me of a Scottish croft:

Signal Hill

And this was the view of St. John's from Gibbet Hill:

Cloudy St. John's

I like to commend myself for taking some landscape shots, because, naturally, I spent most of my time on Signal Hill looking at the details. A curious flower, a rock and grass-like plant, and of course, a lime sorbet-coloured, leopard-spotted lichen:

nfld10 signal hill flower2.jpg

Signal Hill LichenSignal Hill lichen

I'm skipping over the details of the wedding we were actually in Newfoundland attend, not because it isn't relevant, not because the bride wasn't photogenic (she looked lovely), or that the setting wasn't nice (the reception was held at the Fluvarium, I never knew brook trout could be so cute), but because I didn't take many good pictures (Especially none of me, although I really liked my dress).

On Sunday, we started the drive back across the province! I will finish that up later, but don't worry, it shouldn't take another month to write.