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St. John's, Newfoundland - the capital where nature starts on your doorstep

St. John's, capital of Newfoundland © Copyright, Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

I imagined St. John's, or at least something like that. The capital of Newfoundland with its approximately 100 inhabitants is the largest city on the rock, "the Rock", as the Newfoundland dogs affectionately call their island. It's a bit bigger than I thought it would be, but downtown, the heart of the city, is just a couple of parallel streets that stretch northwest from the harbor basin. There are banks, shops, hotels and (somewhat hidden) George Street - the nightlife of St. John's, where the bear dances every night. The selection of pubs, restaurants and music bars is so large that you can change your place every hour and there is still a large selection left in the morning, which is enough for further nightly strolls through the entertainment district. The residential areas are grouped behind the city center. From Signal Hill you can see that they are lined with green, and in between there are always small lakes such as the Long Pond, the Muddy Pond or the Kents Pond: nature is never far away in St. John's.

The colorful streets in downtown St. John's © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

The fact that many Irish live in this city can not be overlooked on a stroll through the shopping streets of the city center. Many of the shops with their brightly colored facades adorn themselves with Gaelic names and point out their Celtic heritage. I often see Irish family names on our walk through the city: at O'Briens on Water Street - the oldest store in the oldest street in North America's oldest city (that's how the shop praises itself) - we get local music for our journey through the city Island: Pub Songs, reels, gigs and shanties that make you sing along. The Downtown of St. John's is cozy and well arranged. And nobody has a hurry here. Those who are in the throes of time, should set up on the late, because the traffic through the city center runs without hassle and stress and rolls in pace at the city center. Pedestrians have the right of way - and they also make good use of this. Sidewalks and traffic lights are indeed available, but when crossing the street is paid to the car traffic hardly - on the contrary, one is used to the fact that the cars give priority to the pedestrians.

Fishing boats in the harbor of St. John's © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Only one parallel street further along are fishing boats, coast guard ships and even a Russian freighter lying on Harbour Street. Bernadette, our escort, who shows us the city, tells us that a Russian shipping company owned the battered ship, went bankrupt and stranded her freighter and crew in St. John's. It took some time before the mills of the bureaucracy equalized the confusion of the bankrupt ship, and at that time the Russian crew remained aboard their ship in the port of St. John's - at least for a few months. The Newfoundlands took to the stranded sailors and prepared a festive Christmas, including gifts.

Steep residential area along the harbor entrance of St. John's © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

St. John's is, like most Newfoundland settlements on the coast. It is located on a sheltered harbor, the John Cabot on 24. June 1497 is said to have discovered on behalf of the English king. Whether it is true that he first entered North American soil here, the historians argue to this day. There are other places that claim this honor. It is undeniable, however, that the first settlements in Newfoundland were established along the coast, from where the fishermen went out to the Atlantic Ocean. Striking are therefore the houses that were built on the steep coastal cliffs and seem to cling to it only with difficulty.

St. John's Parliament is surrounded by greenery © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

How close nature is in this city is shown by the Parliament of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The building is surrounded by greenery. The residents of the city can also sing a song about it: Bernadette tells us about her sister, who has a house with a garden in Portugal Cove, a suburb of St. John's. A permanent guest is an elk that was born nearby and has come back every year since childhood. The family has since christened him "Harry". And so Harry has his civilizing quirks: he loves spinach, and so it happens from time to time that freshly bought spinach, which was actually intended for the family table, ends up in the stomach of the big "pet". Harry also likes the luxury of the city: if the lawn is watered in the family garden, Harry comes regularly to take a summer shower there.

Source: own on-site research courtesy of Tourism St. John's, Tourism Newfoundland & Labrador and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldONline
Photos: © Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

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