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profile member asked on Jul 25, 2011

St John's? Newfienland??

I have never thot of going all the way to NF from Edmonton, thinking all the time that I should do the Canadian Rockies while I am here! But today when googling for something more unusual i.e.visiting Northern Canada and the original Canadians, I came across a fantastic website: [original link] which featured Newfoundland as one of its destinations!

So, now, I'm wondering whether I should fly all the way across Canada to St John's after all, to meet up with my dear friend and her lovely boys?? And, perhaps, even join them for a vacation in PEI where Judy has booked a cottage?? I really didn't plan to fly across Canada to go to the Maritimes since I had seen much of Eastern Canada (cities mostly) when I was in Ottawa for 10 months in 1989. And Judy comes to Malaysia now and then for business, so I can always meet her there, again.

So, what would you recommend? Jasper and the vicinity (after Banff turned out to be much ado about nothing to me?) or visit my Newfie friend and see NFL and even PEI instead? Would these locations pose a very different experience for me than say, the west coast of Scotland or Scandinavia/Lapland?

St. John's

22 Answers


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

The only two provinces I have never been to are PEI and NL, so I can't provide any direct insight. My point was going to be that there are no non-stop direct flights from Edmonton to St John's, so you are probably looking at somewhere around 7+ hours of flight time, plus stop overs / connections. It will be a very long day in each direction.


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Ottawa

In my mind...long transit or not...having the opportunity to see friends...and experience some pretty unique scenery..and cultures...both in PEI and in Newfoundland..seems a no brainer for me.

Newfoundland is totally different from anywhere else in Canada..and so is PEI...Theyre both probably pretty unique in the World in fact...from your profile "travel likes" I kind of think you'd enjoy the rugged landscape and sea views that these TWO destinations would provide you with..
The Outports of Newfoundland are tranquil and scenic...the soil and sands of PEI are a reddish sandstone..the
I cant relate these places to the west coast of Scotland or Scandanavia because Ive not been to either of these places.. but I know that anytime Ive visited either of these places...Ive never been disappointed.

Why dont you take a look around the Travel Guides here for a glimpse of things to do...and things to see.

By the way....a few days hanging on a cottage in PEI...you really cant go wrong with that idea..


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

Well, it's called "the Rock" for a reason...


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

@jonellis - thanks for the input! :-) Yes, Judy would have a car and should pick me up since she suggested I fly over to meet her (cheaper) instead of her and the boys coming over to Edmonton! ;-) And if I recall correctly one of her uncles has 4 fishing boats! LOL! So, I might get a free ride, eh? ;-)


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

@GD I know! I never thot of crossing Canada! Even when I was in the US, when I'm on one coast I stay on that side till my flight home via the other side! It's like 3,000 miles, right? ;-)

But now I'm wondering if I should fly via Toronto (Judy did suggest we could meet in Toronto but why would I want to fly to another city? Argh!) and meet up with my (now) Iraqi-Canadian room mates (when we were studying in the UK) after we last met in Amman/Irbid in 1996 (where they moved to 6 months after the first Gulf War) and then onto NF (I meant Newfoundland BTW - typo when correcting 'Newfie'). But probably not! The Inuits are calling, I think? ;-)


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

Thanks, @[VT member c8ec7]! Just the insight I need :-) I agree with the idea of meeting friends, esp Yousif and Summer and their now grown children enroute (Nadin was born when we lived in the same flat in the UK!) though Judy will be back in MY sometime and her boys can't remember me the last time they did! Not even Julian (the eldest)!

You are absolutely correct - I love the wilderness, rugged landscape and miss Scotland's howling winds! I was totally taken off my feet upon finding NF in that website and as a UNESCO world heritage (geological) site! so, let me muse over this and look at the flights while checking out the train to Churchil for the Inuits (or whichever native Canadian people are there)?


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

Hmmm.. I thot 'the Rock' was Gibraltar? ;-)

> you might have a 10 hour day, but it would be worth it.

Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm used to 24hour or more (even 33 hours!) of travelling when I come to this part of the world, so 10 hour is a piece of cake, I'd say? ;-)

Cheers!


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Ottawa

Im not sure that L'Anse aux Meadows is a spectacular UNESCO site,but it is significant in the big scheme of things I suppose.They think the Vikings predate arrival in North America of Columbus by a few hundred years.

Ha..we call Newfoundland the "rock" here too...for good reason.If you can make it there you'll discover why..

I hope you can make it there..its be a long time since my one and only visit..I really should return..


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Ottawa

Sorry folks...I meant to include this link...

[original link]


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answered on 7/26/11 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

Greggor - I suspect she's referring to Gros Morne National Park, rather than L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. It's the only Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada that I haven't been to. I suspect things will remain that way, both some friends and my wife have been there and frankly were rather underwhelmed.


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answered on 7/27/11 by
a VT member from Toronto

Jasper is essentially Banff/Lake Louise but less.
In either place you have to be into the outdoors and hiking.

PEI is a place to go for 7 to 10 days and take it easy.
You really need a renrted cottage.
Eat lobster, mussels, oysters, go biking or play golf , read , take a daily trip and eat out for lunch, watch the sunrise.
If it rains everyone shows up at the theatre in Charlottown.
What is showing does not matter.
Leaving the cottage before 10:00 am is a rare event.

Newfoundland.
Check out Fugo Island.
View icebergs .The icebergs are late this year but there is a big one coming.
There is a boat trip into Gros Morne in lieu of very long hikes.
Etc.


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member

I'm also thinking of visiting St.J's from USA. I'm a big hockey fan, & w/ new team in town should be a great yr! Can anyone recommend accomodations, when/where to get single game tickets, etc. & time of yr best to visit? I'd like to try for early fall when team begins new season as it is warmest then, I assume, in St. J's. Thanks everyone.


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member from Toronto

Have been to PEI but not Newfoundland. If you love rugged scenery, Nfld is definitely the place to go. PEI has nice scenery too but it isn't as spectacular as Nfld, IMO.


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

Thanks, guys! :-) And sorry for the late response - I'm mentally out (brain dead as I call it - just functioning in zombie mode!) and tried to get a day trip this weekend to at least 'reccee' Jasper and get out of the zombie mode: nope! Sundog leaves WEM at 4pm (comes back from Jasper 7am the next morning)! While the train only goes to Jasper Fridays/Sundays (I'm too disorganised/zombieish for tomorrow's 7.37 am departure, obviously!).

Still looking at NL, now that Judy has replied from London (England!) where she must be away on business.. Well, as to the UNESCO heritage site in NL, I recall it being the geological structure (being described as the'Galapagos' of geology)? But will recheck that fantastic website I quoted above to see which one it means!

As for PEI, Judy told me she has a cottage booked from Aug 16 and suggested I join her and the kids a while back. Will call her asap and discuss options..


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

> we call Newfoundland the "rock" here too...for good reason.If you can make it there you'll discover why..

Well, Judy's FB friend responded to my posting on her wall: NL "rocks!" ;-) And said I would find life has meaning once I get there! So, I asked if he's show me round?! LOL! :-D


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

> They think the Vikings predate arrival in North America of Columbus by a few hundred years.

But the natives (original Canadians?) predate both? ;-) LOL!


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member from Ottawa

Absolutely...and some of us and I think they too refer to them(selves) as "First Nations" people..or peoples,plural.
I hope you can make it east...its so different from the west...as is every region of Canada different from the other... :o)


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answered on 7/28/11 by
a VT member from Toronto

If you want to see First Nations ( origional Canadians) maybe you should attend a Pow Wow.
Google: " First Nations Pow Wows"
And/Or look at some YouTube Videos.


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answered on 7/29/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

I've noticed the term 'First Nations' this time (but not when I was in Canada 22 years ago) - a woman from BC explained it's a recent term to describe some (but not all?) Canadian native tribes? I only remember the Inuits when I was in Ottawa and was actually invited to attend the opening ceremony of a new Museum (then) designed by an Inuit (if I recall correctly). But that's subject more suitable for a Mis Forum discussion, I think? ;-)

Anyway, my mind's made up, after probably a 2 hour conversation on the pavement of Whyte and 111th St yesterday (~7-9pm) with a couple whom I chanced upon as I was walking along and commented about the rain (that was starting then) - me under my umbrella (not Rihanna's!) and them in the rain which they didn't mind until I insisted we move to the sheltered pavement in front of the worst Chinese restuarant I've eaten at in the world!

What an exhilarating conversation about travel in Canada (they had just come back from ten days in Victoria and understood the need I had to get out of Edmonton, since they had been talking about that the last ten days!) and the man happened to have lived in Churchill and told me it's a dump - most of it is underground and that the natives would rather not meet tourists and the polar bear trip is artifical - that the polar bears come to the vehicle since they have identified humans as/with food and come to Churchill to ransack the garbage bins since with global warming, they migration had been affected by its effect on ice flows?

And both recommended NL highly and he described it's separation from Scotland/Ireland during the tectonic plate separation and how it was not even part of Canada till 1949 but a protetorate of Britain! How the Newfies (a term of endearment here since I first learnt the term from Judy whose email address was Newfiegirl!) had developed a separate culture from the rest of Canada and why the houses are so picturesque! Now I understand why Judy and John rented a decrepit looking bungalow in T Desa and why she painted it up in lovely colours and redecorated it so cosily! I used to drop by esp since Julian and Adrian would greet me with the biggest smiles! :-) So happy to see me? ;-)

And they both endorsed my plan this weekend to get out of zombie mode: get on the train to Jasper on Sunday (since I was too zombieish and disorganised for 7.37 this morning!), go on a float down the Athabasca River in the afternoon, stay at the Sawridge and do the Jasper Tramway on Monday! And then organise myself for PEI or NL or both!

And I can also breather a sigh of relieve now that I've found out just today what's been causing my problems in the lab! The wrong work sheet! Given by both my host and her RA in the beginning of my stay (which really screwed up my results, adding to the stress)! Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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answered on 7/29/11 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

You are thinking of the Canadian Musuem of Civilization, in Gatineau, Quebec, on the other side of the Ottawa River from Ottawa. It was designed by Douglas Cardinal, who was born in Calgary of Metis and Blackfoot ancestry (Metis = mixed European and First Nations).


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answered on 7/29/11 by
a VT member from Kuala Lumpur

Right! I even met the man! I was on the Malaysian Embassy's mailing list and had met him at a reception hosted by the MY Embassy at the Chateau Laurier ;-) Loved the afternoon teas there! :-)


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answered on 7/30/11 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

Chatrau Laurier is an interesting old railway hotel (one built by the railways to service their guests); I've been to a few events there. I like staying in these types of hotels when I travel because they do bring back the flavour of times when travel was perhaps a bit less rushed.

A couple of interesting facts about the hotel; the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Ottawa radio studios were located there for decades. For decades it was also the home and studio of the famous portrait photographer, Yousef Karsh (the famous wartime portrait of Winston Churchill is perhaps his best known work); and some of his works can be seeing in an area of the hotel, just off the main lobby.

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