St John has turned out to be quite an amazing place in may ways, really quite special.
In many ways its an old dock town, although in fact its the oldest town in North America, and is steeped in history that has fascinated me.
The town itself is quite seedy in parts, which is quite nice for a couple of days and then loses its appeal a bit ! Huge number of pubs for North American town, really noticeable.
Most of the houses in the downtown area are made in a similar fashion, but all painted different colours which has a really lovely effect as you look on them, row by row.
The history of this place has had a real impact on me, I’ve found it fascinating.
One reason possibly, is that they’re obviously very proud of their heritage.
There’s a huge railway museum in the town, that’s not just about trains, but details the amazing development of the province and its evolution through the building of the railway network throughout the island.
What is especially sad is that it is now all gone – there’s no railway left at all, passenger or freight and I think all the track has been pulled up
The other two things that have fascinated me are Cabot’s Tower and Cape Spear.
Cabot’s Tower is the place where Marconi received the first wireless transatlantic signal, which when you read the history of what happened and its effect is quite stunning – not least because the impact of that sort of development is pretty much lost in todays technological circus.
They have a replica of what he heard at the time, which sounds pretty much just like a crackly wire, but his announcement of his achievement knocked 40% of the share price of the main cable company, which tried to shut him down – nothing changes !
The other place is Cape Spear, slightly creepy name, but famous for being the most easterly point in North America – being Canadian, they have a very modest sign at the point itself, but it does have quite a special feeling.
Quite apart from that, it has the most amazing coastline, a real rawness of sea that I haven’t seen before, but is sort of what I was hoping to see.
The weather has been pretty bleak as well, which is partly why I chose to come at this time of year.
It certainly adds to the feel of the place, but there’s also no doubt of its beauty, when the mist and fog suddenly clear and you just get this most amazing coastline – sadly no icebergs, they’re here in June apparently !