St. John’s, Newfoundland.
St. John’s seems to be a busy commercial port, with several different types of commercial vessels, containers and cranes, and extensive docking space. Our ship was certainly the largest one present today. The harbor was unlike many we’ve been to. It was more like a small bay. We could see the land on all sides and at one end the inlet which led out to the ocean. We didn’t have an excursion booked for this port, but we decided to go ashore to find something for lunch rather than eating on the ship, as we usually did. The commercial establishments for this port are situated along three streets which parallel the dock: Harbor, Water, and Duckworth. Thinking we’d have better luck finding a restaurant on Duckworth, we took a long flight of steps from Water Street up to Duckworth, turned right, and started walking along, enjoying the sights and structures of a new (to us) city. Before long, we found a promising restaurant called “Get Stuffed,” which was aptly named because that’s what we did. It was a delicious lunch.
We then continued walking along Duckworth, stopping to take pictures of multi-colored houses along some of the side streets and to shop in some of the craft and souvenir stores. Feeling a little draggy by this time, we turned right again and went back down the hill to Water Street, thence to the ship. We were walking through an older area of town, with some buildings in need of repair and several vacant storefronts. Signs of revitalization are a big Marriott Courtyard hotel, a well-maintained city historical park, a multi-story parking garage, and a substantial Canadian government building.
Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Right away, the city of Halifax and its waterfront impressed us. First thing off the ship, we entered the terminal building, a cavernous expanse with craft vendors, prepared-food stalls, and even fresh produce. Outside, we started walking along the Halifax waterfront boardwalk which lines the harbor for a half-mile or so, providing access to restaurants, shops, and open areas at the water’s edge. This must be one of the most welcoming and best-designed waterfronts we have visited this cruise. We continued to the end of the waterfront, after stopping at a number of shops and viewpoints along the way. During this walk, we could see the land across the water, which had lighthouses, a few buildings, and some forest; several different kinds of boats going back and forth (ferries, tour boats, pleasure boats); and many tourists (the Veendam was in port today as well) and families enjoying the lovely day.
Since this is the last port on this cruise, we returned to the ship with some sadness about having to end this incredible voyage. We had planned this trip for a long time and feel so fortunate that we were finally able to do it.