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Athena39 Jul 23rd, 2003 08:32 PM

Anybody been to Newfoundland?
We are looking for someplace to go to get away from the Texas heat. We're imagining someplace remote -- for a really "get away from it all" vacation. We love the outdoors and are avid birdwatchers and sailors. I've been reading about Newfoundland, and it sounds pretty wild! Has anyone ever been there?

Athena39 Jul 23rd, 2003 08:36 PM

Oops! I see that someone HAS been there. I did a search, but nothing came up. Sorry about that . . .

kodi Jul 24th, 2003 05:58 AM

Athena, are you looking for a driving holiday or a stay put? The first time we went to Newfoundland we drove all over and had a wonderful time. This time, coming up next month, we have rented a cottage on the Avalon Peninsula and are going to stay put and relax, hike, bird watch and hopefully whale watch. We will be close enough to go into St. John's for shopping dinners if we choose . Newfoundland is very beautiful, in a rugged way. Very peaceful, much the same as Ireland. Great for getting away from it all. And the best part....the PEOPLE.. they are so friendly!!
I'm sure you'd love it..

Athena39 Jul 24th, 2003 08:48 AM

Hi kodi. Staying put sounds wonderful, but . . . since we've never been there before, and it is such a LONG way from Dallas, Texas, we will probably drive around and try to see as much as possible. Two of our favorite destinations in the world are Scotland and Nova Scotia, not only for the scenery, but for the people. We're hoping that Newfoundland is going to be like that!

Gavin Jul 24th, 2003 02:56 PM

Birding trip reports about Newfoundland can be found at:

A discussion group for birding in Newfoundland is at:
Birding questions addressed to this group should generate responses from local birders.

Ironically Newfoundland has had record heat recently however the current St. John's forcast does not look too strange:

Enjoy your trip.

kodi Jul 24th, 2003 03:02 PM

Driving all around on your first time to Newfoundland is a good idea. We really researched it and spent 2 weeks there the first time. I have since helped 3 other families plan their trips, so I'd be glad to answer any questions.
If you love Scotland , you'll love Newfoundland....even the unpredictable weather!!!
Good luck..

cabicou Jul 24th, 2003 06:10 PM

Newfoundland is beautiful and does feel remote when you are there. I loved the little town of Trinity, if I remember correctly its on the Avalon peninsula. Its like being in the 1800's there. The weather in Newfoundland could be coolish and misty but you wont mind that if you want to escape the heat. You might want to visit the French Islands of Saint Pierre and Michelon for a night or two. Its like being in France, actually its owned by France and they are only 9 miles of of Newfoundland. You wouldnt wont to stay much moe than a night or two because its so small but worth seeing. Tip:Go during the week and not on a weekend as stores are closed on Sundays and half a day on Saturdays. THere is a lot of ground to cover in the Newfie so just give yourself 2 weeks at least to explore. Have fun! Id like to make it back there one day.

gopack Jul 24th, 2003 07:34 PM


Noticed you are a fellow Dallasite and have been to Nova Scotia. My hubby and I are going to NS in October for the first time. Will have 12 days there. I have it pretty much planned out already, but if you wouldn't mind, could you touch on some of the areas you visited that you thought were the most interesting?

Any really good restaurants that you would recommend?

We will be starting in Halifax and touring around the south coast on up to Digby. Then on to Wolfville, and finally 4 nights on Cape Breton Island.

Any info regarding sights or restaurants would be appreciated.


Cluny Jul 25th, 2003 07:55 AM

See if you can find a copy of Rare Birds. Mind you, two of the leads--William Hurt and Mollie Parker--are from away, but it does give you a taste of Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders, and it's very funny.

The Shipping News has even less Newfoundland content--only one of the main actors--but most of the location shots were done there.

Athena39 Jul 25th, 2003 01:46 PM

Here's a reply to my fellow Dallasite: "gopack." It has been a few years since we were inNova Scotia, but I don't imagine it has changed very much. We loved Halifax -- stayed at the Delta Barrington in a wonderful corner room with a view between buildings to the harbor. Wonderful hotel, and a good restaurant - Patrick's. The mussels were to die for. The Maritime museum was very special, and we even went out for a sail on Bluenose II. We love sailing, and that particular boat has such a fantastic history.

We had an overnight at Cape Sable Island at a B&B. We bought sime andwiches at a deli and walked on the beach in the late afternoon. there were thousands of small sandpipers there, and it was a very special moment in our trip . . . right up until the fog rolled in!

The drive along the Evangeline Coast was terrific. We stopped at one place a bought a "rappie pie" and ate it in the car, parked ona pebby beach. It was too chilly to get out of the car.

We enjoyed Digby. Be sure to drive out to Sandy Cove. Digby was our last stop, and we took the ferry from there to St. John, which was a lot of fun.

Cape Breton Island lived up to its reputation . . . beautiful. We spent several days there, with one night in Cheticamp, another at Ingonish and two more at Baddeck. If I had it to do over again, I would stay at Keltic Lodge. Even if you don't stay there,. be sure to walk out to the end of the peninsula: Middle Head. The views are fantastic. It's an easy level walk. We did it in the late afternoon, when the light was so perfect, and the trees were full of birds.

The only restaurant that I can remember is at a place called Markham Resort near Dingwall. Had a great lunch there. The cabins looked very inviting, and the beach was nice for walking, too.

Have a great time. I hope it's cool! I just heard from a friend in Vancouver that they are having temperatures in the 90's!!!!

There's a lot to see in Nova Scotia, and some of the

Retired_teacher Aug 2nd, 2003 07:09 AM

Athena, hopefully you've discovered the following website: It offers a wealth of options on accommodations by area. Be sure to include Gros Morne, L'Anse aux Meadows, Twillingate, Trinity, and St. John on your itinerary......
I believe that you will find that Newfoundland compares very favorably with Nova Scotia and Ireland, although the food options outside St. John are more primative. Be prepared for lots of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and fish. Fin & hattie is a local dish and so are cod's tongues. If you can rent an SUV, plan on taking some of the back logging roads for viewing wildlife. You'll love the people there and I know that you're going to enjoy your trip!

Retired_teacher Aug 3rd, 2003 06:56 AM

gopack........ After looking over Athena's review of her trip to Nova Scotia, I would like to add Luenburg. It's a beautiful Canadian town with a "perfect storm" feel with large piers, a maritime museum, and many photo ops.
The only special restaurants that I am aware of would be the ones found in the government owned Signature Resort properties..... Many posters on this website recommend the Keltic Lodge which is the signature property on Cape Brenton Island.

b37lah Aug 3rd, 2003 10:13 AM

Hi. If you are going to Newfoundland there are several things you must see and do.
One thing I would recommend is arriving and leaving from opposite ends of the Island. While Newfoundland is only about the size of Pennsylvania, there are no freeways and it takes about 11 hours to drive from one end to the other. So fly into Deer Lake and fly out of St. John's (the capital)

If birding is your thing - then the Avalon Peninsula on the east coast is the place for you. Just south of St. John's is Witless Bay Ecological Reserve (about 45 min drive). There are four small islands off the coast where millions of seabirds nest - including the largest puffin colony in the western atlantic. There are several boat tours you can take that will take you within a few feet of the islands. Personally, I liked the Gatherall's tour the best (the also take you out for whale watching).

A little farther south is the Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve where there is nesting grounds for >5000 northern gannets. You don't need a boat ride to enjoy this reserve as the grounds are ~15 min from the visitor's centre.

There's tons more to do in Newfoundland - and the Gros Morne National Park on the west coast is a must. Let me know if there's anything else you want to know (I've lived there most of my life!)

kodi Aug 5th, 2003 05:26 PM

I have a couple of question for you if you don't mind.
Is it possible to go into the Avalon Wilderness Reserve with a car, or is it stricty a long distance hiking sort of thing?
We will be staying near Witless Bay and I'm wondering if the first part of Sept will be too late to see the puffins and or whales. Any thoughts on this?
I'm not sure which part of Newfoundland you are from, but we will be landing at St. JOhn's and driving to Witless Bay. Do you know of a grocery store that might be on our route with out going too far out of our way. We'll be anxious to do our shopping and get to our accommodations. Is there a Sobey's on route?
Thanks for any help...

George Aug 7th, 2003 09:10 PM

Message: Hi kodi. Since you're driving from St. John's to Witless Bay, I would recommend a stop at Bidgood's Supermarket in Goulds on Route 10. Driving south from St. John's it will be in a shopping center on the left-hand side. It's a huge market with good prices and a great selection of meats, seafood, etc. Their website is I concur with the recommendation from b37lah concerning Gatherall's Boat Tour leaving from Bay Bulls. However, as a lifelong Pennsylvania resident, I was puzzled by the statement that "Newfoundland is only about the size of Pennsylvania". PA is only 45,000 sq. mi. while NL is 156,000 sq. mi. Of course, the island portion is less than half of the total but still a big area to cover. Can someone tell me what "fin & hattie" is? It was mentioned in a previous posting. Have a great trip!

kodi Aug 8th, 2003 05:25 AM

HI George. Thanks so much for the info on the grocery store. It sounds great.
I, too, was a bit puzzled when I read what someone wrote about Newfoundland being the size of Pennsylvania. I'm not sure who wrote that, but I've travelled through Penn many times,and I know it is much smaller than Newfoundland.
Finn and hattie is a Scottish meal. I can't give you specific details, but it's fish that is usually served at breakfast. When my mom and I travelled to Scotland she always looked forward to having it for breakfast. I remember it being a very strong smelling fish.
Not for me!!!

kodi Aug 8th, 2003 06:06 AM

Ok George, here we go! I just did a bit of research. It's 'finnan haddie' and it's a type of haddock fish, usually baked.
Whew.... now we know!!!!!

Retired_teacher Aug 8th, 2003 02:19 PM

Thanks for the correction on "finnan haddie". When we tried it four years ago in NFL, it was served in a pastry and its appearance reminded me of a homemade chicken pot pie. There were vegetables, mostly carrots and onions in a cream sauce along with the fish. The pieces of fish were small, flaked, and extremely salty. I learned that the fish is first salted and dried..... or at least that's how it was prepared where I first discovered it.

George Aug 8th, 2003 06:22 PM

Thanks for explaining the "fin & hattie". I had never come across it during numerous trips to Newfoundland.

linhelen Aug 12th, 2003 04:47 AM

I just got back from a visit to the East Coast and I never encountered "finnan haddie". A lot of fish and chips though. Speaking of food, the various berry tarts (especially the partridge berry) are highly recommended as is the salmon and, of course, the cod. The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, the Avalon wilderness area, Cape St. Mary's, Terra Nova National Park and Twillingate were all fascinating and St. John's is a charming and highly-walkable city. If you're in the area, the Clode Sound Motel in Charlottetown is very comfortable, run by nice people and the meals there were excellent. I was on a tour this time but plan to go back on my own. A wonderful place!

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