Monday, July 31, 2006

Be it ever so foggy, there's no place like home

Greetings from St. John's. Apologies for not posting in the past four days, but as it turns out Gros Morne doesn't have readily available internet connections ... or at least, our motel did not. But more on our accommodations later.

The photo above is a tease -- I'll post the Gros Morne Diaries over the next few days, with pictures that do no justice to the magnificent landscapes but still manage to be pretty spectacular. Suffice it to say, the three days we were there were not nearly long enough to even scratch the surface of that incredible place.

Meanwhile, I'm back in St. John's after a three month absence and feeling quite at home again already ... albeit with most of my clothes still in bins and much of that needing to be laundered. But it was quite a relief to turn off the Trans-Canada and into Greater Metropolitan St. John's (after an eight-hour drive, the day after an epic hike up and down Gros Morne Mountain, which made our muscles sort of calcify into their sitting positions in the course of the drive, to the point that Kristen and I were more or less hobbling like lepers upon emerging from the car -- but again, more on that in the near future).

I left off last Thursday however promising more pictures from our evening in Port-aux-Basques. So here they are. First, the view from the long, steep, winding driveway up to our hotel down on the rather festive town center:

Something you see in all the travel ads and brochures for Newfoundland are the brightly coloured houses and buildings that festoon the towns and cities here. I always remember, prior to actually coming here, thinking that this was an advertising ploy -- they were probably showing occasional instances of bright palettes being used as a strategy for making the province's towns look uniformly colourful. But then you get here and realize that this is the norm.

I suppose the reality of long, gray winters makes people more inclined to surround themselves with colour. Or perhaps the paint jobs one sees are simply the outward manifestations of the rather colourful personalities that populate this island. Theories, anyone?

The fog does have a tendency to make things haunting, though ...

Finally, before I sign of: a challenge! The image below is one posted all over the ferry from Cape Breton to Newfoundland:

Now, we did eventually discover the meaning of this rather cryptic icon, but I want all the readers of this humble blog to invent meanings for it! What is this sign telling us to do?


FanglyFish said...

Possible Sign Meaning:

1) Welcome to Bob’s Gene Splicing Clinic
2) I am not your babies daddy
3) Adoptions welcome?
4) Winner of the 2006 “Random Sign Award”
5) Cannibal festival today

Truthfully I think it is a family gathering point. Am I right?

Jer said...

1. When siren is heard, all passengers to congregate inside chalk circle. Anyone left outside walks the plank.

2. This way for emergency family photographs.

3. This way for "most people in phone booth" record attempt.

4. Don't just do something, stand there.

b said...

i have never been to the east coast, but ive been hearing more and more about it (in addition with your pics) and i really want to get out there sometime. hope london was a good time!!

Anonymous said...

It's a muster station, but I'm from Labrador so I guess my guess doesn't really count... does it make a difference that I'm land locked and don't have any access to the ocean unless I drive 5-8hrs on a dirt road. (probably not) anyhoo... I believe it is a muster station, a point at which in an emergency people can gather for life jackes/preservers and such and also wait for the life boats to be "lanched"(you main-landers say lauched) for saftey while the big boat you were on, sinks into its watery grave. But that again is just a guess.

kodak said...

"Hell or help is just around the corner."

The first thing I really thought is that the sign is a warning on ships for passengers to beware that there may be people on a collision course around corners in a tight space.

Anonymous said...

you, you and you take the big ones, i'll take the little one.

thegeneralx said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thegeneralx said...

I think it might mean "stick together" or stay together, something like that?