Friday, June 9, 2017

The Battery and Fort Amherst Lighthouse Newfoundland

Crazy to think that last week when we landed in St. John's it was 3 degrees with fog and blowing snow and today I am sitting on the dock in Muskoka and I'm getting ready to jump in the lake (almost :).

Our last day we decided to just stick around the town.  This year I have been to Nashville (love it), San Antonio (love it), New Oreleans (love it), but where did my heart feel most at home, yep, even with the temperatures St. John's.  The people are amazing, it felt so safe, the music was amazing and food and drink plentiful.  If I had to pick one of these 4 cities for a 4 day weekend, it would definitely be St. John's (probably not in January lol).

After our walk to the Mallard Cottage and back, Jim and I set off for Fort Amherst.  In case you didn't know I love lighthouses and I have pictures of lots of them, the peaceful blue sky on the dunes lighthouses of PEI, the stunning ones along the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where for 1/2 the day they are surrounded by water and the other half the ocean floor.  The ruggedness of Newfoundland makes for amazing outcroppings, and cliffs around their lighthouses.  They so reminded me of the lighthouses on the west coast of Scotland.  No wonder I felt so at home here.

The Fort was built on the narrows - the opening to the St. John's harbour, a great place also for their marina.  Those nets you see are for crabbing.  Doug was talking to one of the locals at the pub (of course) and he was saying the crabbers go out for 35 days and then come home for 35 days, working 6 hour shifts on, 6 hours off.  What a life.  No wonder the pub was hopping Wednesday night.

Looking back on the beautiful colourful houses and buildings of St. John's.

Fort Amherst - this is the view from Signal Hill.
The original fortifications at Fort Amherst, built in the 1770s, are no longer visible.[5] The fortifications were named for William Amherst,[6] who successfully recaptured St. John's from French forces in 1762.[ wikipedia
During WWII there were major fortifications all around the cliffs keeping St. John's safe from the German U-Boats.  
And just a wee bonus, around the corner in the next cove an iceberg.
While at Fort Amherst, I spotted a wee pathway clinging to the cliff on the battery side of the harbour.  Stairs, railings, looked amazing.  So off we head.

I don't understand how this little village has survived all the harsh winters, storms and winds.  Most of the houses looked like they could blow over.  Up a hill down a hill, 3 point turns twice and back to the road to try and find a parking spot.  Now we had to walk up and down all these hills.  Old houses and new houses intertwined to form a wonderful little community.  Next time I come I might look for an AirBnB over here.
The Newfoundland art is just as colourful and beautiful as they province.

This is the village looking back from the start of our hike.

Yum.  Still wiggling.  :)
Well at this point I am still pretty excited.  We are now 17,000 steps into what turned out to be a 20,000 step day, a wee bit tired, knee a wee bit swollen, but I am ready to go, what's another 1.7 KM.
Well after the first round of stairs the cliff path faced me.  OK.  I was still good at this point.  Hugging the wall with my left hand, camera in my right.  Well believe it or not the path got narrower.
It drops right down to the ocean.  The 1st day we were there I was asking about helicopter rides and the local told me the best way to get one was to do the cliff walk, get stuck and they would send a helicopter to rescue me.  I don't think he meant this walk, but at one point it was sounding very appealing.  We keep going, I stop looking down, and a girl goes running by me, ponytail flipping, like what the heck are you nuts.  We come to an area where I have to let go of the wall to go around this wee corner.  NOPE not happening, this lady (at least my age this time) says no worries, I talk people around here all the time.  And it's so easy after this, there is a ledge where they have a roped attached to the wall which you have to hold on to with both hands and then it's all stairs.  ARE YOU CRAZY, and then I have to come back.  NOT happening.  I hate giving in, but I knew as soon as I turned around I had made the right decision.  I also discovered something else about myself,  I list to the left, so on the way back I had to force my right hand against the wall.  LOL.  20,000 steps, definitely time for a wine.  Next time I will do this walk, up and back.  :)

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