We decided to spend our first day in St. John’s walking around the old downtown. Got breakfast at the hotel and then tried to get directions downtown. That ended up being a bit stressful, since St. John’s apparently doesn’t believe in street signs and roads routinely converge and separate and are one-way. After driving a loop of the downtown twice, we finally managed to get into a parkade.
We walked down Water Street for a bit and found a visitor information centre. We continued on to the Newfoundland Railway Museum, which documented the construction of a railway across the island and also the various ships that were used for transport to Labrador and Nova Scotia. More recently, the now-abandoned railway line has been turned into a provincial park trail (called the T’Railway) the spans from St. John’s to Port aux Basques.
We had picked up some brochures of walking tours of the historic downtown, so we followed the one for the western part of the city. Along the way was a stop at the Newman’s wine cellars which included a sampling of Newman’s port. We later got lunch at the Ryan premises, and followed the walking tour for the central downtown area. After stopping in some souvenir shops, we walked down Water Street to its eastern end to visit the Terry Fox Mile 0 memorial.
By this point we were all tired of walking, so we decided to head back to the hotel. Getting back was also an adventure, given turning restrictions, road closures, detours, and no ability to get directions without cell service. After a very very indirect route, we managed to get back to the hotel.