I know, I know.
Before you pop a vein and shout “Lord Tunderin Jesus! Someone get this b’y a map!” let me just say I know Newfoundland is NOT a part of Europe – but it could be, or at least a country of its own. I only say this based on the fact that it is so completely and uniquely different from the rest of Canada or North America for that matter. From its rugged coastlines to its interesting dialect of English, there is just no place like it.
But why is Newfoundland one of my favorite places in Europe?
After taking 9 months or so off work to travel I returned to co-workers, friends, and family. All of them asking the same questions – one of which, “What was your favourite place in Europe?” I always reply, “Newfoundland.” This, understandably, leaves my co-worker, friend, or family member with a confused look on their face. I spent the majority of my time away backpacking across Europe however on my way back I took some time to visit eastern Canada, a place I always wanted to see. It was a blast. Even though my time in Europe was amazing, Newfoundland provided some of my fondest and craziest memories. This left me with no choice but to declare it one of my favourite stops.
So What made this rock in the Atlantic stand out so much for me? It could have been the fact that I spent my days exploring on my own or nights partying with friends. It could have been the euphoric moments hiking along the rugged coast outside of Trinity. Or the spontaneity of flying my girlfriend out for a weekend just to share the moments with her. Essentially these awesome experiences can be accredited to the following:
From the bed and breakfasts hosts in Bonavista to the world’s friendliest hostel owner in St.Johns to the women working the coffee shop in Gander who called me “hun,” the people I met were incredibly friendly, funny, and knew how to enjoy life. Having just returned from Europe, this was a welcomed change. Maybe I was put off by the homeless guy that sucker punched me in France or by the overly thorough customs agent in Finland. Maybe those experiences made Newfoundland that much more inviting. Or maybe Newfies are just genuine and down to earth people. And then there are the women. I was instructed by my brother to go to Gander as the women there, as he put it, are gorgeous.
Even though I was a little letdown and had to drive through a hurricane to get there, I did find Newfoundland women in general very attractive and very plentiful. How can they not be as historically the men are working out of town – fishing offshore or more recently working the rigs in Fort.McMurray Alberta, Newfoundland’s second-largest city. Either way, it was evident for Shaun.
Newfies know how to work hard and party harder. I spent many drunken nights on George Street in St.John’s hopping from bar to bar with a drink in hand. This is a big deal as open liquor laws are quite stringent in the rest of Canada. It was the first week of college so the street was particularly lively and there were bands playing every bar and on stages set up on the street. I seriously haven’t seen that many great bands in one night which says a lot as I have been to many cities, festivals, and venues since then. And then there was dancing on bars and getting “screeched in” – a welcoming ceremony that involves a local rum (moonshine) and kissing a cod (or a puffins “ars.”) Newfoundland is a great place to let loose, to say the least.
I spent a few days touring the countryside of Newfoundland and was utterly taken back by the beauty. I drove from cosy coastal villages to tundra-like plains – dodging “Newfie Speed bumps” along the way. How can you not love a place where Moose outnumber men? I visited picturesque lighthouses, watched puffins perch or rocky cliffs, and went on several amazing hikes. On one hike in particular I reached a peak overlooking a rocky and rugged coast and just stood there taking it all in. I felt incredibly liberated and at peace. I let out a satisfying sigh and as I thought about how that moment could not be any better I was pushed back by a rush of air from a soaring bald eagle. His massive wingspan came within a couple of feet of my face. It was an incredible moment and something that I will remember forever.
Newfoundland is also home to Gros Morne National Park, a world heritage site, and the second-largest national park in eastern Canada. This park is known for its fjords, incredible hikes, and colourful fishing villages. I had intentions of visiting this park but a passing hurricane soaked that plan. No worries, Newfoundland I will return.
Thank you Mark Barry for sharing your Dildo picture.