Downtown St. John’s Museums


We had a fun day exploring St. John’s. It’s a really cool city, but a little crazy. Old crooked 1800’s houses next to modern skyscrapers. An old fishing harbor next to massive cranes loading containers onto ships.

Our hotel is near the “top” of the town, with the harbor and old town at the “bottom” about 5 blocks away. It’s a nice steep hike (think San Francisco or Seattle) for us, but exercise  is a good thing!

Architecture is wildly varying here, from stucco Italian-design churches to tiny row houses with lots of gingerbread, to monolithic castle-like structures of the Catholic diocese.

United Church

United Church

Supreme Court Building

Supreme Court Building

Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Although it was closed to the public, another small group was touring the Pharmacy museum and we were able to join them. This old pharmacy still held many of its original furnishings and woodwork. The light blonde wood still glows, and the white painted tin-stamp ceiling is very pretty. Jars are carefully laid out in rows on the shelves, with everything from cannibis oil to aspirin powder.

Next we crossed the street and entered the beautiful old train station, which is now a museum

Railway Coastal Museum

Railway Coastal Museum

They’ve done a great job of telling the story of settling Newfoundland, from the first sailing ships to the last train rolling down the tracks in the 1970’s.

After that, we dropped into Auntie Crae’s, a grocery store that specializes in local foods, baked goods and cheeses. The gals were happy to let you taste any cheese in the store, and I asked what was their best-seller. Beer cheese! Hmm, okay, I’ll try anything (well, except head cheese, that just sounds gross). This is the most flavorful cheese I think I’ve ever tasted, Mike loves it too. It has a yeasty bite then drops into a very complex flavor package of lots of different things I can’t identify, only to say it’s delicious!

The best thing about travel is finding new foods you like, the worst thing about travel is finding new foods you love and can’t take home with you!

Tomorrow is Cabot Tower.


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