Quidi Vidi Brewery
Quidi Vidi – the name alone was intriguing. We had to find out more.
On our third day in Newfoundland, we took a taxi ($10 taxi each way) a few miles out of St. John’s to Quidi Vidi Brewery.
It’s not that the Quidi Vidi bar/brewery itself is spectacular, but the view from both outside and inside is superb. Quidi Vidi is a tiny traditional fishing village on an outside corner of St. John’s. There are also hiking trails on the hills around the village.
The Quidi Vidi Brewery has traditional music/kitchen party Friday evenings. You might want to try the Iceberg Beer made from 1000’s-of-years-old iceberg water.
As for one of the brews made on-site, T reports that the ale was light and refreshing.
Everywhere in Newfoundland, There is One of These
More fascinating than the brewery was this older fellow I met coming up the steep hill outside the brewery, huffing, and puffing.
He set down his heavy gas can and a pack of beer to swear at how,
“f—–g steep the hill was”, and then went on to say that he,
“had been up and down that hill f——g twenty times today!” Course he was smiling as he said all this and he continued on,
“See that house up on the hill behind ya? I am fixin’ his f——g electricity problem in the attic. Been up and down this f——g hill at least twenty f——g times today and I’s still not f——g done. Now how would ya like to do that all yer day, by Christ?” I laughed and shook my head agreeing that he had a tough job.
“Good news is I…
beer!” he calls back as he heads up the hill behind me.
As I continued to wait for T to come back with the car, the old fella came back from the house behind me,
“F–k! I forgot to bring the wiring! F–k!”
Two minutes later, he comes trudging back up the hill, sweat beading on his forehead. He stops when he reaches me.
“You know what? I am f—–g finished with this job today! F–k! F–k-it! F–k!”
And with that expletive, he jumped in his truck and sped off down the road. His language was getting a little repetitive so I can’t say I was disappointed to see him leave, but he did make me chuckle. Unfortunately, T missed this dramatic event, but I think he would have quite enjoyed it.
Signal overlooks the city of St. John’s and the Atlantic Ocean. You can go back in time to when a guy stood on the top of the hill watching for ships, then signaling back the name of the ship to the harbour-front down the hill in St. John’s.
French and British soldiers battled here for control of Signal Hill.
Signal Hill is also the place where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received by Marconi in 1901.
Check out the video of the view over St. John’s and the Atlantic:
Inside the Cabot Tower on Signal Hill are more fantastic views and of course, the history of Signal Hill.
If you want a more detailed history of Signal Hill, you can find it here: Province of Newfoundland & Labrador
Drunk and Disorderly at the Bar
After returning to St. John’s. we were wandering along the street just looking at shops when we came to this bar. The owner was outside sweeping, and he called out a greeting so we decided to go in for a drink.
His wife inside was casual and friendly, chatting away as she got our drinks. We were the only ones in the bar on this warm late afternoon. We sat at a side table checking out the brightly and freshly-painted 3-stripe table top and the odd game table nearby.
A few minutes later, a very drunk and disorderly older gentleman came in the door bouncing off every surface and muttering incoherently.
Then he started shouting. The woman behind the bar was immediately alarmed, and she told him he needed to leave. He didn’t. She called out to him again. No reaction from the drunk. She called out to her husband outside. No response from her husband. She looked at us, shrugged, and said,
“We women have to do everything ourselves, now don’t we!”
She came out from the bar and tried to hustle the old man out but he would not leave. He pulled away from her and staggered to a seat at the back behind what looked like a staff desk, muttering something about being ok. She looked frustrated but finally left him alone, keeping a watchful eye on him every single minute. She apologized to us.
We left shortly thereafter, but I suspect her husband got an earful for not coming in to help her with the drunk fellow.
The long and short of it is that there is never a scarcity of “characters” in Newfoundland.
Many of the bars and lounges in St. John’s offer Screen-Ins to Newfoundland visitors. No, this does not involve anyone going around “screeching” at the top of their lungs. A Screech-In, according to Wikipedia is:
Newfoundland Screech is used in a ceremony known as the “screech-in”. The “screech-in” is an optional ceremony performed on non-Newfoundlanders (known to Newfoundlanders as a “come from away” or “mainlander”) involving a shot of screech, a short recitation and the kissing of a codfish.
Each holding their shot of Screech, they are then asked “Are ye a screecher?” and are taught the proper response: “‘Deed I is, me ol‘ cock! And long may yer big jib draw!” Translated, it means “Yes I am, my old friend, and may your sails always catch wind.”
We had the opportunity to watch a Screech-in on Fogo Island later in our trip, and what we saw made a whole night of howling laughter.
Watch for the Screech-In video coming soon to this website near you.
Lobster for Supper
Later that night, we dressed up and went back to the Bagel Cafe and enjoyed an excellent lobster dinner.
For dessert, ginger carrot cake and the biggest cup of coffee ever.