Friday, July 13, 2012

Newfoundland, June 2012

Newfoundland is a land of rugged beauty and a hardy, fun-loving people.  It’s 4 1/2 time zones away, nearer to Ireland than California, and didn’t even join Canada until after World War II.  But it’s wonderfully North American with charming fishing villages, varied-color row houses (called jellybean rows) in its capital St. John’s, its own unique blue-bottled Quidi Vidi beer, and food to die for: cod tongues and pastries bristling with partridgeberries (we call them lingonberries) and bakeapple berries (like orange-colored raspberries).  Moose roam the island and whales encircle it.  Cod was king until overfishing forced an economy-crippling moratorium.  Now many former fishermen find employ in Alberta’s oil fields or aboard offshore oil rigs.  Notwithstanding their many challenges--including forced resettlements--Newfoundlanders (sometimes called “Newfies”) survive in good humor buoyed everywhere by the exuberant strains of arresting celtic folkmusic.  What a blast!

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