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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:39 AM   #1
SignalHillHiker
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: City of Legends: St. John's, N.L.
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O, buono vista! Oh, what a beautiful sight!

O, buono vista! Oh, what a beautiful sight!

Those were the first words Giovanni Caboto spoke when, in the summer of 1497, he first laid eyes on this especially beautiful and bountiful stretch of Newfoundland's coastline. It's a rugged jewel of the North Atlantic that, still today - more than five centuries later - is known as the town of Bonavista.

It's a four hour drive from St. John's, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador - until 1949 its own country and since then a province of Canada. Although St. John's is Canada's oldest city and one of the oldest in North America, Bonavista is certainly no younger.

However, with a population of less than 4,000, this little town - which already looked much as it does today before any of the great cities of North America took shape - has been relegated to the footnotes of history. In contemporary Newfoundland society, Bonavista is most well known for handicrafts, gusto (it behaves more like St. John's than a small town in interacting with the world), and beautiful brunettes.

Today - November 17, 2012 - I braved the eight hour return trip to see for myself what Bonavista has to show for its prosperous and very long history. What I found was a community that exemplifies our land, our people, and our culture.

Welcome.

This is the 640-kilometre (400-mile) route I took to get there:


This is the song you'll need to set the mood...


And here is what I saw...

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The Road to Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Bonavista by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

Hold on to your lover; your heart's bound to die...

Go on now and kiss her goodbye,
Hold on to your lover, your heart's bound to die;
Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town.
Can't you see the sun settin' down on our town, on our town?
Good-night!


These lyrics of the Newfoundland folk song Our Town could easily have been written about Port Union, thought to be the only union-built town in North America. It is located on the Bonavista Peninsula of Newfoundland, it's own country until 1949 and now a province of Canada. When, in 1916, Port Union was founded by Sir William Ford Coaker and the Fisherman's Protective Union, it was expected to become a workers' utopia in a country where, at that time, the vast majority of the population was predominantly poor and held in indebted servitude by a handful of wealthy merchants.

Today, the remaining population of this decaying industrial town still lives surrounded by the remnants of a what the union built: a century-old fish processing plant and workers barracks that couldn't survive fate or a capitalist economy. Nor could its famous and influential newspaper, The Fisherman's Advocate. Port Union is a painful symbolic reminder of how difficult it can be to compete against the powers that be. Port Union shares this in common with Haiti: the world didn't like what happened there and made damn sure it never brought its promised benefits. Haiti, of course, fared far worse.

This is one of the most beautiful industrial towns in Newfoundland, and probably in North America. It's also very unique, architecturally, in Newfoundland. Most Newfoundland towns have a haphazard look: the houses are placed on top of each other facing every which way. Port Union was planned, from first clearing the land of trees to painting the workers barracks. It truly stands out.

Port Union is a four hour drive from St. John's, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador.

This is the song you'll need to set the mood...


And here is what I saw...

image hosted on flickr

Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Port Union by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

Me name's Gaspar Corte-Real, b'y!

It was on Trinity Sunday in 1501 when Portuguese explorer Gaspar Corte-Real first fell in love with Newfoundland, an island that has been a Canadian province since 1949. He named his little corner of Paradise Trinity Bay, and a seasonal settlement also called Trinity quickly sprung up. It was used by fishermen from Europe who spent their summers living and fishing in Newfoundland.

A century later, English families from Poole left en masse to permanently settle in Trinity. What had been a seasonal home for all sorts of Europeans, from Basque to Breton, now became a proper English village. And, to be honest, not much has changed since.

This often-photographed village, with a population of just 190 people, boasts one of the most well-known and prestigious theatre companies and festivals in Atlantic Canada. The village draws thousands of tourists every year.

This is the song you'll need to set the mood...


And here is what I saw...

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The Discovery Trail by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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The Discovery Trail by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Nearing Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Nearing Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

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Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Trinity by Signal Hill Hiker Photos, on Flickr
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:24 AM   #2
JoseRodolfo
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It´s really a fantastic scenery!!! The colours are great!!! Thanks!!
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Old November 19th, 2012, 08:35 AM   #3
Linguine
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thanks for the awesome photos...beautiful sight indeed.
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