Newfoundland Days 3 & 4

After seeing the cod being landed, we had to have some for dinner. We had cod tongues as an appetizer and cod filet for dinner… Cod tongues are lightly breaded and fried like calamari, and have the texture of chewy calamari. Not sure we need to have them again.

The next day was a travel day. We flew to the French territory of Saint Pierre, about 130 miles from St. John and just off the coast of Newfoundland. After the English defeated Napoleon, for some reason the British let the French keep three small islands in the Treaty of Paris, and they are still French to this day. About 6,000 people live there.

After a tour of the island we boarded our ship and headed off to Cape Breton island, Nova Scotia. In the morning we toured Louisbourg Fortress, a French fort and town which the British took during the French and Indian war, and later blew up. It has been partially reconstructed to give a glimpse into the life of mid 18th century.

Then we bus-ed over to Baddeck, the location of the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell. He had invented the telephone by his mid twenties, and spent the rest of his life working on a number of different projects. Together with Curtiss and 3 others, they developed aerilons and tricycle landing gear, were the first to fly in Canada, and built the first airplane to fly further than 1 km. They did all this in 18 months. Then Bell and Burton turned their attention to hydrofoils, developing a series of boats that eventually broke the 100kpm barrier, their top speed being about 83 mph, a record which lasted 10 years. Bell also developed the wax cylinder, making his gramophone much more practical than Edison’s foil recordings.

We are fortunate to have Gil Grosvenor on board, former chairman of National Geographic, and great-grandson of Bell (and grandson of the founder of National Geographic Society). He has given us some interesting family background.

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