Arriving in St. John's
Monday, June 27
We arrived in St. John's shortly before dusk, and quickly made our way to the hotel in which I had pre-booked a room. The place was called The Battery hotel, and it sat on a lower slope of famous Signal Hill, with a good view back towards the city. In my booking, I selected a slightly more expensive option to get a city view, but when we got to the room the staff had assigned to us, I noticed that it was facing the parking lot. A quick word back at the hotel desk got our room changed - and the one they gave us was obviously a bit more than what we optioned to get: a big suite with a huge three-window panoramic view of downtown. It was plainly one of the nicer rooms in the entire hotel.
We only had this evening and half of the following day to experience what St. John's has to offer, so we decided to make the most of it by going into what we'd heard was the vibrant nightlife-heart of the city: George Street.
We quickly made our way into the downtown, catching very interesting glimpses of hilly streets and ranks upon ranks of brightly-colored row houses. We definitely had to come back and explore those tomorrow. Arriving at George street, we walked along its narrow length, noting the high density of pubs, most of them emanating east coast / celtic-style music.
Ultimately, we settled on a pub housed in a hundreds-year old mercantile building right at the start of George Street - The YellowBelly brewery and public house. As you might expect from the name, there was a microbrewery on-site, and the food is nothing to sneer at. We had a couple of gourmet burgers that were absolutely delicious.
Back at our hotel room, we spent a few minutes admiring the sweeping view of the town at night. It is quite an arresting scene: the elongated harbour, lined with lights - all manner of large ships docked, cranes and other industrial things crowding the water line. The way the land sloped steeply down to the harbour made the downtown really stand out, and created a nice sense of depth. I was impressed so far with St. John's - it had a suprisingly metro feel, but with a strong ocean / maritime-themed twist.