I should have mentioned our trip to St. Pierre -- after St. John’s and before New York.
I was really anticipating this visit. St. Pierre is not an easy island to access. The island itself belongs to France. Access is by way of Newfoundland…or cruise ship. We were able to dock at a pier located about 1 and ½ miles from the center of town. We were encouraged to walk, but there was also a school bus providing round trip service for a small fee.
We took the one tour bus on the island for a comprehensive 36 mile tour, visiting (at a very slow pace) all places with paved road access, all homes past and present, belonging to the driver (and owner) of the bus and tour company, as well as homes belonging to all of his relatives. There were a lot of scrub pines, and I thought the building concept in the countryside was rather interesting. Many of the homes had driveway access, but all other land space was taken up with the small scrub pines, hugging the house on all sides, except for a small entrance. I think that perhaps this deters a lot of drifting snow from building up against the houses in the winter.
This is a very tidy island with colorful houses and friendly locals. A friend (whom I trust explicitly), was able to visit the local hotel and restaurant and was impressed enough to want to return for a month’s stay at a later date. She was quite impressed with the local cuisine and the convenient lodging.
St. Pierre has had a rather successful fishing industry in the past. Any necessity they lack, the guide informed us, is provided by the mother country, France. Most of the populace works for the local government. The remainder work at seasonal employment. The local museum is worth a visit.
This is the only place I have visited which provides a wonderful little home in the middle of the town’s lake for it’s duck population. (Yes, photos to follow.)