Tag Archives: Signal Hill

Struggling Up Signal Hill (St John’s)

Our second day in St John’s, we were surprised to wake up to blue skies and sunshine after flying into snow and zero degrees the day before (apparently this swift weather change is typical of Newfoundland). We decided to make the most of this fleeting good weather by checking out the Signal Hill summit overlooking the city.

There are two ways to get to Signal Hill:

  • walk or drive up the paved Signal Hill Rd;
  • do a breathtaking hike that winds along stunning cliff faces (Battery Rd).

While the choice of route may seem obvious, my (presumably) well-meaning guidebook was messing with our decision-making process. Describing the hike as “thigh-burning,” “very dangerous” and only recommended for people who are feeling “really energetic” we weren’t sure we were up to the challenge on a normal day, let alone after getting a little too “Newfie” at Shamrock City the night before. (As an aside, this pub was still going strong at 3am on a Monday night – this would never happen in Toronto!)

But embracing the Irish spirit, we eventually said “feck it” and set off to do the hike.

There was a moment of hesitation when we came across this sign at the start of the trail,

but we were soon rewarded with amazing views of the rugged coastline.

It took us a bit over an hour to reach the summit, stopping for photos and rest stops after each set of steeply ascending stairs (yep, definitely “thigh-burning”). As the top, we were greeted with more stunning views and Cabot Tower.

Cabot Tower: Here in 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message. It was the letter “S” in Morse Code sent from England.

We descended down the other side of the hill towards the little fishing village of Quidi Vidi, intent on rewarding ourselves with a cold one at their brewery. As we were approaching the village, Katie gave a casual look backwards towards the cove and spotted…

a freakin’ iceberg!!!! 50 meters from shore!!!

All in all, a great St John’s afternoon!

 

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