Tuesday, April 08, 2008

St John's - Day Three

The view from our window this morning. Foggy.

At least it was warmer today - and not drizzling. I walked up to The Rooms today, passing the Basilica on the way. The Basilica is the building that we saw from the Battery the other night, lit up on the hill across the bay - and The Rooms is the building next to it. It's an interesting parallel - the spiritual centre of the city, which would formerly have been the sole occupant of this prominent position on the skyline - now sharing the spotlight with the cultural centre of the city.

The Rooms is a wonderful facility. Its design mirrors the "fishing rooms" where a Newfoundland family would have come together to process their catch, and so three main "rooms" combine to form the building on many levels: the museum, the archives and the art gallery. They are connected by broad staircases and encased in glass, with huge windows and skylights everywhere - and the most spectacular views of the city.

I ate lunch on the fourth floor, where there is a little cafe overlooking a view of the Narrows. The menu was extensive and reasonably priced, though it didn't seem to offer a lot that was local, but on the very friendly waitress's suggestion I ordered the seafood bake. I am glad I did!! It was delicious.

The other diners seemed to be mostly retired folk (I keep forgetting not everyone is on holiday like me!) and a couple of businessmen. The place wasn't very busy, and it was so relaxing to linger over my second glass of wine, reading my book and looking out at the view.

The gift shop was a bit of a disappointment, unfortunately. I never understand why they sell so much that is really nothing more than landfill and so little that really speaks to either the city or to the content of what the curators are doing in the museum itself. But I suppose people must buy the landfill, otherwise they would stop stocking it....in any case, I managed to find a few nice postcardy bits and pieces - though I haven't yet been able to find a post office!

Had a nice leisurely walk back to the B&B and noticed a sign on the fence around the Anglican cathedral downtown, indicating they have a weekly organ concert tomorrow afternoon. Exciting!

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