Up early today to catch the ferry from Fortune, Newfoundland, to St. Pierre – an hour and an entire country away. Located just 12 miles off the coast of Newfoundland at the entrance to Fortune Bay, the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon have been a possession of France for nearly 500 years. If there’s a chance of a pain au chocolate at this place, I’m in. Even if that means a slippery gangplank and deck which my crutches and I don’t like.
It’s foggy today and as we float along the coast of the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland I cannot always make out the rocky shore. We arrive at St. Pierre, the town on the island of the same name, in late morning, just in time to catch the bus for a tour of the port and island. Past the lighthouse, government buildings, neighborhoods, the airport, new candy-colored hospital, pastures, beautiful coastline and more.
Our guide, Wendy, says the houses are all painted in bright hues to add some color to local life in the winter.
We finish the tour just in time for lunch. I hobble slowly up the street with Danielle and Murph while Brian is scouting ahead for a crutch-friendly place for us to get a bite.
We have lunch at Les Delices de Josephine, a lovely little tea room up the street from the port.
A baguette sandwich or a quiche Loraine…..so hard to decide. And a lovely pastry for dessert.
We wander and shop around St. Pierre. Lots of people come here for the French food and pastries and the duty free shopping which means French perfumes, wine and other kinds of alcohol. The island has a history smuggling rum, especially to the United States during prohibition when it becamse a headquarters for alcohol shipments going to New England cities.
Time to go down to the ferry and back through Customs to Canada on the other side. It’s been a wonderful day, despite the fog and occasional mist. Good friends and company, good food, getting out on the sea and having a mini-French vacation all in a day…..c’est parfait.