Land of Cod

Visit to the French Territory

Aug 2-3

Small boat departs from Fortune in Newfoundland to Saint Pierre at seven in the morning. I arrived there, literally, four hours earlier and nearly overslept while taking a rest in my car. I bought a ticket a few minutes before the departure of the vessel, quickly packed the bag, and went aboard. After all, the boat departed late, unfortunately, because of me. My car stayed in Canada, and I was traveling to France. The morning was foggy. After one and half hours, finally I saw the coast of the island of Saint-Pierre. The sun piercing through the fog created an incredible atmosphere. To my eyes appeared rocky island full of colors, beautiful and very mysterious.

Hidden Island::The sun piercing through the fog created an incredible atmosphere::
Hidden Island
Lake on Saint-Pierre::The only fresh water lake on the island::
Lake on Saint-Pierre
Cyclist::A girl on bike by the wall of the warehouse from the Prohibition Era::

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is the only French territory in North America. Residents there speak French; the local currency is euro. Immediately after the arrival, I had to find a hotel. I did not make any reservations in advance. The capital city is very small. Strolling around, I found Hotel Robert. It was considered one of the best hotels there, but it was nothing special, in fact. I was hoping for a day trip to Miquelon, the neighboring island in this territory. This proved impossible, because the boat crew was on strike. I also wanted to rent a car on Saint-Pierre. The island is small, but it is good to be independent and go beyond the city. Unfortunately, this idea also failed to me. There was no way to rent a car.

Blue Boat::A boat with Langdale Island on the horizon::
Blue Boat
Street Mirror::Colorful exteriors help locals to keep positive mood during long months without sunshine::
Street Mirror
Corner of Rue de Paris::Windows with curtains are something unusual in North America::
Corner of Rue de Paris

Finally, traveling on two wheels, the bicycle or scooter, was also an option that I considered. Another failure here, there are no such rental offices. I was stuck in town for good. In the visitor center, I learned that there are many shipwrecks in the waters surrounding Saint Pierre and Miquelon. I had some hope for diving. Unfortunately, there are no dive centers. That exhausted all my ideas for actively spending time in the overseas province of France. All what I could do was just walking around the city. I do not see much of interest in spending time on strolling around. The main goal of my off-road travel is visiting places away from urban areas.

Jeep on streets of Saint-Pierre::Look at this French license plate, SPM means Saint-Pierre and Miquelon::
Jeep on streets of Saint-Pierre
Typical French Road Signs::This is France, no doubt about it::
Typical French Road Signs

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is undoubtedly an exotic group of islands in North America, mainly because of the French connection. I liked colorful houses that give an unusual charm. Pastel colors help people to maintain a good mood every day. The sun shines here rarely.

Shipwreck on the Beach::Parts of the ship Transpacific on the Ile aux Marine island::
Shipwreck on the Beach
Fishing Village::The small island Ile aux Marine has become an open-air museum::
Fishing Village

Additional images from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon in my travel photography gallery.

© 2011 Maciej Swulinski