By Pam Hobbs

St John's NF: The note in the mailbox was welcoming. Along with a room key, it read, "Hello. Your room is on the ground floor. Come on in. Marilyn and Howie." We did, and sure enough, past the lounge furnished to the early 1900s, we came to our room. Formerly the home's dining room, it is now a spacious bed-sitter with its own bath next door. On the mantlepiece another note told us breakfast would be served between 8 and 10 a.m. in the third floor kitchen, and that if we were early risers we could help ourselves. I found it astonishing that in North America there is still a city where, in the heart of downtown, a homeowner can leave the front door unlocked and invite strangers inside. It set the tone for our few days in St. John's, surely the most hospitable city in Canada.

We were lodged at The Roses Bed and Breakfast, one of a number of converted heritage properties convenient to downtown. In winter they provide a comfortable home away from home for business people, university lecturers and researchers here for weeks on end. Summer brings tourists, many of whom book from one year to the next, using this as a base for touring St. John's and its environs.

The story (1,30 words) explores St John's on foot and ends with:

IF YOU GO:- St. John's is served by Air Canada and other airlines, as well as by Marine Atlantic ferries from Nova Scotia. The Roses Bed and Breakfast, 9 Military Road, St. John's, NF A1C 2C3, (tel 709-726-3336), has single rooms $65, double $75, including tax and breakfast. An identical house next door has rooms at $55 single and $65 double with cooked breakfast. A neighboring two bedroom house is $90 per day.

St. John's Tourist Information guide (from City of St. John's, Economic and Tourism Development, P.O. Box 908, St. John's, NF A1C 5M2 tel 709-729-5919 also lists more B & Bs, small and large hotels.