View From The Glen

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Newfoundland: The Viking Trail

When the westfalia blew a head gasket outside Port Hope Simpson, there was a moment I thought our vacation was doomed. Not only did the esoteric part have to come from California to this small Labrador outpost, but there were no available rental cars closer than St. John's. The mechanic came to our rescue, lending us his Honda, and so we found ourselves on the last leg of the Trans Labrador. Given the excitement to date, I was scared to get on board the ferry that crossed the straits of Belle Isle from Blanc Sablon to Newfoundland's St. Barbe, but in the end it was uneventful.

We drove north into the (misnamed) Vineland to our cottage in St Anthony. Very highly recommend the Snuggle Inn.....a perfect getaway from which to explore L'Anse Aux Meadows and the northern shore.


Excerpts from Journal (cut and pasted as is from iPad notes page.....complete with crazy autocorrect and minimal editing because...on an iPad....I just can't!)

July 11
In loaner and en route to Blanc Sablon. Construction incliding a stop while they exploded some Rock. Made ferry with minutes to spare. Last car on. Just room.

Ferry ride Uneventful. I'd been secretly worried. 

Now very merrily ensconced in a charming seaside cottage in st Anthony's where we have fresh shrimp and mussels for dinner, and Viking promises for tomorrow. 

July 12
L'Anse Aux Meadows. Historic Viking site. Fantastic day exploring archeological dig, and hiking the windswept Viking coast. Bought Vinland sagas. Explored peninsula, had dinner at the acclaimed Norseman overlooking a silver sea ( where we dined on cod, crab cakes, and rich, dense, figgy duff), then returned to the Chieftains tent (Leif) to drink Lingonberry wine and listen to stories from the sagas and Nordic mythology from two Vikings. Images of Chris Helmsworth (Thor) in a dress.....

July 13
Whale watching.,ocean cruise. Salty air and wind in our faces. Kids all smiles into the spray. Got up close to an aqua iceberg 200 FT tall, and went "ice fishing", plucking up shards of the 150000 year old berg out of the sea to eat.  Saw a colony of kittiwakes on a cliff, a nest with a bald eagle, a sea cave, and a minke wave. Sadly, no humpbacks, though the girls heard them calling at night through the windows, and a trio of them were apparently frolicking in the bay earlier in the day.

Got home in time to see Germany victorious over Argentina in World Cup football.

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