On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Good morning everyone,
Sorry about Wednesday and Thursday. I screwed up the Wed post and fell asleep listening to trial stuff Wednesday night. All in all, a poor showing indeed.
Have a great weekend, all!
More from Newfoundland — L’Anse aux Meadows, on the Great Northern Peninsula, is the site of the only confirmed Viking site in North America outside of Greenland. There are remains of eight buildings, from approximately a thousand years ago, though the artifacts suggest it was probably not a permanent settlement and may just have been a base to repair boats.
This is the view from L’Anse aux Meadows. It happened to be a sunny day, but the enthusiastic winds would have made Leif Erikson feel right at home. You can just see Labrador as a blue smudge near the horizon.
It’s all grasses now, but a thousand years ago this was forest. This is the outline of one of the sod buildings found by archaeologists.
A model Norse-style sod building on the site.
A few miles from L’Anse aux Meadows there’s a Viking heritage village that reproduces what a Norse settlement might have looked like — complete with church, smithy and a small farm.
A boat at the heritage village.
A sod building.
Arches Provincial Park is down the coast from L’Anse aux Meadows. No relation to Vikings, but visited the same day.
The beach at Arches Provincial Park. For some reason, I kept thinking that log was a whale bone, as though I’d wandered into another heritage village by mistake.
My then girlfriend, now wife and I were there almost 30 years ago. Hiking along the cliffs and watching whales was unforgettable. I would recommend taking the ferry to Labrador, icebergs in August!
Beautiful. Rugged. Anywhere near where the Canadian gvt is telling residents they can’t continue to provide support as there is no economic base?
Thank you. Maybe because it is so isolated, but the pictures sent a chill through me.
Just One More Canuck
@p.a.: I believe that’s on the south coast, east of Port-aux-basques
Dorothy A. Winsor
@JPL: Me too. It’s easy to imagine the people who lived there.
Gin & Tonic
We visited the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo last year, where they have several of their boats, that were dug out of the earth and restored. Just thinking of sailing one of those across the North Atlantic – with no means of communication and very little in the way of navigation – is what’s chilling.
@Just One More Canuck: It’s on the west coast of the Northern Peninsula; almost the northern tip of the island. Not far from St. Anthony’s
There is a village in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula named L’anse. It’s fun when people from southern Michigan try to pronounce the village’s name.
Oh, and if you for some reason find yourself traveling through there, make sure to stop by the Hilltop Restaurant for the most fantastic cinnamon roll that you will ever see and eat.
@Gin & Tonic: In the heritage village they have a replica of a Viking ship, the Snorri, that did a Kon Tiki type adventure in the 90’s, recreating the 1500 mile journey from Greenland to L’Anse aux Meadows. It’s bigger than the ships I remember seeing in the Viking museum in Oslo, but not nearly big enough to tempt me to sail the north Atlantic in it.
Beautiful pix,much better than the bloody “viking” intro to American Gods.
@Just One More Canuck:
@p.a.: That’s correct — the latest group to be relocated were from the southern part of Newfoundland. But it’s something that has been going on for a long time. We saw old films of houses being floated across the water when people had to leave their villages on small islands and took their houses with them. Since the moratorium on cod fishing in 1992, the entire way of life that sustained Newfoundland is over — there’s crab fishing, selling to the Asian markets, but it isn’t nearly as big as cod was.
I just loved Newfoundland — rugged, beautiful, haunting — and definitely want to go back.
I have wanted to go there ever since I was a boy, reading Farley Mowat’s Farfarers and Westviking. I doubt I will ever have the chance, but God I would love to see that place.
We lived in Flowers Cove in 1970-72. Lanse Aux Meadows Viking settlement had been discovered only a few years earlier therefore was not developed. We visited again in about 1990 and were amazed at how beautifully it was developed. Newfoundland is awesome and so are the people – it’s a must see!
Great pictures. It’s on my bucket list but who knows. I’ve lived “next door” for twenty years and haven’t made it.
For those who will here’s a good little potted history of the outports and what happened to them.
@chris: Thanks — this is a great overview. The history of Newfoundland is fascinating and heartbreaking. One quote that has continued to haunt me was from Dr. Grenfell, who started medical ships to provide some of the first reliable healthcare in northern Newfoundland and Labrador: “There are more feet than shoes in many families in Labrador, and we are frequently called upon to amputate legs which have been frozen.” Life in those fishing villages was brutal.
Roger & Maria
@arrieve: Yeah “nasty, brutish and short” comes to mind. The outports were a form of indentured servitude that died with the decline of the fish stocks. It’s easy to romanticise the spectacular scenery and the kitchen parties. Much harder to confront the 19th century living conditions and short lives hammered by poverty and isolation.
Alain, thank you! I’ve been hoping to visit there, for years! I hadn’t realized how beautiful it is.