Thursday, August 24, 2023

L’Anse aux Meadows

 


L’Anse aux Meadows lies at the northern tip of Newfoundland. I have been captivated by this place for many years, since high school when I first learned about the Norse people who came here around the year 1000 AD. Parks Canada has done a stellar job of interpreting the site. Beyond the history, I am enchanted by the landscape, low green hills that flatten into the sea with long reefs where white waves curl. 

This is the furthest point on our trip and tomorrow we begin the trek homeward. There is still much to explore in the Maritimes, and we will be taking our time. 

I was shocked when we drove into the little town of St. Anthony to buy some groceries. The skyline was dominated by a familiar and most unexpected sight - a cruise ship! The first day we went to L’Anse aux Meadows, a bus full of cruise ship passengers arrived just as we did. Sadly, many made a beeline to the gift shop and spent no time at all learning about the history of this place. 

With so many people visiting the park, the park hosts altered their usual routines and did not offer guided tours but were instead stationed at various points to answer questions. So we decided to return the next day and had a wonderful tour by an excellent guide who grew up playing on the mounds before excavation began in 1961. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Twillingate

 


Hello from Twillingate, Newfoundland. So many interesting names dot the maps and signposts here. Twillingate, I learned, is an anglicized form of Toulinguet - so named by the French fishermen who travelled here centuries ago to fish for cod because the landscape reminded them of a similar shoreline in Their homeland. 

I confess that the less than summery weather is a bit of a trial and when the occasional warm sunny day appears, we take full advantage of it to hike a beautiful trail. 

The image above is the view from our campsite just now. Two humpback whales passed by yesterday, gulls soar with white wings flashing against the dark sea, and there is a delicious air of contentment. 

It’s been just over one month since left home and I will admit to homesickness. We speak with our children but it’s not the same as seeing them, and I think about my garden and miss my flowers. I am making an effort to fully enjoy all the moments of this trip for I know it’s a once in a lifetime experience. 

I also think about the terrible fires in our home province, not near to us, but dreadful nonetheless. Here we have too much rain, there not nearly enough. I pray for rain where it’s needed and for safety for all those in the face of the fires. 

We are perfectly comfortable in our little home on wheels. Today, after hiking, I indulged in a couple of hours of domesticity - making a pot of soup from vegetables bought at the local farmer’s market, baking date muffins, and concocting a pan of marshmallow squares for a special treat. 

Now as the sun sets and all the chores are finished, we will take a short walk and then settle in to read or perhaps watch a downloaded program on our computer.  

Thank you for reading  I look forward to catching up with all of your blogs when we get home - and there’s no definite date for that. Meanwhile, I wish you moments of loveliness to cherish. 



Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Cape Spear

The old lighthouse, a round stone tower with a wooden structure around the tower. 


Standing on the edge of land beside the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Spear, one is as east as possible in North America. A lighthouse stands here, still flashing its beacon after many decades, although the original buildings have been replaced. 

What was shocking to me after seeing a signpost elsewhere was that the tip of England, Poldhu, Cornwall, is much closer to us now than our home in the west of Canada. It made me realize how vast this country is, and how many kilometres we have driven. 

The edge of the continent








Sunday, August 13, 2023

Birds Galore!

 


Cape St. Mary’s lies on one of the long peninsulas of Newfoundland. We stopped there after a very rocky ferry trip. The mists swirled up and around us.  Here an ecological reserve has a trail high on the cliffs above the roiling sea where we walked. We could hear the birds far sooner than we could see them. Gannets with their young, common murres, and black-legged kittiwakes covered the rock faces where they nested. 

A beautiful wild place of wonder. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Biking between the raindrops

 


Cape Breton Island is filled with history, music, wonderful people, and gorgeous scenery. We went for a short bicycle ride along the southwest coast - a lovely trail with ocean views and shaded forests. Our appetites were ready for a bowl of delicious seafood chowder, one of the best I’ve tasted, accompanied by Celtic music. It was interesting to see that many of the road signs in this corner of the island were written in both English and Gaelic. 


Our last couple of days have been relaxing. This morning the view from our campsite was obscured by steady rain. As I write we are in the line waiting to board the ferry to Newfoundland. Although boarding will be on schedule, winds might delay our departure. It’s a 16 hour overnight trip and I’m a wee bit nervous about the ups and downs in the waves. Tim bought Gravol but that just puts me to sleep so I’m trying some pressure wrist bands. They are on now and will stay until we drive off the ferry tomorrow mid-morning. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

A quick note

 


Hello there!  Are you a history buff? I am. I love visiting sites where history comes alive and often imagine characters and events that might have taken place. 

The Isle aux Coudres in the Saint Laurence River is a place where stories lie around every corner. Settled by the French, there are charming homes, curving bays, and intriguing paths everywhere. We had hoped to cycle the 23 km perimeter of the island, but rain prevented that. Instead we visited an old mill, still grinding local flour today after more than 250 years, wandered a beach trail when the rain eased, and drove around the perimeter. Still so lovely. 


I’m finding internet and wifi connections rather difficult and have decided to create little postcard style posts like this one. 

The stories and other photos will happily wait until we return home. On Wednesday we take the ferry (16 hours) to Newfoundland. Exciting! We’ve almost reached the easternmost point of our trip. 

Thanks for coming along. 


 


 



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